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  2006 Tax Year / 2007 Filing Season

2006 IRS Tax Tips

This is archived information that pertains only to the 2006 Tax Year. If you
are looking for information for the current tax year, go to the Tax Prep Help Area.

These easy-to-read Tax Tips cover a wide range of topics, from child credits and higher education benefits to IRAs and Social Security. These Tax Tips are for Tax Year 2006.

April 17, 2007
Still Time To Request Telephone Tax Refund
It is not too late to request your telephone tax refund. Most individual telephone customers will request this refund when they file their 2006 Federal Income Tax return, which is due on April 17, 2007. If you get an extension to file your income tax return, the extension will also apply to your request for the telephone tax refund.
April 16, 2007
Keeping Good Records
You can avoid headaches at tax time by keeping track of your receipts and other records throughout the year. Good record-keeping will help you remember the various transactions you made during the year, which in turn may make filing your return a less taxing experience.
April 13, 2007
Taxpayer Advocate Service
If you have tried to resolve tax problems with the IRS and are still having problems or facing economic harm, you have somewhere to turn: seek the free assistance of the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
April 12, 2007
Appeal Rights
Are you in the middle of a disagreement with the IRS? If you disagree with the IRS about the amount of your tax liability or about proposed collection actions, you have the right to ask the IRS Appeals Office to review your case.
April 11, 2007
What To Do If You Receive an IRS Notice
It�s a moment many taxpayers dread. A letter arrives from the IRS � and it�s not a refund check. Don�t panic; many of these letters can be dealt with simply and painlessly.
April 10, 2007
Amending Your Tax Return
Oops! You�ve discovered an error after your tax return has been filed. What should you do? You may need to amend your return.
April 9, 2007
How Long Should It Take To Receive Your Tax Refund?
Are you expecting a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service this year? If you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, your refund should be issued about six to eight weeks after the IRS receives your return. If you file your return electronically, your refund is issued in about half that time � even faster if you choose direct deposit.
April 6, 2007
Need More Time to File?
If you can't meet the April filing deadline to file your tax return, you can get an automatic six month extension of time to file from the IRS.
April 5, 2007
Payment Options
If you cannot pay the full amount of taxes you owe by the April deadline, you should still file your return on time and pay as much as you can to avoid penalties and interest. There are also alternative payment options to consider:
April 4, 2007
Making Tax Payments Correctly
If you have a balance due when filing your 2006 income tax return, remember to make sure your tax payment check or money order is payable to the "United States Treasury." Complete and include Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, when sending your payment and tax return to the IRS. This will help the IRS process your payment more accurately and efficiently.
April 3, 2007
Last Minute Payment and Filing Tips
If you�re trying to beat the tax deadline, there are several options for last-minute help: � Receive a six-month extension of time to file using Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. � Payment options are available to taxpayers having trouble paying their tax bill. � Download forms and publications at
April 2, 2007
Filing Your Federal Tax Return
Once you complete your 2006 federal tax return, you can either file it electronically or mail it to the IRS.
March 30, 2007
Preparing Your Tax Return for Mailing
If you are mailing a paper return to the IRS, take a few minutes to make certain that all information is complete and accurate before sealing the envelope. This simple precaution could help you avoid mistakes that can delay your refund or result in correspondence from the IRS.
March 29, 2007
Avoid Common Errors
The IRS recommends reviewing your entire tax return to be sure it is accurate and complete. Even a simple mistake can cause problems which might lead to delays in processing your return and receiving your refund.
March 28, 2007
Tips for Last-Minute Filers
With the tax filing deadline close at hand, the IRS offers some tips for those still working on their paper tax forms: Consider filing electronically instead of using paper tax forms, Put all required Social Security numbers on the return, Double-check your figures, Sign your form, Attach all required schedules, Send your return or request an extension by the April filing deadline.
March 27, 2007
You Can Still Make a 2006 IRA Contribution
If you haven�t contributed funds to an Individual Retirement Arrangement for tax year 2006, or if you�ve put in less than the maximum allowed, you still have time to do so. You can contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA until the April due date for filing your tax return for 2006, not including extensions.
March 26, 2007
How to Check on Your Tax Refund
If you already filed your federal tax return and are due a refund, you have several options for checking on the status of your refund.
March 23, 2007
Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
A Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) is an account created as an incentive to help parents and students save for education expenses.
March 22, 2007
Deducting Vehicle Donations
If you donated a car or other vehicle to a qualified charitable organization in 2006 and intend to claim a deduction you should review the special rules that apply to vehicle donations. You can deduct contributions to a charity only if you itemize deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040.
