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Firstgov gov Publication 51 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments What's New Reminders Calendar Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Future Developments For the latest information about developments related to Publication 51 (Circular A), such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/pub51. Firstgov gov What's New Social security and Medicare tax for 2014. Firstgov gov  The social security tax rate is 6. Firstgov gov 2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2013. Firstgov gov The social security wage base limit is $117,000. Firstgov gov The Medicare tax rate is 1. Firstgov gov 45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2013. Firstgov gov There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax. Firstgov gov Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $1,900 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation. Firstgov gov Withholding allowance. Firstgov gov  The 2014 amount for one withholding allowance on an annual basis is $3,950. Firstgov gov Change of responsible party. Firstgov gov  Beginning January 1, 2014, any entity with an employer identification number (EIN) must file Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party—Business, to report the latest change to its responsible party. Firstgov gov Form 8822-B must be filed within 60 days of the change. Firstgov gov If the change in the identity of your responsible party occurred before 2014, and you have not previously notified the IRS of the change, file Form 8822-B before March 1, 2014, reporting only the most recent change. Firstgov gov For a definition of "responsible party", see the Form 8822-B instructions. Firstgov gov Same-sex marriage. Firstgov gov  For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are considered married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. Firstgov gov For more information, see Revenue Ruling 2013-17, 2013-38 I. Firstgov gov R. Firstgov gov B. Firstgov gov 201, available at www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/irb/2013-38_IRB/ar07. Firstgov gov html. Firstgov gov Notice 2013-61 provides special administrative procedures for employers to make claims for refund or adjustments of overpayments of social security and Medicare taxes with respect to certain same-sex spouse benefits before expiration of the period of limitations. Firstgov gov Notice 2013-61, 2013-44 I. Firstgov gov R. Firstgov gov B. Firstgov gov 432, is available at www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/irb/2013-44_IRB/ar10. Firstgov gov html. Firstgov gov Reminders Additional Medicare Tax withholding. Firstgov gov  In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1. Firstgov gov 45%, you must withhold a 0. Firstgov gov 9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. Firstgov gov You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. Firstgov gov Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. Firstgov gov There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. Firstgov gov All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold. Firstgov gov For more information on what wages are subject to Medicare tax, see the chart, Special Rules for Various Types of Services and Payments, in section 15 of Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide. Firstgov gov For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, visit IRS. Firstgov gov gov and enter “Additional Medicare Tax” in the search box. Firstgov gov Work opportunity tax credit for qualified tax-exempt organizations hiring qualified veterans. Firstgov gov  The work opportunity tax credit is available for eligible unemployed veterans who begin work on or after November 22, 2011, and before January 1, 2014. Firstgov gov Qualified tax-exempt organizations that hire eligible unemployed veterans can claim the work opportunity tax credit against their payroll tax liability using Form 5884-C, Work Opportunity Credit for Qualified Tax-Exempt Organizations Hiring Qualified Veterans. Firstgov gov For more information, visit IRS. Firstgov gov gov and enter “work opportunity tax credit” in the search box. Firstgov gov Outsourcing payroll duties. Firstgov gov  Employers are responsible to ensure that tax returns are filed and deposits and payments are made, even if the employer contracts with a third party to perform these acts. Firstgov gov The employer remains responsible if the third party fails to perform any required action. Firstgov gov If you choose to outsource any of your payroll and related tax duties (that is, withholding, reporting, and paying over social security, Medicare, FUTA, and income taxes) to a third-party payer such as a payroll service provider or reporting agent, visit IRS. Firstgov gov gov and enter “outsourcing payroll duties” in the search box for helpful information on this topic. Firstgov gov COBRA premium assistance credit. Firstgov gov  The credit for COBRA premium assistance payments applies to premiums paid for employees involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and May 31, 2010, and to premiums paid for up to 15 months. Firstgov gov For more information, see COBRA premium assistance credit under Introduction. Firstgov gov Compensation paid to H-2A foreign agricultural workers. Firstgov gov  Report compensation of $600 or more paid to foreign agricultural workers who entered the country on H-2A visas in box 1 of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Firstgov gov Compensation paid to H-2A workers for agricultural labor performed in connection with this visa is not subject to social security and Medicare taxes, and therefore should not be reported as wages subject to social security tax (line 2), Medicare tax (line 4), or Additional Medicare Tax withholding (line 6) on Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, and should not be reported as social security wages (box 3) or Medicare wages (box 5) on Form W-2. Firstgov gov On Form W-2, do not check box 13 (Statutory employee), as H-2A workers are not statutory employees. Firstgov gov An employer is not required to withhold federal income tax from compensation it pays an H-2A worker for agricultural labor performed in connection with this visa unless the worker asks for withholding and the employer agrees. Firstgov gov In that case, the worker must give the employer a completed Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. Firstgov gov Federal income tax withheld should be reported on Form 943, line 8, and in box 2 of Form W-2. Firstgov gov These reporting rules apply when the H-2A worker provides his or her taxpayer identification number (TIN) to the employer. Firstgov gov For the rules relating to backup withholding and reporting when the H-2A worker does not provide a TIN, see the Instructions for