New York State Tax

Federal Tax Return Forms

Federal Tax Return Forms Are No Longer Mailed

For many years, people received packets in the mail containing the Federal Tax Return Form 1040 or 1040A with all the instructions and the forms they would need to file their taxes. The Internal Revenue Service sent out postcards in October 2009 stating that these forms would no longer be sent in the mail beginning January 2010.

Where You May Obtain Forms From

Currently there are several methods of obtaining the forms. A taxpayer can go online to www.irs.gov and either print or fill in the forms that are in PDF format. The instructions are also available online in PDF format. All the federal tax forms, both for individuals and businesses are available at that web site.

Other places the printed forms are available are at certain libraries and post offices. If a taxpayer enlists paid assistance or volunteer assistance with their taxes, the preparer has the forms necessary.

There are IRS offices throughout the country where forms are also available. Check online at www.irs.gov for the location of the local IRS office nearest you.

Be Alert to Schedule D 2011 Changes

For a taxpayer aware of Federal Form Schedule D, there is a new form - Form 8949. Form 8949 looks a little like the top of the old Schedule D, but there are a few significant differences. One side is for short-term capital gains or losses and the other side is for long-term ones. In addition to this, it may take more than one Form 8949 to record either type of capital gain or loss. At the top of the form it asks whether this form contains information reported to the taxpayer via Form 1099-B.

A) Was the capital gain or loss reported on Form 1099-B with the basis recorded?
B) Was the capital gain or loss reported on Form 1099-B without the basis recorded?
C) Capital gains or losses that do not fit into either category A or B.

One form is allowed for only one type A, B, or C. Schedule D has changed also, so use care in transferring all the information to Schedule D.

Changes That Impact Estimated Tax

A taxpayer who is required to file quarterly estimated taxes will be happy with the changes in 2012 due to inflation. These changes may alter the amount the taxpayer needs to pay quarterly. Exemption amounts have been raised. Earned income tax credit is increased. Medical savings accounts are increased. Amounts that can be gifted are increased.

Self-employed Health Insurance

If a taxpayer has completed Schedule SE in the past, there is a change in that form. Self-employed health insurance deductions are no longer allowed on Schedule SE, but they can still be taken on Form 1040 line 29. Reading the instructions carefully will help determine the restrictions. There is also a worksheet to aid in calculating the deduction amount. The IRS has provided Publication 535 also if the worksheet isn't enough.

Mileage Deductions

Be sure to check the new amounts for business mileage deductions if that deduction is one you are allowed. The 2011 rate for business use is 51 cents until June 30, 2011, when it increases to 55.5 cents. Another change in this deduction is that the allowance is extended to the use of for-hire vehicles, such as taxicabs.

Forms No Longer In Use

There will be no Schedule M for 2011 that taxpayers used for the "making work pay credit". Schedule L is no longer in use for standard deductions computations. Form 1040 line 40 and its instructions are sufficient for this computation.

If you need help filing your income tax return or need to speak to a professional you can find your nearest bookkeepers, accountants and CPAs here.