IRS Tax Forms  
Publication 501 2001 Tax Year


This publication discusses some tax rules that affect every person who may have to file a federal income tax return. It answers some basic questions: who must file; who should file; what filing status to use; how many exemptions to claim; and the amount of the standard deduction.

The first section of this publication explains who must file an income tax return. If you have little or no gross income, reading this section will help you decide if you have to file a return.

Filing requirementTable 1. 2001 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayers

The second section is about who should file a return. Reading this section will help you decide if you should file a return, even if you are not required to do so.

The third section helps you determine which filing status to use. Filing status is important in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction, and your tax rate. It also helps determine what credits you may be entitled to.

The fourth section discusses exemptions, which reduce your taxable income. The discussions include the social security number requirement for dependents, the rules for multiple support agreements, and the rules for divorced or separated parents.

The fifth section gives the rules and dollar amounts for the standard deduction -- a benefit for taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions. This section also discusses the standard deduction for taxpayers who are blind or age 65 or older, and special rules for dependents. In addition, this section should help you decide whether you would be better off taking the standard deduction or itemizing your deductions.

The last section explains how to get tax help from the IRS.

This publication is for U.S. citizens and resident aliens only. If you are a resident alien for the entire year, you must follow the same tax rules that apply to U.S. citizens. The rules to determine if you are a resident or nonresident alien are discussed in chapter 1 of Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

Nonresident aliens. If you were a nonresident alien at any time during the year, the rules and tax forms that apply to you may be different from those that apply to U.S. citizens. See Publication 519.

Comments and suggestions. We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.

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Internal Revenue Service
Technical Publications Branch
1111 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20224

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