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Www h&rblock com Publication 54 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments What's New Reminders IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. Www h&rblock com Tax questions. Www h&rblock com Future Developments For the latest information about developments related to Publication 54, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. Www h&rblock com irs. Www h&rblock com gov/pub54. Www h&rblock com What's New Exclusion amount. Www h&rblock com  The maximum foreign earned income exclusion is adjusted annually for inflation. Www h&rblock com For 2013, the maximum exclusion has increased to $97,600. Www h&rblock com See Limit on Excludable Amount under Foreign Earned Income Exclusion in chapter 4. Www h&rblock com Housing expenses — base amount. Www h&rblock com  The computation of the base housing amount (line 32 of Form 2555) is tied to the maximum foreign earned income exclusion. Www h&rblock com The amount is 16 percent of the exclusion amount (computed on a daily basis), multiplied by the number of days in your qualifying period that fall within your 2013 tax year. Www h&rblock com For 2013, this amount is $42. Www h&rblock com 78 per day ($15,616 per year). Www h&rblock com See Housing Amount under Foreign Housing Exclusion and Deduction in chapter 4. Www h&rblock com Housing expenses — maximum amount. Www h&rblock com  The amount of qualified housing expenses eligible for the housing exclusion and housing deduction has changed for some locations. Www h&rblock com See Limit on housing expenses under Foreign Housing Exclusion and Deduction in chapter 4. Www h&rblock com Filing requirements. Www h&rblock com  Generally, the amount of income you can receive before you must file an income tax return has increased. Www h&rblock com These amounts are shown in chapter 1 under Filing Requirements . Www h&rblock com Self-employment tax rate. Www h&rblock com  For 2013, the self-employment tax rate of 13. Www h&rblock com 3% has increased to 15. Www h&rblock com 3%. Www h&rblock com The maximum amount of net earnings from self-employment that is subject to the social security part of the self-employment tax has increased to $113,700. Www h&rblock com All net earnings are subject to the Medicare part of the tax. Www h&rblock com For more information, see chapter 3. Www h&rblock com IRA limitations for 2013. Www h&rblock com . Www h&rblock com  The 2013 contribution limit to an IRA has increased to $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 or older). Www h&rblock com You may be able to take an IRA deduction if you were covered by a retirement plan and your 2013 modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $69,000 ($115,000 if married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er)). Www h&rblock com If your spouse was covered by a retirement plan, but you were not, you may be able to take an IRA deduction if your 2013 modified AGI is less than $188,000. Www h&rblock com See the Instructions for Form 1040 or the Instructions for Form 1040A for details and exceptions. Www h&rblock com Reminders Figuring tax on income not excluded. Www h&rblock com  If you claim the foreign earned income exclusion, the housing exclusion, or both, you must figure the tax on your nonexcluded income using the tax rates that would have applied had you not claimed the exclusions. Www h&rblock com See the Instructions for Form 1040 and complete the Foreign Earned Income Tax Worksheet to figure the amount of tax to enter on Form 1040, line 44. Www h&rblock com If you must attach Form 6251 to your return, use the Foreign Earned Income Tax Worksheet provided in the Instructions for Form 6251. Www h&rblock com Form 8938. Www h&rblock com  If you had foreign financial assets in 2013, you may have to file Form 8938 with your return. Www h&rblock com See Form 8938 in chapter 1. Www h&rblock com Change of address. Www h&rblock com  If you change your home mailing address, notify the Internal Revenue Service using Form 8822, Change of Address. Www h&rblock com If you are changing your business address, use Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party—Business. Www h&rblock com Photographs of missing children. Www h&rblock com  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Www h&rblock com Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Www h&rblock com 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. Www h&rblock com Introduction This publication discusses special tax rules for U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com citizens and resident aliens who work abroad or who have income earned in foreign countries. Www h&rblock com If you are a U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com citizen or resident alien, your worldwide income generally is subject to U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com income tax, regardless of where you are living. Www h&rblock com Also, you are subject to the same income tax filing requirements that apply to U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com citizens or resident aliens living in the United States. Www h&rblock com Expatriation tax provisions apply to U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com citizens who have renounced their citizenship and long-term residents who have ended their residency. Www h&rblock com These provisions are discussed in chapter 4 of Publication 519, U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com Tax Guide for Aliens. Www h&rblock com Resident alien. Www h&rblock com   A resident alien is an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who meets either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year. Www h&rblock com Green card test. Www h&rblock com You are a U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com