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Efile tax return for free 5. Efile tax return for free   Recordkeeping Table of Contents How To Prove ExpensesWhat Are Adequate Records? What If I Have Incomplete Records? Separating and Combining Expenses How Long To Keep Records and Receipts Examples of Records If you deduct travel, entertainment, gift, or transportation expenses, you must be able to prove (substantiate) certain elements of expense. Efile tax return for free This chapter discusses the records you need to keep to prove these expenses. Efile tax return for free If you keep timely and accurate records, you will have support to show the IRS if your tax return is ever examined. Efile tax return for free You will also have proof of expenses that your employer may require if you are reimbursed under an accountable plan. Efile tax return for free These plans are discussed in chapter 6 under Reimbursements . Efile tax return for free How To Prove Expenses Table 5-1 is a summary of records you need to prove each expense discussed in this publication. Efile tax return for free You must be able to prove the elements listed across the top portion of the chart. Efile tax return for free You prove them by having the information and receipts (where needed) for the expenses listed in the first column. Efile tax return for free You cannot deduct amounts that you approximate or estimate. Efile tax return for free You should keep adequate records to prove your expenses or have sufficient evidence that will support your own statement. Efile tax return for free You must generally prepare a written record for it to be considered adequate. Efile tax return for free This is because written evidence is more reliable than oral evidence alone. Efile tax return for free However, if you prepare a record on a computer, it is considered an adequate record. Efile tax return for free What Are Adequate Records? You should keep the proof you need in an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record. Efile tax return for free You should also keep documentary evidence that, together with your record, will support each element of an expense. Efile tax return for free Documentary evidence. Efile tax return for free   You generally must have documentary evidence, such as receipts, canceled checks, or bills, to support your expenses. Efile tax return for free Exception. Efile tax return for free   Documentary evidence is not needed if any of the following conditions apply. Efile tax return for free You have meals or lodging expenses while traveling away from home for which you account to your employer under an accountable plan, and you use a per diem allowance method that includes meals and/or lodging. Efile tax return for free ( Accountable plans and per diem allowances are discussed in chapter 6. Efile tax return for free ) Your expense, other than lodging, is less than $75. Efile tax return for free You have a transportation expense for which a receipt is not readily available. Efile tax return for free Adequate evidence. Efile tax return for free   Documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense. Efile tax return for free   For example, a hotel receipt is enough to support expenses for business travel if it has all of the following information. Efile tax return for free The name and location of the hotel. Efile tax return for free The dates you stayed there. Efile tax return for free Separate amounts for charges such as lodging, meals, and telephone calls. Efile tax return for free   A restaurant receipt is enough to prove an expense for a business meal if it has all of the following information. Efile tax return for free The name and location of the restaurant. Efile tax return for free The number of people served. Efile tax return for free The date and amount of the expense. Efile tax return for free If a charge is made for items other than food and beverages, the receipt must show that this is the case. Efile tax return for free Canceled check. Efile tax return for free   A canceled check, together with a bill from the payee, ordinarily establishes the cost. Efile tax return for free However, a canceled check by itself does not prove a business expense without other evidence to show that it was for a business purpose. Efile tax return for free Duplicate information. Efile tax return for free   You do not have to record information in your account book or other record that duplicates information shown on a receipt as long as your records and receipts complement each other in an orderly manner. Efile tax return for free   You do not have to record amounts your employer pays directly for any ticket or other travel item. Efile tax return for free However, if you charge these items to your employer, through a credit card or otherwise, you must keep a record of the amounts you spend. Efile tax return for free Timely-kept records. Efile tax return for free   You should record the elements of an expense or of a business use at or near the time of the expense or use and support it with sufficient documentary evidence. Efile tax return for free A timely-kept record has more value than a statement prepared later when generally there is a lack of accurate recall. Efile tax return for free   You do not need to write down the elements of every expense on the day of the expense. Efile tax return for free If you maintain a log on a weekly basis that accounts for use during the week, the log is considered a timely-kept record. Efile tax return for free   If you give your employer, client, or customer an expense account statement, it can also be considered a timely-kept record. Efile tax return for free This is true if you copy it from your account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record. Efile tax return for free Proving business purpose. Efile tax return for free   You must generally provide a written statement of the business purpose of an expense. Efile tax return for free However, the degree of proof varies according to the circumstances in each case. Efile tax return for free If the business purpose of an expense is clear from the surrounding circumstances, then you do not need to give a written explanation. Efile tax return for free Example. Efile tax return for free If you are a sales representative who calls on customers on an established sales route, you do not have to give a written explanation of the business purpose for traveling that route. Efile tax return for free You can satisfy the requirements by recording the length of the delivery route once, the date of each trip at or near the time of the trips, and the total miles you drove the car during the tax year. Efile tax return for free You could also establish the date of each trip with a receipt, record of delivery, or other documentary evidence. Efile tax return for free Confidential information. Efile tax return for free   You do not need to put confidential information relating to an element of a deductible expense (such as the place, business purpose, or business relationship) in your account book, diary, or other record. Efile tax return for free However, you do have to record the information elsewhere at or near the time of the expense and have it available to fully prove that element of the expense. Efile tax return for free What If I Have Incomplete Records? If you do not have complete records to prove an element of an expense, then you must prove the element with: Your own written or oral statement containing specific information about the element, and Other supporting evidence that is sufficient to establish the element. Efile tax return for free If the element is the description of a gift, or the cost, time, place, or date of an expense, the supporting evidence must be either direct evidence or documentary evidence. Efile tax return for free Direct evidence can be written statements or the oral testimony of your guests or other witnesses setting forth detailed information about the element. Efile tax return for free Documentary evidence can be receipts, paid bills, or similar evidence. Efile tax return for free If the element is either the business relationship of your guests or the business purpose of the amount spent, the supporting evidence can be circumstantial rather than direct. Efile tax return for free For example, the nature of your work, such as making deliveries, provides circumstantial evidence of the use of your car for business purposes. Efile tax return for free Invoices of deliveries establish when you used the car for business. Efile tax return for free Table 5-1. Efile tax return for free How To Prove Certain Business Expenses IF you have expenses for . Efile tax return for free . Efile tax return for free THEN you must keep records that show details of the following elements . Efile tax return for free . Efile tax return for free . Efile tax return for free   Amount Time Place or  Description Business Purpose Business Relationship Travel Cost of each separate expense for travel, lodging, and meals. Efile tax return for free Incidental expenses may be totaled in reasonable categories such as taxis, fees and tips, etc. Efile tax return for free Dates you left and returned for each trip and number of days spent on business. Efile tax return for free Destination or area of your travel (name of city, town, or other designation). Efile tax return for free Purpose: Business purpose for the expense or the business benefit gained or expected to be gained. Efile tax return for free    Relationship: N/A Entertainment Cost of each separate expense. Efile tax return for free Incidental expenses such as taxis, telephones, etc. Efile tax return for free , may be totaled on a daily basis. Efile tax return for free Date of entertainment. Efile tax return for free (Also see Business Purpose. Efile tax return for free ) Name and address or location of place of entertainment. Efile tax return for free Type of entertainment if not otherwise apparent. Efile tax return for free (Also see Business Purpose. Efile tax return for free ) Purpose: Business purpose for the expense or the business benefit gained or expected to be gained. Efile tax return for free  For entertainment, the nature of the business discussion or activity. Efile tax return for free If the entertainment was directly before or after a business discussion: the date, place, nature, and duration of the business discussion, and the identities of the persons who took part in both the business discussion and the entertainment activity. Efile tax return for free    Relationship: Occupations or other information (such as names, titles, or other designations) about the recipients that shows their business relationship to you. Efile tax return for free  For entertainment, you must also prove that you or your employee was present if the entertainment was a business meal. Efile tax return for free Gifts Cost of the gift. Efile tax return for free Date of the gift. Efile tax return for free Description of the gift. Efile tax return for free   Transportation Cost of each separate expense. Efile tax return for free For car expenses, the cost of the car and any improvements, the date you started using it for business, the mileage for each business use, and the total miles for the year. Efile tax return for free Date of the expense. Efile tax return for free For car expenses, the date of the use of the car. Efile tax return for free Your business destination. Efile tax return for free Purpose: Business purpose for the expense. Efile tax return for free    Relationship: N/A Sampling. Efile tax return for free   You can keep an adequate record for parts of a tax year and use that record to prove the amount of business or investment use for the entire year. Efile tax return for free You must demonstrate by other evidence that the periods for which an adequate record is kept are representative of the use throughout the tax year. Efile tax return for free Example. Efile tax return for free You use your car to visit the offices of clients, meet with suppliers and other subcontractors, and pick up and deliver items to clients. Efile tax return for free There is no other business use of the car, but you and your family use the car for personal purposes. Efile tax return for free You keep adequate records during the first week of each month that show that 75% of the use of the car is for business. Efile tax return for free Invoices and bills show that your business use continues at the same rate during the later weeks of each month. Efile tax return for free Your weekly records are representative of the use of the car each month and are sufficient evidence to support the percentage of business use for the year. Efile tax return for free Exceptional circumstances. Efile tax return for free   You can satisfy the substantiation requirements with other evidence if, because of the nature of the situation in which an expense is made, you cannot get a receipt. Efile tax return for free This applies if all the following are true. Efile tax return for free You were unable to obtain evidence for an element of the expense or use that completely satisfies the requirements explained earlier under What Are Adequate Records . Efile tax return for free You are unable to obtain evidence for an element that completely satisfies the two rules listed earlier under What If I Have Incomplete Records . Efile tax return for free You have presented other evidence for the element that is the best proof possible under the circumstances. Efile tax return for free Destroyed records. Efile tax return for free   If you cannot produce a receipt because of reasons beyond your control, you can prove a deduction by reconstructing your records or expenses. Efile tax return for free Reasons beyond your control include fire, flood, and other casualties. Efile tax return for free    Table 5-2. Efile tax return for free Daily Business Mileage and Expense Log Name:       Odometer Readings Expenses Date Destination  (City, Town, or Area) Business Purpose Start Stop Miles  this trip Type  (Gas, oil, tolls, etc. Efile tax return for free ) Amount                                                                                                                   Weekly  Total             Total Year-to-Date             Separating and Combining Expenses This section explains when expenses must be kept separate and when expenses can be combined. Efile tax return for free Separating expenses. Efile tax return for free   Each separate payment is generally considered a separate expense. Efile tax return for free For example, if you entertain a customer or client at dinner and then go to the theater, the dinner expense and the cost of the theater tickets are two separate expenses. Efile tax return for free You must record them separately in your records. Efile tax return for free Season or series tickets. Efile tax return for free   If you buy season or series tickets for business use, you must treat each ticket in the series as a separate item. Efile tax return for free To determine the cost of individual tickets, divide the total cost (but not more than face value) by the number of games or performances in the series. Efile tax return for free You must keep records to show whether you use each ticket as a gift or entertainment. Efile tax return for free Also, you must be able to prove the cost of nonluxury box seat tickets if you rent a skybox or other private luxury box for more than one event. Efile tax return for free See Entertainment tickets in chapter 2. Efile tax return for free Combining items. Efile tax return for free   You can make one daily entry in your record for reasonable categories of expenses. Efile tax return for free Examples are taxi fares, telephone calls, or other incidental travel costs. Efile tax return for free Meals should be in a separate category. Efile tax return for free You can include tips for meal-related services with the costs of the meals. Efile tax return for free   Expenses of a similar nature occurring during the course of a single event are considered a single expense. Efile tax return for free For example, if during entertainment at a cocktail lounge, you pay separately for each serving of refreshments, the total expense for the refreshments is treated as a single expense. Efile tax return for free Car expenses. Efile tax return for free   You can account for several uses of your car that can be considered part of a single use, such as a round trip or uninterrupted business use, with a single record. Efile tax return for free Minimal personal use, such as a stop for lunch on the way between two business stops, is not an interruption of business use. Efile tax return for free Example. Efile tax return for free You make deliveries at several different locations on a route that begins and ends at your employer's business premises and that includes a stop at the business premises between two deliveries. Efile tax return for free You can account for these using a single record of miles driven. Efile tax return for free Gift expenses. Efile tax return for free   You do not always have to record the name of each recipient of a gift. Efile tax return for free A general listing will be enough if it is evident that you are not trying to avoid the $25 annual limit on the amount you can deduct for gifts to any one person. Efile tax return for free For example, if you buy a large number of tickets to local high school basketball games and give one or two tickets to each of many customers, it is usually enough to record a general description of the recipients. Efile tax return for free Allocating total cost. Efile tax return for free   If you can prove the total cost of travel or entertainment but you cannot prove how much it cost for each person who participated in the event, you may have to allocate the total cost among you and your guests on a pro rata basis. Efile tax return for free To do so, you must establish the number of persons who participated in the event. Efile tax return for free   An allocation would be needed, for example, if you did not have a business relationship with all of your guests. Efile tax return for free See Allocating between business and nonbusiness in chapter 2. Efile tax return for free If your return is examined. Efile tax return for free    If your return is examined, you may have to provide additional information to the IRS. Efile tax return for free This information could be needed to clarify or to establish the accuracy or reliability of information contained in your records, statements, testimony, or documentary evidence before a deduction is allowed. Efile tax return for free    THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL INTERNAL REVENUE FORM Table 5-3. Efile tax return for free Weekly Traveling Expense and Entertainment Record From: To: Name: Expenses Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total 1. Efile tax return for free Travel Expenses: Airlines                                 Excess Baggage                                 Bus – Train                                 Cab and Limousine                                 Tips                                 Porter                                 2. Efile tax return for free Meals and Lodging:  Breakfast                                 Lunch                                 Dinner                                 Hotel and Motel  (Detail in Schedule B)                                 3. Efile tax return for free Entertainment  (Detail in Schedule C)                                 4. Efile tax return for free Other Expenses:  Postage                                 Telephone & Telegraph                                 Stationery & Printing                                 Stenographer                                 Sample Room                                 Advertising                                 Assistant(s)                                 Trade Shows                                 5. Efile tax return for free Car Expenses: (List all car expenses - the division between business and personal expenses may be made at the end of the year. Efile tax return for free ) (Detail mileage in Schedule A. Efile tax return for free ) Gas, oil, lube, wash                                 Repairs, parts                                 Tires, supplies                                 Parking fees, tolls                                 6. Efile tax return for free Other (Identify)                                 Total                                 Note: Attach receipted bills for (1) ALL lodging and (2) any other expenses of $75. Efile tax return for free 00 or more. Efile tax return for free Schedule A – Car Mileage: End                 Start                 Total                 Business Mileage                 Schedule B – Lodging Hotel or Motel Name                 City                 Schedule C – Entertainment Date Item Place Amount Business Purpose Business Relationship                                             WEEKLY REIMBURSEMENTS:     Travel and transportation expenses     Other reimbursements     TOTAL   How Long To Keep Records and Receipts You must keep records as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Efile tax return for free Generally, this means you must keep records that support your deduction (or an item of income) for 3 years from the date you file the income tax return on which the deduction is claimed. Efile tax return for free A return filed early is considered filed on the due date. Efile tax return for free For a more complete explanation of how long to keep records, see Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records. Efile tax return for free You must keep records of the business use of your car for each year of the recovery period. Efile tax return for free See More-than-50%-use test in chapter 4 under Depreciation Deduction. Efile tax return for free Reimbursed for expenses. Efile tax return for free   Employees who give their records and documentation to their employers and are reimbursed for their expenses generally do not have to keep copies of this information. Efile tax return for free However, you may have to prove your expenses if any of the following conditions apply. Efile tax return for free You claim deductions for expenses that are more than reimbursements. Efile tax return for free Your expenses are reimbursed under a nonaccountable plan. Efile tax return for free Your employer does not use adequate accounting procedures to verify expense accounts. Efile tax return for free You are related to your employer as defined under Per Diem and Car Allowances , in chapter 6. Efile tax return for free Reimbursements , adequate accounting , and nonaccountable plans are discussed in chapter 6. Efile tax return for free Examples of Records Table 5-2 and Table 5-3 are examples of worksheets which can be used for tracking business expenses. Efile tax return for free Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Efile tax return for free Publication 4492-B - Introductory Material Table of Contents Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Introduction This publication explains the major provisions of the Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008 that apply only to the Midwestern disaster areas. Efile tax return for free Other benefits that may apply to taxpayers in Midwestern disaster areas are covered in Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts. Efile tax return for free Be sure to read both publications. Efile tax return for free Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 526 Charitable Contributions 536 Net Operating Losses (NOLs) for Individuals, Estates, and Trusts 547 Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts 946 How To Depreciate Property 4492-A Information for Taxpayers Affected by the May 4, 2007, Kansas Storms and Tornadoes Form (and Instructions) 4506 Request for Copy of Tax Return 4506-T Request for Transcript of Tax Return 4684 Casualties and Thefts 5884-A Credits for Affected Midwestern Disaster Area Employers 8863 Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope, and Lifetime Learning Credits) 8914 Exemption Amount for Taxpayers Housing Midwestern Displaced Individuals 8930 Qualified Disaster Recovery Assistance Retirement Plan Distributions and Repayments Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications