What is an Individual Tax Return?

Anbarasan Appavu

An individual tax return is a form that an individual or married couple submits to a federal, state, or local taxing agency to notify all taxable income received during a specific period, typically the previous year. This document is used to determine the amount of tax that is owed or has been overpaid for the period in question.

What is an Individual Tax Return?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the United States' federal taxing authority. The United States has a voluntary reporting system that permits the filing of individual tax returns electronically or on paper.

There are agencies in every nation that oversee national tax collection. Some tax agencies offer individual taxpayers with pre-filled tax returns, while others require taxpayers to fill out and file their own returns.

• An individual tax return is an official form that a taxpayer submits to a federal, state, or local taxing authority to report all taxable income earned during the previous year.

• All tax returns in the United States are filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the federal taxing authority in the United States.

• Businesses, corporations, and nonprofit organizations must file their own variants of the individual tax return.

• Each U.S. state, including those without a state income tax, has a state taxing authority that oversees the annual collection of state tax, in addition to filing a federal tax return.

• Taxes are typically have the due date on April 15 of each year. The tax filing deadline for the 2020 tax year has been extended to May 17, 2021.

Due to Hurricane Ida, residents and business owners in Louisiana and portions of Mississippi, New York, and New Jersey were granted extensions on filing and payment deadlines. As a result of the December 2021 tornado, taxpayers in certain regions of Kentucky were also granted extensions. The IRS disaster relief announcements can be consulted to determine eligibility.

Understanding About the Individual Tax Return

Individual tax returns are used to report taxable income in the United States. Businesses, corporations, and non-profit organizations must file their own variants of the individual tax return.

Every person who earns a certain minimum income must file an annual tax return. Individual tax returns are filed on one of the IRS Forms 1040 or 1040-SR. People who are married have the option of filing as individuals or as a couple.

After completing the form, the taxpayer must submit it by the due date. Typically, this date falls on April 15 or the following weekday. The routine was disrupted in 2020, when the deadline for filing 2019 taxes was pushed back to July 15, due to the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The tax filing deadline was extended to May 17, 2021 in 2021.

If the taxpayer wishes to itemize deductions as opposed to taking the standard deduction, additional tax forms may be required.

Even states without a state income tax in the United States have a state taxing authority. The agency is responsible for overseeing the annual collection of all state taxes.

If the state taxes income, taxpayers file individual state tax returns to the state in which they reside. The majority of state tax returns calculate and assess taxes based on line items copied from the federal tax return.

Individual Tax Return Forms

Form 1040 is a two-page document used by the vast majority of individual taxpayers. It can be used to record wages, salaries, tips, capital gains, dividends, interest, unemployment compensation, pensions, annuities, Social Security, railroad retirement, taxable scholarships, and dividends from the Alaska Permanent Fund.

The 1040-SR, an optional version for seniors, features a larger font size and emphasizes tax benefits that are exclusive to retirees.

Note that the Form 1040-EZ and Form 1040-A versions of the individual tax return were retired after the 2017 tax year.

Other Forms for Individual Tax Reporting

Some taxpayers must complete additional forms besides the individual tax return. For example, stock sales must be reported on Schedule D and attached to Form 1040.

Individuals who are self-employed and business owners are required to file and pay quarterly taxes using Form 1040-ES. Form 1040-V is used for payments due after Form 1040 has been filed.

We all make mistakes sometimes. Form 1040-X is used by taxpayers who need to amend their individual tax returns.

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