resident if you were a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time during the calendar year. Www h&rblock com This is known as the green card test because resident aliens hold immigrant visas (also known as green cards). Www h&rblock com Substantial presence test. Www h&rblock com You are considered a U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com resident if you meet the substantial presence test for the calendar year. Www h&rblock com To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at least: 31 days during the current calendar year, and A total of 183 days during the current year and the 2 preceding years, counting all the days of physical presence in the current year, but only 1/3 the number of days of presence in the first preceding year, and only 1/6 the number of days in the second preceding year. Www h&rblock com Example. Www h&rblock com You were physically present in the United States on 120 days in each of the years 2011, 2012, and 2013. Www h&rblock com To determine if you meet the substantial presence test for 2013, count the full 120 days of presence in 2013, 40 days in 2012 (1/3 of 120), and 20 days in 2011 (1/6 of 120). Www h&rblock com Because the total for the 3-year period is 180 days, you are not considered a resident under the substantial presence test for 2013. Www h&rblock com   For more information on resident and nonresident status, the tests for residence, and the exceptions to them, see Publication 519. Www h&rblock com Filing information. Www h&rblock com    Chapter 1 contains general filing information, such as: Whether you must file a U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com tax return, When and where to file your return, How to report your income if it is paid in foreign currency, How to treat a nonresident alien spouse as a U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com resident, and Whether you must pay estimated tax. Www h&rblock com Withholding tax. Www h&rblock com    Chapter 2 discusses the withholding of income, social security, and Medicare taxes from the pay of U. Www h&rblock com S. Www h&rblock com citizens and resident aliens. Www h&rblock com Self-employment tax. Www h&rblock com    Chapter 3 discusses who must pay self-employment tax. Www h&rblock com Foreign earned income exclusion and housing exclusion and deduction. Www h&rblock com    Chapter 4 discusses income tax benefits that apply if you meet certain requirements while living abroad. Www h&rblock com You may qualify to treat up to $97,600 of your income as not taxable by the United States. Www h&rblock com You also may be able to either deduct part of your housing expenses from your income or treat a limited amount of income used for housing expenses as not taxable by the United States. Www h&rblock com These benefits are called the foreign earned income exclusion and the foreign housing deduction and exclusion. Www h&rblock com   To qualify for either of the exclusions or the deduction, you must have a tax home in a foreign country and earn income from personal services performed in a foreign country. Www h&rblock com These rules are explained in chapter 4. Www h&rblock com   If you are going to exclude or deduct your income as discussed above, you must file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Www h&rblock com Exemptions, deductions, and credits. Www h&rblock com    Chapter 5 discusses exemptions, deductions, and credits you may be able to claim on your return. Www h&rblock com These are generally the same as if you were living in the United States. Www h&rblock com However, if you choose to exclude foreign earned income or housing amounts, you cannot deduct or exclude any item or take a credit for any item that is related to the amounts you exclude. Www h&rblock com Among the topics discussed in chapter 5 are: Exemptions, Contributions to foreign organizations, Foreign moving expenses, Contributions to individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), and Foreign taxes. Www h&rblock com Tax treaty benefits. Www h&rblock com    Chapter 6 discusses some benefits that are common to most tax treaties and explains how to get help if you think you are not receiving a treaty benefit to which you are entitled. Www h&rblock com It also explains how to get copies of tax treaties. Www h&rblock com How to get tax help. Www h&rblock com    Chapter 7 is an explanation of how to get information and assistance from the IRS. Www h&rblock com Questions and answers. Www h&rblock com   Frequently asked questions and answers to those questions are presented in the back of the publication. Www h&rblock com Comments and suggestions. Www h&rblock com   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Www h&rblock com   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Www h&rblock com NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Www h&rblock com Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Www h&rblock com   You can send us comments from www. Www h&rblock com irs. Www h&rblock com gov/formspubs/. Www h&rblock com Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. Www h&rblock com ”   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. Www h&rblock com Ordering forms and publications. Www h&rblock com   Visit www. Www h&rblock com irs. Www h&rblock com gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Www h&rblock com Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Www h&rblock com Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Www h&rblock com   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Www h&rblock com gov or call 1-800-TAX–FORM (1-800-829-1040). Www h&rblock com We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Www h&rblock com Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Fuel Tax Credit Extensions Frequently Asked Questions

