Monday, December 14, 2009

Check Out IRS Publication 17

The Internal Revenue Service has created a guide to help taxpayers get a jump on filing their 2009 federal income tax returns and navigate tax breaks provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The 308-page guidebook is accessible at and is named (in short) "IRS Publication 17."

You can click through more than 6,000 interactive links for answers you may need on your tax questions.

“IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax Guide, is your ‘tax encyclopedia’ for all your tax planning and tax return filing needs," Connecticut's IRS spokesperson Gregg Semanick said Monday. “Publication 17 summarizes the tax changes for 2009 and 2010 to ensure you do not miss out on entitled tax credits, deductions and benefits.”

The book offers details on how you can take advantage of new tax-saving opportunities, such as the making work pay credit for most workers, American opportunity credit for parents and college students, energy credits for homeowners going green, first-time homebuyer credit, sales or excise tax deduction for new car buyers, and the expanded child tax credit and earned income tax credit for low- and moderate-income workers.

Publication 17 has been published annually by the IRS for more than 65 years and has been available on the IRS Web site since 1996, Semanick said.

How to Get It:

Go to enter “17” in the search box in the upper right corner of the home page.

Those who do not have access to the Internet can call 1-800-TAX-FORM (829-3676) to request a free copy from the IRS. Printed copies will be available in January 2010.

Wait, There's More:

Besides Publication 17, offers other helpful resources for those doing year-end tax planning.

Many 2009 forms are already posted, and updated versions of other forms, instructions and publications are being posted almost every day. Forms already available include Form 1040 , short Forms 1040A and 1040EZ , Schedule A for itemizing deductions, the new Schedule L for those increasing their standard deduction by real-estate taxes paid, sales or excise taxes on new car purchases or a net disaster loss, and the new Schedule M for claiming the making work pay credit.

Also, visit the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Information Center for a variety of recovery-related videos, podcasts, tax tips and answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs).

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