March 21, 2007
Tips for Deducting Charitable Contributions
When preparing to file your federal tax return, don�t forget your contributions to charitable organizations. Your donations could add up to a sizeable tax deduction if you itemize on IRS Form 1040, Schedule A.
March 20, 2007
Tax Credit for Hybrid Vehicles
If you bought a hybrid vehicle in 2006, you may be entitled to a tax credit on your 2006 return. The credit is worth as much as $3,150 for the most fuel-efficient models. The precise amount depends on the make and model of the vehicle and when the vehicle was purchased.
March 19, 2007
Deducting Costs of Refinancing Your Home
Taxpayers who refinanced their homes may be eligible to deduct some costs associated with their loans.
March 16, 2007
Sale of Your Home
If you have a gain from the sale or exchange of your main home, you may be able to exclude from income all or part of the gain.
March 15, 2007
Home Office Deduction
If you use a portion of your home for business purposes, you may be able to take a home office deduction whether you are self-employed or an employee. Expenses that you may be able to deduct for business use of the home may include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, insurance, depreciation, painting and repairs.
March 14, 2007
Deduction for Educator Expense
If you are an eligible educator, you may be able to deduct up to $250 of expenses you paid for purchases of books and classroom supplies. These out-of-pocket expenses may lower your 2006 tax bill even if you don�t itemize your deductions.
March 13, 2007
Itemizers Can Deduct Certain Taxes
Did you know that you may be able to deduct certain taxes on your federal income tax return? You can receive these deductions if you file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. Deductions decrease the amount of income subject to taxation.
March 12, 2007
How to Avoid Tax Time Problems
Are you looking for ways to avoid the last-minute rush for doing your taxes? Here are some stress-relieving ideas to help you.
March 9, 2007
Credit for Retirement Savings Contributions
If you make eligible contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan or to an individual retirement arrangement, you may be able to take a tax credit. The Retirement Savings Contributions Credit applies to:
  • Individuals with incomes up to $25,000 ($37,500 for a head of household)
  • Married couples, filing jointly, with incomes up to $50,000
  • Persons who are at least age 18, not a full-time student and cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person�s return
March 8, 2007
Offset Education Costs
Education tax credits can help offset the costs of higher education for yourself or a dependent. The Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are two education credits available which may benefit you. Because they are credits, rather than deductions, you may be able to subtract them in full dollar for dollar from your federal income tax.
March 7 2007
Claiming the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled
You may be able to take the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled if you were age 65 or older at the end of 2006, or if you are retired on permanent and total disability. Like any other tax credit, it�s a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill. Eligibility for the credit and the amount of the credit is subject to several maximum income limits.
March 6, 2007
Claiming the Child and Dependent Care Credit
If you paid someone to care for a child under age 13 or a qualifying spouse or dependent so you could work or look for work, you may be able to reduce your tax by claiming the Child and Dependent Care Credit on your federal income tax return. To qualify, your spouse, children over the age of 13, and other dependents must be physically or mentally incapable of self-care.
March 5, 2007
Claiming the Child Tax Credit
With the Child Tax Credit, you may be able to reduce the federal income tax you owe by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under the age of 17.
March 2, 2007
Beware of Tax Scams
Don�t fall victim to tax scams. These schemes take several shapes, ranging from promises of large tax refunds to illegal ways of �untaxing� yourself.
March 1, 2007
Are You Eligible for a Tax Credit?
Taxpayers should consider claiming tax credits for which they might be eligible when completing their federal income tax returns. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of taxes owed. Some credits are refundable � taxes could be reduced to the point that a taxpayer would receive a refund rather than owing any taxes. Taxpayers should consider their eligibility for the credits listed below:
Feb. 28, 2007
Volunteer Tax Return Preparation
Are you puzzled by the tax law and which credits and deductions you can take? If so, then why not look into the free, IRS-sponsored, volunteer tax return preparation services? In addition to tax preparation, many also offer free electronic filing of tax returns.
Feb. 27, 2007
Free Tax Services
The IRS provides free publications, forms and other tax material and information to help taxpayers meet their tax obligations. Free help is available on the IRS website, by phone, at local IRS offices and at many community locations.
Feb. 26, 2007
Free Tax Help for the Military
If you, or your spouse, are a member of the military, you may be eligible to receive free assistance with the preparation and filing of your federal tax return. The U.S. Armed Forces participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. The Armed Forces Tax Council oversees the operation of the military tax programs worldwide, and serves as the main conduit for outreach by the IRS to military personnel and their families. The AFTC consists of tax program coordinators for the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard.
February 23, 2007
Gift Taxes
If you gave any one person gifts in 2006 that valued at more than $12,000, you must report the total gifts to the Internal Revenue Service and may have to pay tax on the gifts.