American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-240)

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-240) retroactively extends certain fuel tax credits that expired on Dec. 31, 2011. The retroactively extended fuel tax credits are the biodiesel mixture credit, biodiesel credit, alternative fuel credit and alternative fuel mixture credit. These credits are now scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2013.

These Q&As tell taxpayers how to claim the credits for qualifying sales or uses during 2012. They also describe changes to the cellulosic biofuel credit for 2013. 

More information on qualification for the credits is on Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return; Form 720X, Amended Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return; Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels; Form 6478, Alcohol and Cellulosic Biofuel Fuels Credit; Form 8849, Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes; and Form 8864, Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit.

Q1. How do I claim the biodiesel mixture (including renewable diesel mixture) credit for qualifying sales and uses during 2012? What is the deadline for filing a claim?

A1. Choose one of the following options to claim the credit:

OPTION 1: Follow the procedures in Notice 2013-26. These procedures allow all claims to be made on Form 8849 for all qualifying sales and uses in 2012. These claims must be made by July 1, 2013.

OPTION 2: If you do not make the claim by July 1, 2013, for sales and uses in 2012, follow the procedures below.

If you reported excise tax liability for gasoline, diesel fuel, or kerosene on Form 720 during any quarter of 2012, you must amend that Form 720 to claim a credit against those liabilities. The amount of this credit may not exceed the total amount of those liabilities.

    • To amend your Form 720, file Form 720X in accordance with the instructions to that form.
    • You may use a single Form 720X to amend multiple quarters, but state each quarter separately.
    • If your biodiesel mixture (including renewable diesel mixture) credit exceeds the amount that you claim on Form 720X, you may claim that excess as an income tax credit on your 2012 federal income tax return by attaching to the return Form 4136 in accordance with the instructions for that form.
    • Generally, you have three years from the due date of each Form 720 you filed during 2012 to claim the credit against your excise tax liability for a particular quarter. Generally, you have three years from the due date of your income tax return to claim the credit by attaching Form 4136 to an amended income tax return.

Q2. Do I need to submit Certificates for Biodiesel with my biodiesel mixture claims?

A2. Yes. See the instructions to Form 720, Form 8849, or Form 4136, as appropriate. If you did not receive certificates during 2012, the biodiesel producer may issue them to you now. However, the IRS cannot require biodiesel producers to issue a certificate.

Q3. How do I claim the biodiesel (including renewable diesel) credit for qualifying sales or uses during 2012? What is the deadline for filing a claim?

A3. You may claim the biodiesel (including renewable diesel) credit for qualifying sales or uses during 2012 as an income tax credit on your 2012 federal income tax return by attaching to the return Form 8864, in accordance with the instructions for that form. Generally, you have three years from the due date of your income tax return to claim the credit by attaching Form 8864 to an amended income tax return.

Q4. How do I claim the alternative fuel credit for qualifying sales or uses during 2012? What is the deadline for filing a claim?

A4. The term “alternative fuel” generally includes:

  • Liquefied petroleum gas.
  • P Series Fuels.
  • Compressed or liquefied natural gas.
  • Liquefied hydrogen.
  • Any liquid fuel which meets certain carbon recapture requirements and that is derived from coal (including peat) through the Fischer-Tropsch process.
  • Compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass (as defined in section 45K(c)(3)).
  • Liquid fuel derived from biomass (as defined in section 45K(c)(3)).

Choose one of the following options to claim the credit:

OPTION 1: Follow the procedures in Notice 2013-26. These procedures allow all claims to be made on Form 8849 for all qualifying sales and uses in 2012. These claims must be made by July 1, 2013.

OPTION 2: If you do not make the claim by July 1, 2013, for sales and uses in 2012, follow the procedures below.

    • If you reported excise tax liability for alternative fuel on Form 720 during any quarter of 2012, you must amend that Form 720 to claim a credit against those liabilities. The amount of this credit may not exceed the total amount of those liabilities.
    • To amend your Form 720, file Form 720X in accordance with the instructions to that form.
    • You may use a single Form 720X to amend multiple quarters, but state each quarter separately.
    • If your alternative fuel credit exceeds the amount that you claim on Form 720X, you may claim the excess as an income tax credit on your 2012 federal income tax return by attaching to the return Form 4136 in accordance with the instructions for that form.
    • Generally, you have three years from the due date of each Form 720 you filed during 2012 to claim the credit against your excise tax liability for a particular quarter. Generally, you have three years from the due date of your income tax return to claim the credit by attaching Form 4136 to an amended income tax return.

Q5. How do I claim the alternative fuel mixture credit for qualifying sales or uses during 2012? What is the deadline for filing a claim?

A5. See below.

  • If you reported excise tax liability for gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene on Form 720, during any quarter of 2012, you must amend that Form 720 to claim a credit against those liabilities. The amount of this credit may not exceed the amount of those liabilities.
  • To amend your Form 720, file Form 720X in accordance with the instructions to the form.
  • You may use a single Form 720X to amend multiple quarters, but state each quarter separately.
  • You may claim the alternative fuel mixture credit only up to the amount of your tax liabilities for gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene.
  • You may not claim any excess alternative fuel mixture credit on your income tax return or receive a payment for that amount. 

Q6. Do I have to be registered by IRS to claim the biodiesel mixture credit (including renewable diesel mixture credit), biodiesel credit (including renewable diesel credit), alternative fuel credit or alternative fuel mixture credit?

A6. You must be registered by the IRS at the time you file your claims for the alternative fuel credit and the alternative fuel mixture credit.

If you are already registered with an AL (alternative fuel) or AM (alternative fuel mixture) activity letter, as appropriate, do not apply again for registration. 

However, if you are not already registered by the IRS with the appropriate activity letter, apply to the IRS for registration by filing Form 637, Application for Registration (For Certain Excise Tax Activities), in accordance with the instructions to Form 637. You are not registered with the IRS until you receive your letter of registration from the IRS.

Q7. How do I claim the cellulosic biofuel credit for qualifying sales or uses during 2012?

A7. You may claim the cellulosic biofuel credit for qualifying sales or uses during 2012 as an income tax credit on your 2012 federal income tax return by attaching Form 6478 to the return in accordance with the instructions for that form.

You must be registered by the IRS at the time you file your claim for the cellulosic biofuel credit.

If you are already registered with a CB (producers of cellulosic biofuel) activity letter, do not apply again for registration. However, if you are not already registered by the IRS with the CB activity letter, you may apply to the IRS for registration by filing Form 637, Application for Registration (For Certain Excise Tax Activities), in accordance with the instructions to Form 637. You are not registered with the IRS until you receive your letter of registration from the IRS.

Q8. What changes did the American Taxpayer Relief Act make to the cellulosic biofuel credit?

A8. Effective Jan. 3, 2013, the Act changed the designation of the credit to “second generation biofuel credit.” Also effective on Jan. 3, 2013, biofuels produced from algae, cyanobacteria, and lemna feedstocks are eligible for the credit. The second generation biofuel credit expires for fuel produced after Dec. 31, 2013.

Q9. If I am a second generation biofuel producer, do I need to be registered by the IRS to claim the credit?

A9. Yes, you must be registered by the IRS at the time you file your claims for second generation biofuel credit. Apply for activity letter “CB” using Form 637. If you are already registered by the IRS with a CB activity letter, do not apply again for registration.

Related Item: IRS Forms and Publications

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 07-Mar-2014

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Www h&rblock com 15. Www h&rblock com   Examination and Appeal Procedures If your excise tax return is examined and you disagree with the findings, you can get information about audit and appeal procedures from Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund. Www h&rblock com An unagreed case involving an excise tax covered in this publication differs from other tax cases in that you can only contest it in court after payment of the tax by filing suit for a refund in the United States District Court or the United States Court of Federal Claims. Www h&rblock com Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications