Filing Taxes and Tax Refunds

Filing taxes is an annual chore facing all Americans, and let's face it, the tax code is complicated. Bankrate explains the rules in easy-to-understand language to help simplify your life. Here you'll find everything you need to know to file your tax return and pay the IRS. Expecting a refund? You'll find information about that, too.

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Tax Planning

fore you can get started with the serious business of filing your taxes, it helps to learn some basics. So we supply list of tax terms and stories on everything from common tax-filing mistakes to overlooked tax breaks. Intimidated? Don't be. We'll help you overcome your tax anxieties, even if you are a first-time tax-filer.
Uncle Sam's punishment for taxpayers who don't observe deadlines can be onerous.
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Extension ending? Avoid these errors as you put the final touches on your tax return.
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If you had an employment agreement, you can dispute the receipt of Form 1099. Here's how.
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To keep from feeling overwhelmed, follow these steps to prepare for getting IRS help.
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Filling out your tax return

Do you have to file a tax return? What filing status should you choose? Which 1040 form should you use? How do you report your investment earnings? What if you have a side business? Find answers to those questions and more here. And if you make a mistake, we have a solution for that, too.
If college loans take a big bite of your income, the interest you're paying on them could help cut your tax bill.
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Want help in paying $4,000 of your college costs? Then look no further than your tax return.
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College costs don't have to overwhelm you. Learn and earn your education tax credits.
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Kids depend on you for a lot, but at tax time they could pay off when you claim them as dependents.
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Tax Refunds

If you're entitled to a refund, you want to get it as soon as possible. Bankrate shows you how to track your refund, how to deposit it into as many as three different accounts, and ways to wisely spend your tax cash.
You got a check that's less, or more, than you expected. Here's how you deal with it.
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If you didn't file your 2011 taxes, you may be eligible for a tax refund. The IRS has refunds totaling $1 billion.
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Is a tax refund an interest-free loan to the government or a welcome windfall?
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Waiting for your IRS money? Try these tips for tracking down your tax cash.
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Paying the IRS

If you owe the IRS, there are several ways to pay the bill. Learn about how to pay online, or if you owe a lot, how to pay in installments. If you find yourself in deep financial trouble, you might be able to successfully negotiate a smaller bill with Uncle Sam. Learn about all your options here.
Extension ending? Avoid these errors as you put the final touches on your tax return.
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You won't owe taxes if you pay fees from your IRA, but there may be a better tax break.
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If you have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, then you are treated as the plan participant.
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Can't come up with the cash to pay your tax bill? The IRS takes your money in different ways.
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Filing taxes online

The Internal Revenue Service would like everyone to file taxes online. It's more efficient and less time-consuming for taxpayers and Uncle Sam. You can purchase software for your computer or e-file directly online. The IRS also enables those with household incomes of $60,000 or less to use the Free File service. And its fillable forms are available to everyone, regardless of income. Learn all about it here.
The IRS starts tax filing season with Free File, an electronic filing program for taxpayers.
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The IRS would like you to pay electronically. Here's a look at Uncle Sam's e-payment options.
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Don't want to spend hours on your return? Tax-preparation software may be the answer.
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Most taxpayers will file their returns electronically this year. Here's a look at your e-file options.
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Tax documents, record keeping

To file your taxes, you need access to all your income statements as well as your W-2 forms. What happens if you don't get them? We'll give you a way to work around this problem. And how long must you hang on to your tax filing paperwork? Read all about it here.
Can't come up with the cash to pay your tax bill? The IRS takes your money in different ways.
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Still waiting on 1099 forms to file your return? You can do your taxes without them.
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Before you file, you need your tax documents. Here are the statements you should expect.
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There are three tax return forms. The one you use could make a difference in your tax bill.
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