February 22, 2007
IRS Toll-Free Help
Free tax help from the IRS is just a phone call away. The IRS provides various services through its toll-free telephone numbers. Some of these services are available 24 hours a day.
February 21, 2007
Tax Rates for a Child's Investment Income
Part or all of a child's investment income may be taxed at the parent's rate rather than the child's rate. Because a parent's taxable income is usually higher than a child's income, the parent's top tax rate will often be higher as well.
February 20, 2007
Income from Foreign Sources
Many United States citizens earn money from foreign sources. These taxpayers must remember that they must report all such income on their tax return, unless it is exempt under federal law.
February 19, 2007
Taxes on Early Distributions from Retirement Plans
Payments that you receive from your IRA or qualified retirement plan before you reach age 59� are normally called �early� or �premature� distributions. These funds are subject to an additional 10 percent tax and must be reported to the IRS.
February 16, 2007
Tax Facts About Capital Gains and Losses
Almost everything you own and use for personal purposes, pleasure or investment is a capital asset. When you sell a capital asset, the difference between the amounts you sell it for and your basis, which is usually what you paid for it, is a capital gain or a capital loss. While you must report all capital gains, you may deduct only capital losses on investment property, not personal property.
February 15, 2007
Gambling Income and Losses
Gambling winnings are fully taxable and must be reported on your tax return. Gambling income includes, but is not limited to, winnings from lotteries, raffles, horse and dog races and casinos, as well as the fair market value of prizes such as cars, houses, trips or other noncash prizes.
February 14, 2007
Tips are Subject to Taxes
Do you work at a hair salon, barber shop, casino, golf course, hotel or restaurant or drive a taxicab? The tip income you receive as an employee from those and other services is taxable income.
February 13, 2007
Paying or Receiving Alimony?
If you were recently divorced and are paying or receiving alimony under a divorce decree or agreement, you need to consider the tax implication for your 2006 federal income tax return.
February 12, 2007
Are Your Social Security Benefits Taxable?
How much, if any, of your social security benefits are taxable depends on your total income and marital status. Generally, if social security benefits were your only income, your benefits are not taxable and you probably do not need to file a federal income tax return
February 9, 2007
What Income is Taxable? Nontaxable?
Generally, most income you receive is taxable. But there are some situations when certain types of income are partially taxed or not taxed at all. A complete list is available in IRS Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income.
February 8, 2007
More Direct Deposit Options- Split Your Refund
Starting in 2007, taxpayers have more choices and flexibility for the direct deposit of 2006 federal income tax refunds. For the first time, taxpayers can split refunds among up to three accounts held by as many as three different U.S. financial institutions, such as banks, mutual funds, brokerage firms or credit unions.
February 7, 2007
Can You Use Schedule C-EZ?
Your business may be eligible to use the abbreviated Schedule C-EZ instead of the longer Schedule C when reporting business profit and loss on your 2006 Form 1040 federal income tax return. The maximum deductible business expense threshold for filing Schedule C-EZ is $5,000.
February 6, 2006
Changes to Tax Law for 2006
Taxpayers should be aware of important changes to the tax law before they complete their 2006 federal income tax forms. Here are some changes that may affect your return.
February 5, 2007
Guidelines for Roth IRA Contributions
Taxpayers confused about whether they can contribute to a Roth IRA should consider guidelines based on the following categories.
February 2, 2006
Missing a Form 1099?
If you receive certain types of income, you may get a Form 1099 for use with your federal tax return. Form 1099 is an information return provided by the payer of the income. You should receive your Form 1099-series information returns by January 31, 2007. The payer deadline to mail Form 1099-series is January 31, 2007.
February 1, 2007
The Earned Income Tax Credit
The EITC is for people who work, but have lower incomes. If you qualify, it could be worth up to $4,500 this year. So you could pay less federal tax or even get a refund. That�s money you can use to make a difference in your life.
January 31, 2007
Missing Your Form W-2?
You should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each of your employers for use in preparing your federal tax return. Employers have until January 31, 2007 to furnish a record of 2006 earnings statement either electronically or in paper form. Allow two weeks for 2006 earning statements mailed from employers via United States Postal Service (USPS).
January 30, 2007
Use EFTPS to Pay Your Taxes Electronically
f you are going to owe taxes when you file your federal tax return, consider paying through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. EFTPS is a fast, easy, convenient and secure service provided free by the Department of Treasury.
January 29, 2007
Check Out Free File
If you have access to a computer and the Internet you may be eligible to prepare and file your 2006 federal tax return electronically�for free. Free File is an easy way to file your taxes and get your refund in half the time.
January 26, 2007
Receive Your Refund Faster with Direct Deposit
Want your refund faster? Have it deposited directly into your bank account. More taxpayers are choosing direct deposit as the way to receive their federal tax refunds.
January 25, 2007
E-file - A Smart Way to do Your Taxes
Every year, more taxpayers discover the benefits of filing their tax return electronically. Whether you use a professional tax preparer authorized by the IRS or do it yourself on a home computer, there are many reasons to consider e-filing your tax return this year.
January 24, 2007
What to do if You Haven't Filed Your 2005 Return
The failure to file a federal tax return can be costly � whether you end up owing more or missing out on a refund.
January 23, 2007
Tips for Recently Married or Divorced Taxpayers
Newlyweds and the recently divorced should ensure the name on their tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration. A mismatch could unexpectedly increase a tax bill or reduce the size of any refund.
January 22, 2007
Moving Soon? Let the IRS Know
If you changed your home or business address, notify the IRS to ensure that you receive any refunds or correspondence. While the IRS uses the Postal Service�s change of address files to update taxpayer addresses, notifying the IRS directly is still a good idea.
January 19, 2007
Long-Distance Telephone Excise Tax Refund
You may be eligible for a one-time tax refund! This one-time refund of previously collected federal telephone excise taxes may be requested on your 2006 federal income tax return. Anyone who paid long-distance excise taxes on landline, cell phone, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), or bundled service that was billed for the period after Feb 28, 2003 and before Aug 1, 2006 is eligible for this refund. (Bundled service is local and long-distance service provided under a plan that does not separately list the charge for local service.)
January 18, 2007
Quick and Easy Access to IRS Forms and Publications
The Internal Revenue Service has many forms and free publications on a wide variety of topics to help you understand and meet tax filing requirements. If you need IRS materials try one of these easy options: internet, phone, walk-in, and mail.
January 17, 2007
How to Get a Copy of Your Tax Return Information
There are two easy and convenient options for obtaining copies of your federal tax return information � tax return transcripts and tax account transcripts � by phone or by mail.
January 16, 2007
Tax Information Available in Spanish - Informaci�n Tributaria en Espa�ol
If you need federal tax information, the IRS provides a wide range of free Spanish-language products and services.
January 15, 2007
IRS Publication 17 � Free Tax Guide for Individuals
Are you facing a lot of different tax questions this year? IRS experts have pulled together an overview of common tax issues in one convenient place � Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. This updated publication, available on the IRS Web site,, contains a vast array of helpful information for individual taxpayers.
January 12, 2007
IRS Has Free Publications on Every Topic You Need
The IRS has a free publication that answers any tax question you have. Publications on a variety of tax-related topics are available by phone or the Internet at From students to seniors, first-time home buyers to landlords�everyone can find useful information in IRS forms and publications.
January 11, 2007
1040 Central � One Click Away
Don�t wait in line, go on-line. The IRS Web site is home to a great resource for answers to tax questions that arise during the filing season. Access 1040 Central at under the �Individuals� tab and discover user-friendly tools that will make completing your 2006 tax return quick and easy.
January 10, 2007
Sales Tax, Higher Education, Educator Expense Deductions
You may be able to take advantage of certain tax breaks enacted in the final days of 2006. Claiming deductions for state and local sales tax, higher education tuition and fees, and educator expenses will require special handling if you file a paper income tax return for 2006.
January 9, 2007
Advice for Choosing a Tax Return Preparer
Taxpayers who pay someone to do their taxes should choose a preparer wisely. If you choose to use a paid tax preparer, it is important that you find a qualified tax professional. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for everything on their return even when it�s prepared by someone else.
January 8, 2007
Should You Itemize?
Whether to itemize deductions on your tax return depends on how much you spent on certain expenses last year. Money paid for medical care, mortgage interest, taxes, charitable contributions, casualty losses, and miscellaneous deductions can reduce your taxes. If the total amount spent on those categories is more than the standard deduction, you can usually benefit by itemizing.
January 5, 2007
Choose the Simplest Federal Tax Form for Your Needs
The three forms used for filing individual federal income tax returns are Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, and Form 1040. If you are filing a federal income tax return on paper, use the simplest form you can. Using the simplest allowable form will reduce the chance of an error that may cost you money or delay the processing of your return.
January 4, 2007
Choose Your Correct Filing Status
Your federal tax filing status is based on your marital and family situation. It is an important factor in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction and your correct amount of tax.
January 3, 2007
Should You File a Tax Return?
You must file a tax return if your income is above a certain level. The amount varies depending on filing status, age and the type of income you receive.
January 2, 2007
Seven Ways to Get a Jump Start on Your Taxes
Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. Taxpayers are encouraged to get a head start on tax preparation, especially since early filers avoid the last minute rush and get their refunds sooner.

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