Before You Fill In Form 1040EZ
For details on these and other changes for 2005 and
An additional exemption amount if you provided housing for a
2006, see Pub. 553.
person displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Special rules for time and support tests for people who were
temporarily relocated because of Hurricane Katrina.
Special rules for withdrawals and loans from IRAs and other
qualified retirement plans.
What’s New for 2005
You must use Form 1040A or 1040 to take advantage of any of
Hurricane Katrina Tax Relief
Caution. At the time these instructions went to print, Congress was
considering legislation that would provide additional tax relief for
For more details on these and other tax benefits related to Hurri-
individuals affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. For more de-
cane Katrina, see Pub. 4492.
tails, and to find out if this legislation was enacted, see Pub. 4492.
Mailing Your Return
Emergency tax relief was enacted as a result of Hurricane Ka-
trina. For example, you can elect to use your 2004 earned income to
You may be mailing your return to a different address this year
figure your 2005 EIC. Other benefits provided by this relief include
because the IRS has changed the filing location for several areas. If
you received an envelope with your tax package, please use it. Oth-
Suspension of limits on certain personal casualty losses and
erwise, see Where Do You File? on the back cover.
Earned Income Credit (EIC)
Increased standard mileage rate for using your vehicle for vol-
unteer work related to Hurricane Katrina.
You may be able to take the EIC if you earned less than $11,750
($13,750 if married filing jointly). See the instructions for lines 8a
You must use Form 1040 to take advantage of either of the
and 8b that begin on page 13.
These rules apply to all U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and resident aliens.
Do You Have To File?
You elected to be taxed as a resident alien. See Pub. 519 for
Were you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) age 65 or older at
See Pub. 519 for details.
the end of 2005? If you were born on January 1, 1941, you are
considered to be age 65 at the end of 2005.
Specfic rules apply to determine if you are a resident
alien, nonresident alien, or dual-status alien. Most non-
Yes. Use TeleTax topic 351 (see page 6) to find out if you
resident aliens and dual-status aliens have different fil-
must file a return. If you do, you must use Form
ing requirements and may have to file Form 1040NR or
Form 1040NR-EZ. Pub. 519 discusses theses requirements and
1040A or 1040.
other information to help aliens comply with U.S. tax law, includ-
No. Use Chart A, B, or C on page 9 to see if you must file a
ing tax treaty benefits, and special rules for students and scholars.
Even if you do not otherwise have to file a return, you
When Should You File?
should file one to get a refund of any federal income tax
withheld. You should also file if you are eligible for the
Not later than April 17, 2006. If you file after this date, you may
earned income credit.
have to pay interest and penalties. See below.
If you were serving in, or in support of, the U.S. Armed
Have you tried IRS e-file? It’s the fastest way to get
Forces in a designated combat zone, qualified hazardous
your refund and it’s free if you are eligible. Visit
duty area, or a contingency operation (for example, you
were in the Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, or Persian
If you are planning to file a
Gulf area), see Pub. 3.
Exception for children under age 14.
tax return for your child who was under age 14 at the end of 2005
and certain other conditions apply, you can elect to include your
What if You Cannot File on Time?
child’s income on your return. But you must use Form 1040 and
Form 8814 to do so. If you make this election, your child does not
You can get an automatic 6-month extension if, no later than April
have to file a return. For details, use TeleTax topic 553 (see page 6)
17, 2006, you file Form 4868. For details, see Form 4868.
or see Form 8814.
However, even if you get an extension, the tax you owe is still
A child born on January 1, 1992, is considered to be age 14 at the
due April 17, 2006. If you make a payment with your extension
end of 2005. Do not use Form 8814 for such a child.
request, see the instructions for line 9 on page 18.
These rules also apply if you were a resident alien.
Also, you may qualify for certain tax treaty benefits. See Pub. 519
What if You File or Pay Late?
The IRS can charge you interest and penalties on the amount you
Nonresident aliens and dual-status aliens.
These rules also apply if
you were a nonresident alien or dual-status alien and both of the
If you file late, the penalty is usually 5% of the amount due for
each month or part of a month your return is late, unless you have a
You were married to a U.S. citizen or resident at the end of
reasonable explanation. If you do, attach it to your return. The pen-
alty can be as much as 25% (more in some cases) of the tax due. We
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