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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Before 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.
Most taxpayers already file electronically. Here's a look at all the e-file options.
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Not all tax pros have the same credentials. Here's how to pick the right one for you.
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If your employer is slacking or out of business, you have options. Here's what to do.
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Before you begin tax filing, test your knowledge with these basic tax questions.
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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.
Did you know you can save on taxes if you qualify for the lifetime learning credit?
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College costs don't have to overwhelm you. Learn and earn your education tax credits.
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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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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 3 different accounts, and ways to wisely spend your tax cash.
Taxpayers can follow their refund online, by phone or with a smartphone app.
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The IRS claims that it OKs most tax refunds within 21 days, but it can take longer.
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There are much better options than falling for a tax refund anticipation loan or check.
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Take these steps to find out why the IRS doesn't have a record of your work.
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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.
It might seem that bonuses are taxed at a higher rate, but the truth is surprising.
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You do have to wait five years to get at the earnings, but you still have options.
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Even if you're usually inseparable, at tax time it may make sense to file separately.
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Without pay stubs, you still can check the math on your W-2. Here's what you can do.
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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 $62,000 or less to use the Free File service. And its fillable forms are available to everyone, regardless of income. Learn all about it here.
Most taxpayers already file electronically. Here's a look at all the e-file options.
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The IRS wants taxpayers to file electronically, offering free services as an incentive.
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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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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.
While you don't have to wait for this form from most issuers, there is one exception.
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Picking the right 1040 form could make a difference in your tax bill, so choose wisely.
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Don't miss these statements, which will start arriving via email or snail mail.
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Follow this checklist from the IRS of which tax records you need to keep -- and for how long.
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