Form 1099-MISC and the Instructions for Form 945. Firstgov gov Additional employment tax information. Firstgov gov  Visit the IRS website at www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/businesses and click on Employment Taxes under Businesses Topics. Firstgov gov For employment tax information by telephone, call 1-800-829-4933 or 1-800-829-4059 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability) Monday–Friday from 7:00 a. Firstgov gov m. Firstgov gov –7:00 p. Firstgov gov m. Firstgov gov local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time). Firstgov gov Additionally, you can call IRS TeleTax at 1-800-829-4477 for recorded information by topic. Firstgov gov Disregarded entities and qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (QSubs). Firstgov gov  Eligible single-owner disregarded entities and QSubs are treated as separate entities for employment tax purposes. Firstgov gov Eligible single-member entities that have not elected to be taxed as corporations must report and pay employment taxes on wages paid to their employees using the entities' own names and EINs. Firstgov gov See Regulations sections 1. Firstgov gov 1361-4(a)(7) and 301. Firstgov gov 7701-2(c)(2)(iv). Firstgov gov Differential wage payments. Firstgov gov  Qualified differential wage payments made by employers to individuals serving in the Armed Forces after 2008 are subject to income tax withholding but not social security, Medicare, or FUTA taxes. Firstgov gov For more information, see Publication 15 (Circular E). Firstgov gov Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer. Firstgov gov  You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits. Firstgov gov Generally, electronic fund transfers are made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Firstgov gov If you do not want to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make electronic deposits on your behalf. Firstgov gov Also, you may arrange for your financial institution to initiate a same-day wire payment on your behalf. Firstgov gov EFTPS is a free service provided by the Department of Treasury. Firstgov gov Services provided by your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other third party may have a fee. Firstgov gov For more information on making federal tax deposits, see How To Deposit in section 7. Firstgov gov To get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit www. Firstgov gov eftps. Firstgov gov gov or call 1-800-555-4477 or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD). Firstgov gov Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Publication 966, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System: A Guide To Getting Started. Firstgov gov Electronic filing and payment. Firstgov gov  Now, more than ever before, businesses can enjoy the benefits of filing tax returns and paying their taxes electronically. Firstgov gov Whether you rely on a tax professional or handle your own taxes, the IRS offers you convenient programs to make it easier. Firstgov gov Spend less time and worry on taxes and more time running your business. Firstgov gov Use e-file and the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to your benefit. Firstgov gov For e-file, visit the IRS website at www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/efile for additional information. Firstgov gov For EFTPS, visit www. Firstgov gov eftps. Firstgov gov gov or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 (business), 1-800-316-6541 (individual), or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD) for additional information. Firstgov gov For electronic filing of Form W-2, visit www. Firstgov gov socialsecurity. Firstgov gov gov/employer. Firstgov gov If you are filing your tax return or paying your federal taxes electronically, a valid EIN is required. Firstgov gov If a valid EIN is not provided, the return or payment will not be processed. Firstgov gov This may result in penalties and delays in processing your return or payment. Firstgov gov Electronic funds withdrawal (EFW). Firstgov gov  If you file Form 943 electronically, you can e-file and e-pay (electronic funds withdrawal) the balance due in a single step using tax preparation software or through a tax professional. Firstgov gov However, do not use EFW to make federal tax deposits. Firstgov gov For more information on paying your taxes using EFW, visit the IRS website at www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/e-pay. Firstgov gov A fee may be charged to file electronically. Firstgov gov Credit or debit card payments. Firstgov gov   Employers can pay the balance due shown on Form 943 by credit or debit card. Firstgov gov Do not use a credit or debit card to make federal tax deposits. Firstgov gov For more information on paying your taxes with a credit or debit card, visit the IRS website at www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/e-pay. Firstgov gov When you hire a new employee. Firstgov gov  Ask each new employee to complete the 2014 Form W-4 or its Spanish version, Formulario W-4(SP), Certificado de Exención de Retenciones del Empleado. Firstgov gov Also, ask the employee to show you his or her social security card so that you can record the employee's name and social security number accurately. Firstgov gov If the employee has lost the card or recently changed names, have the employee apply for a duplicate or corrected card. Firstgov gov If the employee does not have a card, have the employee apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. Firstgov gov See section 1 for more information. Firstgov gov Eligibility for employment. Firstgov gov  You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. Firstgov gov This includes completing the U. Firstgov gov S. Firstgov gov Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Firstgov gov You can get the form from USCIS offices or by calling 1-800-870-3676. Firstgov gov Contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283, or visit the USCIS website at www. Firstgov gov uscis. Firstgov gov gov for more information. Firstgov gov New hire reporting. Firstgov gov   You are required to report any new employee to a designated state new-hire registry. Firstgov gov A new employee is an employee who has not previously been employed by you or was previously employed by you but has been separated from such prior employment for at least 60 consecutive days. Firstgov gov Many states accept a copy of Form W-4 with employer information added. Firstgov gov Visit the Office of Child Support Enforcement's website at www. Firstgov gov acf. Firstgov gov hhs. Firstgov gov gov/programs/cse/newhire for more information. Firstgov gov Dishonored payments. Firstgov gov  Any form of payment that is dishonored and returned from a financial institution is subject to a penalty. Firstgov gov The penalty is $25 or 2% of the payment, whichever is more. Firstgov gov However, the penalty on dishonored payments of $24. Firstgov gov 99 or less is an amount equal to the payment. Firstgov gov For example, a dishonored payment of $18 is charged a penalty of $18. Firstgov gov Forms in Spanish. Firstgov gov  You can provide Formulario W-4(SP) in place of Form W-4 to your Spanish-speaking employees. Firstgov gov For more information, see Publicación 17(SP), El Impuesto Federal sobre los Ingresos (Para Personas Físicas). Firstgov gov For nonemployees, Formulario W-9(SP), Solicitud y Certificación del Número de Identificación del Contribuyente, may be used in place of Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. Firstgov gov References in this publication to Form W-4 or Form W-9 also apply to their equivalent Spanish translations—Formulario W-4(SP) or Formulario W-9(SP). Firstgov gov Information returns. Firstgov gov  You may be required to file information returns to report certain types of payments made during the year. Firstgov gov For example, you must file Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, to report payments of $600 or more to persons not treated as employees (for example, independent contractors) for services performed for your trade or business. Firstgov gov For details about filing Forms 1099 and for information about required electronic filing, see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for general information and the separate, specific instructions for each information return that you file (for example, Instructions for Form 1099-MISC). Firstgov gov Generally, do not use Forms 1099 to report wages or other compensation that you paid to employees; report these amounts on Form W-2. Firstgov gov See the General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3 for details about filing Forms W-2 and for information about required electronic filing. Firstgov gov If you file 250 or more Forms W-2, you must file them electronically. Firstgov gov SSA will not accept Forms W-2 and W-3 filed on any magnetic media. Firstgov gov Information reporting customer service site. Firstgov gov  The IRS operates the Enterprise Computing Center—Martinsburg, a centralized customer service site, to answer questions about reporting on Forms W-2, W-3, 1099, and other information returns. Firstgov gov If you have questions related to reporting on information returns, you may call 1-866-455-7438 (toll free), 304-263-8700 (toll call), or 304-267-3367 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, heard of hearing, or have a speech disability). Firstgov gov The call site can also be reached by email at mccirp@irs. Firstgov gov gov. Firstgov gov Do not include tax identification numbers (TINs) or attachments in email correspondence because electronic mail is not secure. Firstgov gov Web-based application for an employer identification number (EIN). Firstgov gov  You can apply for an employer identification number (EIN) online by visiting IRS. Firstgov gov gov and clicking on the Apply for an EIN Online link under Tools. Firstgov gov When a crew leader furnishes workers to you. Firstgov gov  Record the crew leader's name, address, and EIN. Firstgov gov See sections 2 and 10. Firstgov gov Change of address. Firstgov gov  Use Form 8822-B to notify the IRS of an address change. Firstgov gov Do not mail form 8822-B with your employment tax return. Firstgov gov Ordering forms and publications. Firstgov gov  You can order your 2013 and 2014 employment tax and information return forms, instructions, and publications online at www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/businesses. Firstgov gov Click on the Online Ordering for Information Returns and Employer Returns. Firstgov gov You can also visit www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/formspubs to download other forms and publications. Firstgov gov Instead of ordering paper Forms W-2 and W-3, consider filing them electronically using the Social Security Administration's (SSA) free e-file service. Firstgov gov Visit the SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information website at  www. Firstgov gov socialsecurity. Firstgov gov gov/employer, to register for Business Services Online. Firstgov gov You will be able to create and file “fill-in” versions of Forms W-2 with SSA and can print out completed copies of Forms W-2 for filing with state and local governments, distribution to your employees, and for your records. Firstgov gov Form W-3 will be created for you based on your Forms W-2. Firstgov gov Tax Questions. Firstgov gov   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Firstgov gov gov or call 1-800-829-4933 (businesses), 1-800-829-1040 (individuals), or 1-800-829-4059 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability) Monday–Friday from 7:00 a. Firstgov gov m. Firstgov gov –7:00 p. Firstgov gov m. Firstgov gov local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time). Firstgov gov We cannot answer tax questions sent to the address provided later for comments and suggestions. Firstgov gov Recordkeeping. Firstgov gov  Keep all records of employment taxes for at least 4 years. Firstgov gov These should be available for IRS review. Firstgov gov Your records should include the following information. Firstgov gov Your employer identification number (EIN). Firstgov gov Amounts and dates of all wage, annuity, and pension payments. Firstgov gov Names, addresses, social security numbers, and occupations of employees and recipients. Firstgov gov Any employee copies of Forms W-2 and W-2c returned to you as undeliverable. Firstgov gov Dates of employment for each employee. Firstgov gov Periods for which employees and recipients were paid while absent due to sickness or injury and the amount and weekly rate of payments you or third-party payers made to them. Firstgov gov Copies of employees' and recipients' income tax withholding allowance certificates (Forms W-4, W-4(SP), W-4P, and W-4S). Firstgov gov Dates and amounts of tax deposits you made and acknowledgment numbers for deposits made by EFTPS. Firstgov gov Copies of returns filed and confirmation numbers. Firstgov gov Records of fringe benefits and expense reimbursements provided to your employees, including substantiation. Firstgov gov If a crew leader furnished you with farmworkers, you must keep a record of the name, permanent mailing address, and EIN of the crew leader. Firstgov gov If the crew leader has no permanent mailing address, record his or her present address. Firstgov gov Private delivery services. Firstgov gov  You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to send tax returns and payments. Firstgov gov The list includes only the following. Firstgov gov DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service. Firstgov gov Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First. Firstgov gov United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A. Firstgov gov M. Firstgov gov , UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express. Firstgov gov For the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service, go to IRS. Firstgov gov gov and enter "private delivery service" in the search box. Firstgov gov Your private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date. Firstgov gov Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P. Firstgov gov O. Firstgov gov boxes. Firstgov gov You must use the U. Firstgov gov S. Firstgov gov Postal Service to mail any item to an IRS P. Firstgov gov O. Firstgov gov box address. Firstgov gov Photographs of missing children. Firstgov gov  The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Firstgov gov Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Firstgov gov You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Firstgov gov Calendar The following are important dates and responsibilities. Firstgov gov See section 7 for information about depositing taxes reported on Forms 941, 943, 944, and 945. Firstgov gov Also see Publication 509, Tax Calendars. Firstgov gov   If any date shown below for filing a return, furnishing a form, or depositing taxes falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is the next business day. Firstgov gov A statewide legal holiday delays a filing due date only if the IRS office where you are required to file is located in that state. Firstgov gov However, a statewide legal holiday does not delay the due date of federal tax deposits. Firstgov gov See Deposits on Business Days Only in section 7. Firstgov gov For any filing due date, you will meet the “file” or “furnish” requirement if the envelope containing the return or form is properly addressed, contains sufficient postage, and is postmarked by the U. Firstgov gov S. Firstgov gov Postal Service on or before the due date, or sent by an IRS-designated delivery service on or before the due date. Firstgov gov See Private delivery services under Reminders. Firstgov gov By January 31 . Firstgov gov   File Form 943. Firstgov gov See section 8 for more information on Form 943. Firstgov gov If you deposited all Form 943 taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file. Firstgov gov Furnish each employee with a completed Form W-2. Firstgov gov Furnish each recipient to whom you paid $600 or more in nonemployee compensation with a completed Form 1099 (for example, Form 1099-MISC). Firstgov gov File Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. Firstgov gov See section 10 for more information on FUTA. Firstgov gov If you deposited all the FUTA tax when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file. Firstgov gov File Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax, to report any nonpayroll federal income tax withheld in 2013. Firstgov gov If you deposited all Form 945 taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file. Firstgov gov By February 15. Firstgov gov  Ask for a new Form W-4 or Formulario W-4(SP) from each employee who claimed exemption from federal income tax withholding last year. Firstgov gov On February 16. Firstgov gov  Any Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding for the previous year has now expired. Firstgov gov Begin withholding for any employee who previously claimed exemption from withholding but has not given you a new Form W-4 for the current year. Firstgov gov If the employee does not give you a new Form W-4, withhold tax based on the last valid Form W-4 you have for the employee that does not claim exemption from withholding or, if one does not exist, as if he or she is single with zero withholding allowances. Firstgov gov See section 5 for more information. Firstgov gov If the employee furnishes a new Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding after February 15, you may apply the exemption to future wages, but do not refund taxes withheld while the exempt status was not in place. Firstgov gov By February 28. Firstgov gov   File paper Forms 1099 and 1096. Firstgov gov File Copy A of all paper Forms 1099 with Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U. Firstgov gov S. Firstgov gov Information Returns, with the IRS. Firstgov gov For electronically filed returns, see By March 31 below. Firstgov gov File paper Forms W-2 and W-3. Firstgov gov File Copy A of all paper Forms W-2 with Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the SSA. Firstgov gov For electronically filed returns, see By March 31 next. Firstgov gov By March 31. Firstgov gov   File electronic Forms W-2 and 1099. Firstgov gov File electronic Forms W-2 with the SSA and Forms 1099 with the IRS. Firstgov gov For more information on reporting Form W-2 information to the SSA electronically, visit the SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information webpage at www. Firstgov gov socialsecurity. Firstgov gov gov/employer. Firstgov gov For information on filing information returns electronically with the IRS, see Publication 1220, Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G. Firstgov gov By April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31. Firstgov gov   Deposit FUTA taxes. Firstgov gov Deposit FUTA tax if the undeposited amount is over $500. Firstgov gov Before December 1. Firstgov gov  Remind employees to submit a new Form W-4 if their marital status or withholding allowances have changed or will change for the next year. Firstgov gov Introduction This publication is for employers of agricultural workers (farmworkers). Firstgov gov It contains information that you may need to comply with the laws for agricultural labor (farmwork) relating to social security and Medicare taxes, FUTA tax, and withheld federal income tax (employment taxes). Firstgov gov Agricultural employers report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld federal income tax on Form 943 and report FUTA tax on Form 940. Firstgov gov If you have nonfarm employees, see Publication 15 (Circular E). Firstgov gov If you have employees in the U. Firstgov gov S. Firstgov gov Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, see Publication 80 (Circular SS). Firstgov gov Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide, contains more employment-related information, including information about sick pay and pension income. Firstgov gov Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, contains information about the employment tax treatment and valuation of various types of noncash compensation. Firstgov gov Comments and suggestions. Firstgov gov   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Firstgov gov   You can write to us at the following address:  Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division  1111 Constitution Ave. Firstgov gov NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Firstgov gov Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Firstgov gov   You can also send us comments from www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/formspubs. Firstgov gov Click on More Information and then click on Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. Firstgov gov   Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax forms, instructions, and publications. Firstgov gov COBRA premium assistance credit. Firstgov gov   The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. Firstgov gov COBRA generally covers multiemployer health plans and health plans maintained by private-sector employers (other than churches) with 20 or more full and part-time employees. Firstgov gov Parallel requirements apply to these plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Firstgov gov Under the Public Health Service Act, COBRA requirements apply also to health plans covering state or local government employees. Firstgov gov Similar requirements apply under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and under some state laws. Firstgov gov For the premium assistance (or subsidy) discussed below, these requirements are all referred to as COBRA requirements. Firstgov gov   Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), employers are allowed a credit against “payroll taxes” (referred to in this publication as “employment taxes”) for providing COBRA premium assistance to assistance eligible individuals. Firstgov gov For periods of COBRA continuation coverage beginning after February 16, 2009, a group health plan must treat an assistance eligible individual as having paid the required COBRA continuation coverage premium if the individual elects COBRA coverage and pays 35% of the amount of the premium. Firstgov gov   An assistance eligible individual is a qualified beneficiary of an employer's group health plan who is eligible for COBRA continuation coverage during the period beginning September 1, 2008, and ending May 31, 2010, due to the involuntarily termination from employment of a covered employee during the period and elects continuation COBRA coverage. Firstgov gov The assistance for the coverage can last up to 15 months. Firstgov gov   Employees terminated during the period beginning September 1, 2008, and ending May 31, 2010, who received a severance package that delayed the start of the COBRA continuation coverage, may still be eligible for premium assistance for COBRA continuation coverage. Firstgov gov For more information, see Notice 2009-27, 2009-16 I. Firstgov gov R. Firstgov gov B. Firstgov gov 838, available at www. Firstgov gov irs. Firstgov gov gov/irb/2009-16_irb/ar09. Firstgov gov html. Firstgov gov   Administrators of the group health plans (or other entities) that provide or administer COBRA continuation coverage must provide notice to assistance eligible individuals of the COBRA premium assistance. Firstgov gov   The 65% of the premium not paid by the assistance eligible individual is reimbursed to the employer maintaining the group health plan. Firstgov gov The reimbursement is made through a credit against the employer's employment tax liabilities. Firstgov gov For information on how to claim the credit, see the Instructions for Form 943. Firstgov gov The credit is treated as a deposit made on the first day of the return period. Firstgov gov In the case of a multiemployer plan, the credit is claimed by the plan, rather than the employer. Firstgov gov In the case of an insured plan subject to state law continuation coverage requirements, the credit is claimed by the insurance company, rather than the employer. Firstgov gov   Anyone claiming the credit for COBRA premium assistance payments must maintain the following information to support their claim, including the following. Firstgov gov Information on the receipt of the assistance eligible individuals' 35% share of the premium including dates and amounts. Firstgov gov In the case of an insurance plan, a copy of invoice or other supporting statement from the insurance carrier and proof of timely payment of the full premium to the insurance carrier required under COBRA. Firstgov gov In the case of a self-insured plan, proof of the premium amount and proof of the coverage provided to the assistance eligible individuals. Firstgov gov Attestation of involuntary termination, including the date of the involuntary termination for each covered employee whose involuntary termination is the basis for eligibility for the subsidy. Firstgov gov Proof of each assistance eligible individual's eligibility for COBRA coverage and the election of COBRA coverage. Firstgov gov A record of the social security numbers (SSNs) of all covered employees, the amount of the subsidy reimbursed with respect to each covered employee, and whether the subsidy was for one individual or two or more individuals. Firstgov gov   For more information, visit IRS. Firstgov gov gov and enter “COBRA” in the search box. Firstgov gov Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide 15-A Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide 15-B Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits 225 Farmer's Tax Guide 535 Business Expenses 583 Starting a Business and Keeping Records 1635 Employer Identification Number: Understanding Your EIN Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Firstgov gov 35. Firstgov gov   Education Credits Table of Contents Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Who Can Claim an Education Credit Qualified Education ExpensesNo Double Benefit Allowed Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses Introduction For 2013, there are two tax credits available to persons who pay expenses for higher (postsecondary) education. Firstgov gov They are: The American opportunity credit, and The lifetime learning credit. Firstgov gov The chapter will present an overview of these education credits. Firstgov gov To get the detailed information you will need to claim either of the credits, and for examples illustrating that information, see chapters 2 and 3 of Publication 970. Firstgov gov Can you claim more than one education credit this year?   For each student, you can choose for any year only one of the credits. Firstgov gov For example, if you choose to take the American opportunity credit for a child on your 2013 tax return, you cannot, for that same child, also claim the lifetime learning credit for 2013. Firstgov gov   If you are eligible to claim the American opportunity credit and you are also eligible to claim the lifetime learning credit for the same student in the same year, you can choose to claim either credit, but not both. Firstgov gov   If you pay qualified education expenses for more than one student in the same year, you can choose to take the American opportunity and the lifetime learning credits on a per-student, per-year basis. Firstgov gov This means that, for example, you can claim the American opportunity credit for one student and the lifetime learning credit for another student in the same year. Firstgov gov Table 35-1. Firstgov gov Comparison of Education Credits Caution. Firstgov gov You can claim both the American opportunity credit and the lifetime learning credit on the same return—but not for the same student. Firstgov gov   American Opportunity Credit Lifetime Learning Credit Maximum credit Up to $2,500 credit per eligible student Up to $2,000 credit per return Limit on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) $180,000 if married filing jointly;  $90,000 if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) $127,000 if married filing jointly;  $63,000 if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) Refundable or nonrefundable 40% of credit may be refundable Credit limited to the amount of tax you must pay on your taxable income Number of years of postsecondary education Available ONLY if the student had not completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education before 2013 Available for all years of postsecondary education and for courses to acquire or improve job skills Number of tax years credit available Available ONLY for 4 tax years per eligible student (including any year(s) the Hope credit was claimed) Available for an unlimited number of years Type of program required Student must be pursuing a program leading to a degree or other recognized education credential Student does not need to be pursuing a program leading to a degree or other recognized education credential Number of courses Student must be enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period beginning during the tax year Available for one or more courses Felony drug conviction At the end of 2013, the student had not been convicted of a felony for possessing or distributing a controlled substance Felony drug convictions do not make the student ineligible Qualified expenses Tuition, required enrollment fees, and course materials that the student needs for a course of study whether or not the materials are bought at the educational institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance (including amounts required to be paid to the institution for course-related books, supplies, and equipment) Payments for academic periods Payments made in 2013 for academic periods beginning in 2013 or beginning in the first 3 months of 2014 Differences between the American opportunity and lifetime learning credits. Firstgov gov   There are several differences between these two credits. Firstgov gov These differences are summarized in Table 35-1, later. Firstgov gov Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education Form (and Instructions) 8863 Education Credits (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits) Who Can Claim an Education Credit You may be able to claim an education credit if you, your spouse, or a dependent you claim on your tax return was a student enrolled at or attending an eligible educational institution. Firstgov gov The credits are based on the amount of qualified education expenses paid for the student in 2013 for academic periods beginning in 2013 and in the first 3 months of 2014. Firstgov gov For example, if you paid $1,500 in December 2013 for qualified tuition for the spring 2014 semester beginning in January 2014, you may be able to use that $1,500 in figuring your 2013 education credit(s). Firstgov gov Academic period. Firstgov gov   An academic period includes a semester, trimester, quarter, or other period of study (such as a summer school session) as reasonably determined by an educational institution. Firstgov gov In the case of an educational institution that uses credit hours or clock hours and does not have academic terms, each payment period can be treated as an academic period. Firstgov gov Eligible educational institution. Firstgov gov   An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U. Firstgov gov S. Firstgov gov Department of Education. Firstgov gov It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. Firstgov gov The educational institution should be able to tell you if it is an eligible educational institution. Firstgov gov   Certain educational institutions located outside the United States also participate in the U. Firstgov gov S. Firstgov gov Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs. Firstgov gov Who can claim a dependent's expenses. Firstgov gov   If an exemption is allowed as a deduction for any person who claims the student as a dependent, all qualified education expenses of the student are treated as having been paid by that person. Firstgov gov Therefore, only that person can claim an education credit for the student. Firstgov gov If a student is not claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return, only the student can claim a credit. Firstgov gov Expenses paid by a third party. Firstgov gov   Qualified education expenses paid on behalf of the student by someone other than the student (such as a relative) are treated as paid by the student. Firstgov gov However, qualified education expenses paid (or treated as paid) by a student who is claimed as a dependent on your tax return are treated as paid by you. Firstgov gov Therefore, you are treated as having paid expenses that were paid by the third party. Firstgov gov For more information and an example see Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses in Pub. Firstgov gov 970, chapter 2 or 3. Firstgov gov Who cannot claim a credit. Firstgov gov   You cannot take an education credit if any of the following apply. Firstgov gov You are claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return, such as your parent's return. Firstgov gov Your filing status is married filing separately. Firstgov gov You (or your spouse) were a nonresident alien for any part of 2013 and did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. Firstgov gov Your MAGI is one of the following. Firstgov gov American opportunity credit: $180,000 or more if married filing jointly, or $90,000 or more if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er). Firstgov gov Lifetime learning credit: $127,000 or more if married filing jointly, or $63,000 or more if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) . Firstgov gov   Generally, your MAGI is the amount on your Form 1040, line 38, or Form 1040A, line 22. Firstgov gov However, if you are filing Form 2555, Form 2555–EZ, or Form 4563, or are excluding income from Puerto RIco, add to the amount on your Form 1040, line 38, or Form 1040A, line 22, the amount of income you excluded. Firstgov gov For details, see Pub. Firstgov gov 970. Firstgov gov    Figure 35-A may be helpful in determining if you can claim an education credit on your tax return. Firstgov gov The American opportunity credit will always be greater than or equal to the lifetime learning credit for any student who is eligible for both credits. Firstgov gov However, if any of the conditions for the American opportunity credit, listed in Table 35-1 earlier, are not met for any student, you cannot take the American opportunity credit for that student. Firstgov gov You may be able to take the lifetime learning credit for part or all of that student's qualified education expenses instead. Firstgov gov See Pub. Firstgov gov 970 for information on other education benefits. Firstgov gov Qualified Education Expenses Generally, qualified education expenses are amounts paid in 2013 for tuition and fees required for the student's enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Firstgov gov It does not matter whether the expenses were paid in cash, by check, by credit or debit card, or with borrowed funds. Firstgov gov For course-related books, supplies, and equipment, only certain expenses qualify. Firstgov gov American opportunity credit: Qualified education expenses include amounts spent on books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course of study, whether or not the materials are purchased from the educational institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Firstgov gov Lifetime learning credit: Qualified education expenses include amounts for books, supplies, and equipment only if required to be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Firstgov gov Qualified education expenses include nonacademic fees, such as student activity fees, athletic fees, or other expenses unrelated to the academic course of instruction, only if the fee must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Firstgov gov However, fees for personal expenses (described below) are never qualified education expenses. Firstgov gov Qualified education expenses for either credit do not include amounts paid for: Personal expenses. Firstgov gov This means room and board, insurance, medical expenses (including student health fees), transportation, and other similar personal, living, or family expenses. Firstgov gov Any course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies, or any noncredit course, unless such course or other education is part of the student's degree program or (for the lifetime learning credit only) helps the student acquire or improve job skills. Firstgov gov You should receive Form 1098–T, Tuition Statement, from the institution reporting either payments received in 2013 (box 1) or amounts billed in 2013 (box 2). Firstgov gov However, the amount in box 1 or 2 of Form 1098–T may be different from the amount you paid (or are treated as having paid). Firstgov gov In completing Form 8863, use only the amounts you actually paid (plus any amounts you are treated as having paid) in 2013, reduced as necessary, as described in Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses , later. Firstgov gov Qualified education expenses paid on behalf of the student by someone other than the student (such as a relative) are treated as paid by the student. Firstgov gov Qualified education expenses paid (or treated as paid) by a student who is claimed as a dependent on your tax return are treated as paid by you. Firstgov gov If you or the student takes a deduction for higher education expenses, such as on Schedule A or C (Form 1040), you cannot use those expenses in your qualified education expenses when figuring your education credits. Firstgov gov Qualified education expenses for any academic period must be reduced by any tax-free educational assistance allocable to that academic period. Firstgov gov See Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses, later. Firstgov gov Prepaid Expenses. Firstgov gov   Qualified education expenses paid in 2013 for an academic period that begins in the first 3 months of 2014 can be used in figuring an education credit for 2013 only. Firstgov gov See Academic period , earlier. Firstgov gov For example, if you pay $2,000 in December 2013 for qualified tuition for the 2014 winter quarter that begins in January 2014, you can use that $2,000 in figuring an education credit for 2013 only (if you meet all the other requirements). Firstgov gov    You cannot use any amount you paid in 2012 or 2014 to figure the qualified education expenses you use to figure your 2013 education credit(s). Firstgov gov Paid with borrowed funds. Firstgov gov   You can claim an education credit for qualified education expenses paid with the proceeds of a loan. Firstgov gov Use the expenses to figure the credit for the year in which the expenses are paid, not the year in which the loan is repaid. Firstgov gov Treat loan payments sent directly to the educational institution as paid on the date the institution credits the student's account. Firstgov gov Student withdraws from class(es). Firstgov gov   You can claim an education credit for qualified education expenses not refunded when a student withdraws. Firstgov gov No Double Benefit Allowed You cannot do any of the following. Firstgov gov Deduct higher education expenses on your income tax return (as, for example, a business expense) and also claim an education credit based on those same expenses. Firstgov gov Claim more than one education credit based on the same qualified education expenses. Firstgov gov Claim an education credit based on the same expenses used to figure the tax-free portion of a distribution from a Coverdell education savings account (ESA) or qualified tuition program (QTP). Firstgov gov Claim an education credit based on qualified education expenses paid with educational assistance, such as a tax-free scholarship, grant, or employer-provided educational assistance. Firstgov gov See Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses, next. Firstgov gov Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses For each student, reduce the qualified education expenses paid in 2013 by or on behalf of that student under the following rules. Firstgov gov The result is the amount of adjusted qualified education expenses for each student. Firstgov gov Tax-free educational assistance. Firstgov gov   For tax-free educational assistance received in 2013, reduce the qualified educational expenses for each academic period by the amount of tax-free educational assistance allocable to that academic period. Firstgov gov See Academic period , earlier. Firstgov gov      Tax-free educational assistance includes:    Tax-free parts of scholarships and fellowships (see chapter 12 of this publication and chapter 1 of Pub. Firstgov gov 970), The tax-free part of Pell grants (see chapter 1 of Pub. Firstgov gov 970), The tax-free part of employer-provided educational assistance (see Pub. Firstgov gov 970), Veterans' educational assistance (see chapter 1 of Pub. Firstgov gov 970), and Any other nontaxable (tax-free) payments (other than gifts or inheritances) received as educational assistance. Firstgov gov Generally, any scholarship or fellowship is treated as tax-free educational assistance. Firstgov gov However, a scholarship or fellowship is not treated as tax-free educational assistance to the extent the student includes it in gross income (if the student is required to file a tax return) for the year the scholarship or fellowship is received and either: The scholarship or fellowship (or any part of it) must be applied (by its terms) to expenses (such as room and board) other than qualified education expenses as defined in Qualified education expenses in Pub. Firstgov gov 970, chapter 1; or The scholarship or fellowship (or any part of it) may be applied (by its terms) to expenses (such as room and board) other than qualified education expenses as defined in Qualified education expenses in Pub. Firstgov gov 970, chapter 1. Firstgov gov You may be able to increase the combined value of an education credit and certain educational assistance if the student includes some or all of the educational assistance in income in the year received. Firstgov gov For details, see Adjustments of Qualified Education Expenses, in chapters 2 and 3 of Pub. Firstgov gov 970. Firstgov gov Some tax-free educational assistance received after 2013 may be treated as a refund of qualified education expenses paid in 2013. Firstgov gov This tax-free educational assistance is any tax-free educational assistance received by you or anyone else after 2013 for qualified education expenses paid on behalf of a student in 2013 (or attributable to enrollment at an eligible educational institution during 2013). Firstgov gov If this tax-free educational assistance is received after 2013 but before you file your 2013 income tax return, see Refunds received after 2013 but before your income tax return is filed, later. Firstgov gov If this tax-free educational assistance is received after 2013 and after you file your 2013 income tax return, see Refunds received after 2013 and after your income tax return is filed, later. Firstgov gov Refunds. Firstgov gov   A refund of qualified education expenses may reduce qualified education expenses for the tax year or may require you to repay (recapture) the credit that you claimed in an earlier year. Firstgov gov Some tax-free educational assistance received after 2013 may be treated as a refund. Firstgov gov See Tax-free educational assistance, earlier. Firstgov gov Refunds received in 2013. Firstgov gov   For each student, figure the adjusted qualified education expenses for 2013 by adding all the qualified education expenses paid in 2013 and subtracting any refunds of those expenses received from the eligible educational institution during 2013. Firstgov gov Refunds received after 2013 but before your income tax return is filed. Firstgov gov   If anyone receives a refund after 2013 of qualified education expenses paid on behalf of a student in 2013 and the refund is received before you file your 2013 income tax return, reduce the amount of qualified education expenses for 2013 by the amount of the refund. Firstgov gov Refunds received after 2013 and after your income tax return is filed. Firstgov gov   If anyone receives a refund after 2013 of qualified education expenses paid on behalf of a student in 2013 and the refund is received after you file your 2013 income tax return, you may need to repay some or all of the credit that you claimed. Firstgov gov See Credit recapture, next. Firstgov gov Credit recapture. Firstgov gov    If any tax-free educational assistance for the qualified education expenses paid in 2013, or any refund of your qualified education expenses paid in 2013, is received after you file your 2013 income tax return, you must recapture (repay) any excess credit. Firstgov gov You do this by refiguring the amount of your adjusted qualified education expenses for 2013 by reducing the expenses by the amount of the refund or tax-free educational assistance. Firstgov gov You then refigure your education credit(s) for 2013 and figure the amount by which your 2013 tax liability would have increased if you had claimed the refigured credit(s). Firstgov gov Include that amount as an additional tax for the year the refund or tax-free assistance was received. Firstgov gov Example. Firstgov gov    You paid $8,000 tuition and fees in December 2013 for your child's Spring semester beginning in January 2014. Firstgov gov You filed your 2013 tax return on February 3, 2014, and claimed a lifetime learning credit of $1,600 ($8,000 qualified education expense paid x . Firstgov gov 20). Firstgov gov You claimed no other tax credits. Firstgov gov After you filed your return, your child withdrew from two courses and you received a refund of $1,400. Firstgov gov You must refigure your 2013 lifetime learning credit using $6,600 ($8,000 qualified education expenses − $1,400 refund). Firstgov gov The refigured credit is $1,320 and your tax liability increased by $280. Firstgov gov You must include the difference of $280 ($1,600 credit originally claimed − $1,320 refigured credit) as additional tax on your 2014 income tax return. Firstgov gov See the instructions for your 2014 income tax return to determine where to include this tax. Firstgov gov If you also pay qualified education expenses in 2014 for an academic period that begins in the first 3 months of 2014 and you receive tax-free educational assistance, or a refund, as described above, you may choose to reduce your qualified education expenses for 2014 instead of reducing your expenses for 2013. Firstgov gov Amounts that do not reduce qualified education expenses. Firstgov gov   Do not reduce qualified education expenses by amounts paid with funds the student receives as: Payment for services, such as wages, A loan, A gift, An inheritance, or A withdrawal from the student's personal savings. Firstgov gov   Do not reduce the qualified education expenses by any scholarship or fellowship reported as income on the student's tax return in the following situations. Firstgov gov The use of the money is restricted, by the terms of the scholarship or fellowship, to costs of attendance (such as room and board) other than qualified education expenses, as defined in Chapter 1 of Pub. Firstgov gov 970. Firstgov gov The use of the money is not restricted. Firstgov gov   For examples, see chapter 2 in Pub. Firstgov gov 970. Firstgov gov Figure 35-A. Firstgov gov Can You Claim an Education Credit for 2013? This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Firstgov gov Please click the link to view the image. Firstgov gov Figure 35-A. Firstgov gov Can You Claim an Education Credit for 2013? Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications