Federal Your Federal Income Tax Guide
Extracted from PDF file 2021-federal-publication-17.pdf, last modified December 2021
Your Federal Income Tax GuideDepartment of the Treasury Your Federal Income Tax For Individuals Publication 17 Catalog Number 10311G For use in preparing 2021 Returns Internal Revenue Service TAX GUIDE 2021 Get forms and other information faster and easier at: • IRS.gov (English) • IRS.gov/Spanish (Español) Dec 16, 2021 • IRS.gov/Chinese (中文) • IRS.gov/Korean (한국어) • IRS.gov/Russian (Pусский) • IRS.gov/Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) Your Federal Income Tax Department of the Treasury For Individuals Internal Revenue Service Contents What's New ....................... 1 Reminders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Part One. The Income Tax Return . . . . 1 Filing Information . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Filing Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Dependents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax . . . . . . . . . . Part Two. Income and Adjustments to Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Wages, Salaries, and Other Earnings . 6 Interest Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Other Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 6 22 26 37 . . . 46 . . . 47 . . . 54 11 Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 12 Other Itemized Deductions . . . . . . . . . . 99 Part Four. Figuring Your Taxes, and Refundable and Nonrefundable Credits . . 105 13 How To Figure Your Tax . . . . . . . . . . . 105 14 Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 2021 Tax Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 2021 Tax Computation Worksheet . . . . . . . . 123 2021 Tax Rate Schedules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Your Rights as a Taxpayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 How To Get Tax Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 . . . 62 . . . 67 Index . . . 76 Where To File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Part Three. Standard Deduction, Itemized Deductions, and Other Deductions . . . . . . 91 10 Standard Deduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 All material in this publication may be reprinted freely. A citation to Your Federal Income Tax (2021) would be appropriate. The explanations and examples in this publication reflect the interpretation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of: • Tax laws enacted by Congress, • Treasury regulations, and • Court decisions. However, the information given does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning. This publication covers some subjects on which a court may have made a decision more favorable to taxpayers than the interpretation by the IRS. Until these differing interpretations are resolved by higher court decisions or in some other way, this publication will continue to present the interpretations by the IRS. All taxpayers have important rights when working with the IRS. These rights are described in Your Rights as a Taxpayer in the back of this publication. What's New This section summarizes important tax changes that took effect in 2021. Most of these changes are discussed in more detail throughout this publication. Future developments. For the latest information about the tax law topics covered in this publication, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to IRS.gov/ Pub17. Due date of return. File Form 1040 or 1040-SR by April 18, 2022. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia—even if you don’t live in the District of Columbia. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until April 19, 2022. That is because of the Patriots' Day holiday in those states. See chapter 1, later. Who must file. Generally, the amount of income you can receive before you must file a return has been increased. For more information, see chapter 1, later. Tuition and fees deduction not available. The tuition and fees deduction is not available after 2020. Instead, the income limitations for the lifetime learning credit have been increased. See Form 8863 and its instructions. Economic impact payment—EIP 3. Any economic impact payment you received is not taxable for federal income tax purposes, but will reduce your recovery rebate credit. 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. This credit is figured like last year's economic impact payment, EIP 3, except eligibility and the amount of the credit are based on your tax year 2021 information. See the instructions for Form 1040, line 30, and the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet to figure your credit amount. Who must file. Generally, the amount of income you can receive before you must file a return has been increased. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040. Standard deduction amount increased. For 2021, the standard deduction amount has been increased for all filers. The amounts are: • Single or Married filing separately—$12,550; • Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er)—$25,100; and • Head of household—$18,800. Publication 17 (2021) See chapter 10, later. If you elect to not itemize TIP your deductions in 2021, you may qualify to take a deduction for charitable contributions of up to $300 ($600 in the case of a joint return). For more information, see Pub. 526, Charitable Contributions. Virtual currency. If, in 2021, you engaged in a transaction involving virtual currency, you will need to answer “Yes” to the question on page 1 of Form 1040 or 1040-SR. See Virtual Currency in the Instructions for Form 1040 for information on transactions involving virtual currency. Do not leave this field blank. The question must be answered by all taxpayers, not just taxpayers who engaged in a transaction involving virtual currency. Credits for sick and family leave for certain self-employed individuals. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) helped self-employed individuals affected by coronavirus by providing paid sick leave and paid family leave credits equivalent to those that employers are required to provide their employees for qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages. The COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 extended the period during which individuals can claim these credits. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 7202 and Schedule 3 (Form 1040), line 13b. Extension and expansion of credit for qualified sick and family leave wages. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP), enacted on March 11, 2021, provides that certain self-employed individuals can claim credits for up to 10 days of “paid sick leave,” and up to 60 days of “paid family leave,” if they are unable to work or telework due to circumstances related to coronavirus. Self-employed individuals may claim these credits for the period beginning on April 1, 2021, and ending September 30, 2021. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 7202 and Schedule 3 (Form 1040), line 13h. Form 9000, Alternative Media Preference. Beginning in 2021, taxpayers with print disabilities can use Form 9000 to elect to receive notices from the IRS in an alternative format including braille, large print, audio, and electronic. You can attach Form 9000 to your Form 1040 or 1040-SR or you can mail it separately. For more information, see Form 9000. All taxpayers now eligible for Identity Protection PIN. Beginning in 2021, the IRS Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) Opt-In Program has been expanded to all taxpayers who can properly verify their identity. An IP PIN helps prevent your social security number from being used to file a fraudulent federal income tax return. You can use the Get An IP PIN tool on IRS.gov to request an IP PIN, file Form 15227 if your income is $72,000 or less, or make an appointment to visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center. Direct deposit now available for returns filed late. You can now receive a direct deposit of your refund even if you file your 2021 return after November 30, 2022. Expanded dependent care assistance. The ARP expanded the child and dependent care tax credit for 2021 by making it refundable for certain taxpayers and making it larger. For 2021, the dollar limit on qualifying expenses increases to $8,000 for one qualifying person and $16,000 for two or more qualifying persons. The rules for calculating the credit have also changed; the percentage of qualifying expenses eligible for the credit has increased, along with the income limit at which the credit begins phasing out. Additionally, for taxpayers who receive dependent care benefits from their employer, the dollar limit of the exclusion amount increases for 2021. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 2441 and Pub. 503. Child tax credit. Under the ARP, the child tax credit has been enhanced for 2021. The child tax credit has been extended to qualifying children under age 18. Depending on modified adjusted gross income, you may receive an enhanced credit amount of up to $3,600 for a qualifying child under age 6 and up to $3,000 for a qualifying child over age 5 and under age 18. The enhanced credit amount begins to phase out where modified adjusted gross income exceeds $150,000 in the case of a joint return or surviving spouse, $112,500 in the case of a head of household, and $75,000 in all other cases. If you (or your spouse if filing jointly) lived in the United States for more than half the year, the child tax credit will be fully refundable even if you don't have earned income. If you don't meet this residency requirement, your child tax credit will be a combination of a nonrefundable child tax credit and a refundable additional child tax credit, as was the case in 2020. The credit for other dependents has not been enhanced and is figured as it was in 2020. Because of the changes made by the ARP, deCAUTION tailed discussion of the child tax credit and the Child Tax Credit Worksheet, which were previously part of the Instructions for Form 1040, have been moved to the Instructions for Schedule 8812 (Form 1040), Credit for Qualifying Children and Other Dependents. ! Schedule 8812 (Form 1040). The Schedule 8812 (Form 1040) and its instructions have been revised to be the single source for figuring and reporting the child tax credits and credit for other dependents. The instructions now include all applicable worksheets for figuring these credits. As a result, Pub. 972, Child Tax Credit, won’t be revised. For prior-year versions of Pub. 972, go to IRS.gov/Pub972. Letter 6419. If you received advance child tax credit payments during 2021, you will receive Letter 6419. Keep this notice for your records. You will use the information from this notice to figure the amount of child tax credit to claim on your 2021 tax return or the amount of additional tax you must report on Schedule 2 (Form 1040). Additional tax on excess advance child tax credit payments. If you received advance child tax credit payments during 2021 and the credits you figure using Schedule 8812 (Form 1040) are less than what you received, you may owe an additional tax. Complete Schedule 8812 (Form 1040) to determine if you must report an additional tax on Schedule 2 (Form 1040). Premium tax credit (PTC). The ARP expanded the PTC by eliminating the limitation that a taxpayer's household income may not exceed 400% of the federal poverty line and generally increases the credit amounts. In addition, in 2021, if you receive unemployment compensation, you are generally eligible to claim the PTC if you meet the other requirements. For more information, see Pub. 974 and Form 8962 and its instructions. Page 1 Changes to the earned income credit (EIC). For 2021, the following changes have been made to the EIC. • EIC rules for taxpayers without a qualifying child. Special rules apply if you are claiming the EIC without a qualifying child. In these cases, the minimum age has been lowered to age 19 except for specified students who must be at least age 24 at the end of the year. However, the applicable minimum age is lowered further for former foster youth and qualified homeless youth to age 18. Additionally, you no longer need to be under age 65 to claim the EIC without a qualifying child. • EIC rules for taxpayers with a qualifying child. If you are claiming the EIC with a qualifying child, you should follow the rules that apply to filers with a qualifying child or children when determining whether you are eligible to claim the EIC even if your qualifying child hasn't been issued a valid SSN on or before the due date of your return (including extensions). However, when determining the amount of EIC that you are eligible to claim on your return, you should follow the rules that apply to taxpayers who do not have a qualifying child. • Phaseout amounts in- creased. The amount of the credit has been increased and the phaseout income limits at which you can claim the credit have been expanded. • Rules for separated spou- ses. If you are married but don't file a joint return, you may qualify to claim the EIC if you live with a qualifying child for more than half the year and either live apart from your spouse for the last 6 months of 2021 or are legally separated according to your state law under a written separation agreement or a decree of separate maintenance and do not live in the same household as your spouse at the end 2021. • Investment income limit in- creased. The amount of investment income you can receive and still be eligible to claim the EIC has increased to $10,000. • Prior year (2019) earned income. You can elect to use your 2019 earned income to Page 2 figure your 2021 earned income credit if your 2019 earned income is more than your 2021 earned income. See the instructions for Form 1040, line 27a. File Schedule EIC (Form 1040) if you have a qualifying child. If you have at least one child who meets the conditions to be your qualifying child for purposes of claiming the EIC, complete and attach Schedule EIC to your Form 1040 or 1040-SR even if that child doesn't have a valid SSN. For more information, including how to complete Schedule EIC if your qualifying child doesn't have a valid SSN, see the instructions for Form 1040, line 27a, and Schedule EIC. Forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The forgiveness of a PPP loan creates tax-exempt income, so you don't need to report the income on Form 1040 or 1040-SR, but you do need to report certain information related to your PPP loan. To find out how to report information related to your PPP loan, see Forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans under Income in the Instructions for Form 1040. Identity verification. The IRS launched an improved identity verification and sign-in process that enables more people to securely access and use IRS online tools and applications. To provide verification services, the IRS is using ID.me, a trusted technology provider. The new process is one more step the IRS is taking to ensure that taxpayer information is provided only to the person who legally has a right to the data. Taxpayers using the new mobile-friendly verification procedure can gain entry to existing IRS online services such as the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, On-line Account, Get Transcript Online, Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN), and Online Payment Agreement. Additional IRS applications will transition to the new method over the next year. Each online service will also provide information that will instruct taxpayers on the steps they need to follow for access to the service. You can also see IR-2021-228 for more information. Personal protective equipment (PPE). Amounts paid for PPE, such as masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes, for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of coronavirus, are qualified medical expenses. If the amounts were paid or reimbursed under a health flexible spending account, Archer medical savings account, health reimbursement arrangement, or any other health plan, the amounts are not deductible on Schedule A (Form 1040). Standard mileage rates. The standard mileage rate allowed for operating expenses for a car when you use it for medical reasons decreased to 16 cents a mile. The 2021 rate for use of your vehicle to do volunteer work for certain charitable organizations remains at 14 cents a mile and the rate for business use of a vehicle is 56 cents a mile. Modified AGI limit for traditional IRA contributions. For 2021, if you are covered by a retirement plan at work, your deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA is reduced (phased out) if your modified AGI is: • More than $105,000 but less than $125,000 for a married couple filing a joint return or a qualifying widow(er), • More than $66,000 but less than $76,000 for a single individual or head of household, or • Less than $10,000 for a mar- ried individual filing a separate return. If you either live with your spouse or file a joint return, and your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work but you aren’t, your deduction is phased out if your modified AGI is more than $198,000 but less than $208,000. If your modified AGI is $206,000 or more, you can’t take a deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA. See How Much Can You Deduct in chapter 9, later. Modified AGI limit for Roth IRA contributions. For 2021, your Roth IRA contribution limit is reduced (phased out) in the following situations. • Your filing status is married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) and your modified AGI is at least $198,000. You can’t make a Roth IRA contribution if your modified AGI is $208,000 or more. • Your filing status is single, head of household, or married filing separately and you didn’t live with your spouse at any time in 2021 and your modified AGI is at least $125,000. You can’t make a Roth IRA contribution if your modified AGI is $140,000 or more. • Your filing status is married filing separately, you lived with your spouse at any time during the year, and your modified AGI is more than zero. You can’t make a Roth IRA contribution if your modified AGI is $10,000 or more. See Can You Contribute to a Roth IRA in chapter 9, later. 2022 modified AGI limits. You can find information about the 2022 contribution and AGI limits in Pub. 590-A. Form 1040-X continuous-use form and instructions. Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and its instructions have been converted from an annual revision to continuous use beginning in tax year 2021. Both the form and instructions will be updated as required. For the most recent version, go to IRS.gov/ Form1040X. Section discussions and charts that were updated annually have been removed, or replaced with references to relevant forms, schedules, instructions, and publications. See the forms, schedules, instructions, and publications for the year of the tax return you are amending for guidance on specific topics. Business meals. Section 210 of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 provides for the temporary allowance of a 100% business meal deduction for food or beverages provided by a restaurant and paid or incurred after December 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2023. Tax law changes for 2022. When you figure how much income tax you want withheld from your pay and when you figure your estimated tax, consider tax law changes effective in 2022. For more information, see Pub. 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. Form 8915-F replaces Form 8915-E. Form 8915-F replaces Form 8915-E for reporting qualified 2020 disaster distributions and repayments of those distributions made in 2021 and 2022, as applicable, unlike in previous disaster years where distributions and repayments would be reported on the applicable Form 8915 for that year's disasters. For example, Form 8915-D, Qualified 2019 Disaster Retirement Plan Distributions and Repayments, would be used to report qualified 2019 disaster distributions and repayments. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 8915-F. Qualified business income deduction. The simplified worksheet for figuring your qualified business income deduction is now Form 8995, Qualified Business Income Deduction Simplified Computation. Publication 17 (2021) If you don't meet the requirements to file Form 8995, use Form 8995-A, Qualified Business Income Deduction. For more information, see each form's instructions. Alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amount increased. The AMT exemption amount is increased to $73,600 ($114,600 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $57,300 if married filing separately). The income levels at which the AMT exemption begins to phase out have increased to $523,600 ($1,047,200 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)). Adoption credit. The adoption credit and the exclusion for employer-provided adoption benefits have both increased to $14,440 per eligible child in 2020. The amount begins to phase out if you have modified AGI in excess of $216,660 and is completely phased out if your modified AGI is $256,660 or more. Taxpayer identification numbers. You must provide the taxpayer identification number for each person for whom you claim certain tax benefits. This applies even if the person was born in 2021. Generally, this number is the person's SSN. See chapter 1, later. Faster ways to file your return. The IRS offers fast, accurate ways to file your tax return information without filing a paper tax return. You can use IRS e-file (electronic filing). See chapter 1, later. Disclosure, Privacy Act, and paperwork reduction information. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 require that when we ask you for information, we must first tell you what our legal right is to ask for the information, why we are asking for it, how it will be used, what could happen if we do not receive it, and whether your response is voluntary, required to obtain a benefit, or mandatory under the law. A complete statement on this subject can be found in your tax form instructions. Reminders Listed below are important reminders and other items that may help you file your 2021 tax return. Many of these items are explained in more detail later in this publication. Publication 17 changes. We removed the following 2019 chapters from this publication: 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, and 36. You can find most of the information previously found in those chapters in the primary publication. Please see Publication 17 changes, later. Special rules for eligible gains invested in Qualified Opportunity Funds. If you have an eligible gain, you can invest that gain into a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) and elect to defer part or all of the gain that is otherwise includible in income. The gain is deferred until the date you sell or exchange the investment or December 31, 2026, whichever is earlier. You may also be able to permanently exclude gain from the sale or exchange of an investment in a QOF if the investment is held for at least 10 years. For information about what types of gains entitle you to elect these special rules, see the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 1040). For information on how to elect to use these special rules, see the Instructions for Form 8949. Secure your tax records from identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, SSN, or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. An identity thief may use your SSN to get a job or may file a tax return using your SSN to receive a refund. For more information about identity theft and how to reduce your risk from it, see chapter 1, later. Publication 17 (2021) Foreign-source income. If you are a U.S. citizen with income from sources outside the United States (foreign income), you must report all such income on your tax return unless it is exempt by law or a tax treaty. This is true whether you live inside or outside the United States and whether or not you receive a Form W-2 or Form 1099 from the foreign payer. This applies to earned income (such as wages and tips) as well as unearned income (such as interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, rents, and royalties). If you live outside the United States, you may be able to exclude part or all of your foreign earned income. For details, see Pub. 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. Foreign financial assets. If you had foreign financial assets in 2021, you may have to file Form 8938 with your return. See Form 8938 and its instructions or visit IRS.gov/Form8938 for details. Automatic 6-month extension to file tax return. You can get an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your tax return. See chapter 1, later. Payment of taxes. You can pay your taxes by making electronic payments online; from a mobile device using the IRS2Go app; or in cash, or by check or money order. Paying electronically is quick, easy, and faster than mailing in a check or money order. See chapter 1, later. Free electronic filing. You may be able to file your 2021 taxes online for free. See chapter 1, later. Change of address. If you change your address, notify the IRS. See chapter 1, later. Refund on a late-filed return. If you were due a refund but you did not file a return, you must generally file your return within 3 years from the date the return was due (including extensions) to get that refund. See chapter 1, later. Frivolous tax returns. The IRS has published a list of positions that are identified as frivolous. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. See chapter 1, later. Filing erroneous claim for refund or credit. You may have to pay a penalty if you file an erroneous claim for refund or credit. See chapter 1, later. Access your online account. You must authenticate your identity. To securely log into your federal tax account, go to IRS.gov/ Account. View the amount you owe, review 24 months of payment history, access online payment options, and create or modify an online payment agreement. You can also access your tax records online. Health care coverage. If you need health care coverage, go to HealthCare.gov to learn about health insurance options for you and your family, how to buy health insurance, and how you might qualify to get financial assistance to buy health insurance. Preparer e-file mandate. Most paid preparers must e-file returns they prepare and file. Your preparer may make you aware of this requirement and the options available to you. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. If you want to confidentially report misconduct, waste, fraud, or abuse by an IRS employee, you can call 800-366-4484 (call 800-877-8339 if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, and are using TTY/TDD equipment). You can remain anonymous. Photographs of missing children. The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Page 3 Publication 17 Changes Note. This publication does not cover the topics listed in the following table. Please see the primary publication. Chapter Removed Title of Chapter Primary Publication 6 Tip Income Pub. 531, Reporting Tip Income 8 Dividends and Other Distributions Pub. 550, Investment Income and Expenses 9 Rental Income and Expenses Pub. 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes) 10 Retirement Plans, Pensions, and Annuities Pub. 575, Pension and Annuity Income 13 Basis of Property Pub. 551, Basis of Assets 14 Sale of Property Pub. 550 15 Selling Your Home Pub. 523, Selling Your Home 16 Reporting Gains and Losses Pub. 550 18 Alimony Pub. 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals 19 Education-Related Adjustments Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for Education 20 Other Adjustments to Income Pub. 463, Travel, Gift, and Car Expenses 22 Medical and Dental Expenses Pub. 502, Medical and Dental Expenses 24 Interest Expense Pub. 550 Pub. 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction 25 Charitable Contributions Pub. 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property Pub. 526, Charitable Contributions 26 Nonbusiness Casualty and Theft Losses Pub. 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts 29 Tax on Unearned Income of Certain Minor Pub. 929, Tax Rules for Children and Children Dependents 30 Child and Dependent Care Credit Pub. 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses 31 Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled Pub. 524, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled 33 Education Credits Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for Education 34 Earned Income Credit (EIC) Pub. 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC) 35 Premium Tax Credit Pub. 974, Premium Tax Credit (PTC) 36 Other Credits Introduction This publication covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return. It supplements the information contained in your tax form instructions. It explains the tax law to make sure you pay only the tax you owe and no more. How this publication is arranged. Pub. 17 closely follows Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors, and their three Schedules 1 through 3. Pub. 17 is divided into four parts. Each part is further divided into Page 4 chapters, most of which generally discuss one line of the form or one line of one of the three schedules. The introduction at the beginning of each part lists the schedule(s) discussed in that part. The table of contents inside the front cover, the introduction to each part, and the index in the back of the publication are useful tools to help you find the information you need. What is in this publication. This publication begins with the rules for filing a tax return. It explains: 1. Who must file a return, 2. When the return is due, 3. How to e-file your return, and 4. Other general information. It will help you identify which filing status you qualify for, whether you can claim any dependents, and whether the income you receive is taxable. The publication goes on to explain the standard deduction, the kinds of expenses you may be able to deduct, and the various kinds of credits you may be able to take to reduce your tax. Throughout this publication are examples showing how the tax law applies in typical situations. Also throughout this publication are flowcharts and tables that present tax information in an easy-to-understand manner. Many of the subjects discussed in this publication are discussed in greater detail in other IRS publications. References to those other publications are provided for your information. Icons. Small graphic symbols, or icons, are used to draw your Publication 17 (2021) • Pub. 535, Business Expen- attention to special information. See Table 1 for an explanation of each icon used in this publication. What is not covered in this publication. Some material that you may find helpful is not included in this publication but can be found in your tax form instructions booklet. This includes lists of: • Where to report certain items shown on information documents, and • Tax Topics you can read at IRS.gov/TaxTopics. If you operate your own business or have other self-employment income, such as from babysitting or selling crafts, see the following publications for more information. ses. • Pub. 587, Business Use of Your Home. Help from the IRS. There are many ways you can get help from the IRS. These are explained under How To Get Tax Help at the end of this publication. Comments and suggestions. We welcome your comments about this publication and suggestions for future editions. You can send us comments through IRS.gov/FormComments. Or, you can write to the Internal Revenue Service, Tax Forms and Publications, 1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526, Washington, DC 20224. • Pub. 334, Tax Guide for Small Although we can’t respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments and suggestions as we revise our tax forms, instructions, and publications. Don’t send tax questions, tax returns, or payments to the above address. Getting answers to your tax questions. If you have a tax question not answered by this publication or the How To Get Tax Help section at the end of this publication, go to the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant page at IRS.gov/ Help/ITA where you can find topics by using the search feature or viewing the categories listed. Getting tax forms, instructions, and publications. Go to IRS.gov/Forms to download current and prior-year forms, instructions, and publications. Ordering tax forms, instructions, and publications. Go to IRS.gov/OrderForms to order current forms, instructions, and publications; call 800-829-3676 to order prior-year forms and instructions. The IRS will process your order for forms and publications as soon as possible. Don’t resubmit requests you’ve already sent us. You can get forms and publications faster online. IRS mission. Provide America's taxpayers top-quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all. Business. Table 1. Legend of Icons Icon ! CAUTION Explanation Items that may cause you particular problems, or an alert about pending legislation that may be enacted after this publication goes to print. An Internet site or an email address. An address you may need. Items you should keep in your personal records. RECORDS Items you may need to figure or a worksheet you may need to complete and keep for your records. An important phone number. TIP Publication 17 (2021) Helpful information you may need. Page 5 Part One. The Income Tax Return The four chapters in this part provide basic information on the tax system. They take you through the first steps of filling out a tax return. They also provide information about dependents, and discuss recordkeeping requirements, IRS e-file (electronic filing), certain penalties, and the two methods used to pay tax during the year: withholding and estimated tax. The Form 1040 and 1040-SR schedules that are discussed in these chapters are: • Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments to Income; and • Schedule 3 (Part II), Other Payments and Refundable Credits. • View digital copies of select notices from the IRS. 1. • Approve or reject authorization requests from tax professionals. Filing Information What's New Due date of return. File Form 1040 or 1040-SR by April 18, 2022. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia—even if you don't live in the District of Columbia. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until April 19, 2022. That is because of the Patriots' Day holiday in those states. Who must file. Generally, the amount of income you can receive before you must file a return has been increased. See Table 1-1, Table 1-2, and Table 1-3 for the specific amounts. Reminders File online. Rather than filing a return on paper, you may be able to file electronically using IRS e-file. For more information, see Why Should I File Electronically, later. Access your online account (individual taxpayers only). Go to IRS.gov/Account to securely access information about your federal tax account. • View the amount you owe and a breakdown by tax year. • See payment plan details or apply for a new payment plan. • Make a payment, view 5 years of payment history and any pending or scheduled payments. • Access your tax records, including key data from your most recent tax return, your economic impact payment amounts, and transcripts. Page 6 Chapter 1 Filing Information • Update your address or manage your communication preferences. • Go to IRS.gov/SecureAccess to view the required identity authentication process. Change of address. If you change your address, you should notify the IRS. You can use Form 8822 to notify the IRS of the change. See Change of Address, later, under What Happens After I File. Enter your social security number. You must enter your social security number (SSN) in the spaces provided on your tax return. If you file a joint return, enter the SSNs in the same order as the names. Direct deposit of refund. Instead of getting a paper check, you may be able to have your refund deposited directly into your account at a bank or other financial institution. See Direct Deposit under Refunds, later. If you choose direct deposit of your refund, you may be able to split the refund among two or three accounts. Pay online or by phone. If you owe additional tax, you may be able to pay online or by phone. See How To Pay, later. Installment agreement. If you can’t pay the full amount due with your return, you may ask to make monthly installment payments. See Installment Agreement, later, under Amount You Owe. You may be able to apply online for a payment agreement if you owe federal tax, interest, and penalties. Automatic 6-month extension. You can get an automatic 6-month extension to file your tax return if, no later than the date your return is due, you file Form 4868. See Automatic Extension, later. Service in combat zone. You are allowed extra time to take care of your tax matters if you are a member of the Armed Forces who served in a combat zone, or if you served in a combat zone in support of the Armed Forces. See Individuals Serving in Combat Zone, later, under When Do I Have To File. Adoption taxpayer identification number. If a child has been placed in your home for purposes of legal adoption and you won't be able to get a social security number for the child in time to file your return, you may be able to get an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN). For more information, see Social Security Number (SSN), later. Taxpayer identification number for aliens. If you or your dependent is a nonresident or resident alien who doesn't have and isn't eligible to get a social security number, file Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, with the IRS. For more information, see Social Security Number (SSN), later. Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) renewal. Some ITINs must be renewed. If you haven't used your ITIN on a U.S. tax return at least once for tax years 2018, 2019, or 2020, it expired at the end of 2021 and must be renewed if you need to file a U.S. federal tax return in 2022. You don't need to renew your ITIN if you don't need to file a federal tax return. You can find more information at IRS.gov/ITIN. ITINs assigned before 2013 have ex- TIP pired and must be renewed if you need to file a tax return in 2022. If you previously submitted a renewal application and it was approved, you do not need to renew again unless you haven't used your ITIN on a federal tax return at least once for tax years 2018, 2019, or 2020. Frivolous tax submissions. The IRS has published a list of positions that are identified as frivolous. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. Also, the $5,000 penalty will apply to other specified frivolous submissions. For more information, see Civil Penalties, later. Introduction This chapter discusses the following topics. • • • • • Whether you have to file a return. How to file electronically. How to file for free. When, how, and where to file your return. What happens if you pay too little or too much tax. • What records you should keep and how long you should keep them. • How you can change a return you have already filed. Do I Have To File a Return? You must file a federal income tax return if you are a citizen or resident of the United States or a resident of Puerto Rico and you meet the filing requirements for any of the following categories that apply to you. 1. Individuals in general. (There are special rules for surviving spouses, executors, administrators, legal representatives, U.S. citizens and residents living outside the United States, residents of Puerto Rico, and individuals with income from U.S. possessions.) 2. Dependents. 3. Certain children under age 19 or full-time students. 4. Self-employed persons. 5. Aliens. The filing requirements for each category are explained in this chapter. The filing requirements apply even if you don't owe tax. Even if you don't have to file a return, it TIP may be to your advantage to do so. See Who Should File, later. File only one federal income tax return for the year regardless of how many CAUTION jobs you had, how many Forms W-2 you received, or how many states you lived in during the year. Don't file more than one original return for the same year, even if you haven’t received your refund or haven’t heard from the IRS since you filed. ! Individuals—In General If you are a U.S. citizen or resident, whether you must file a return depends on three factors. 1. Your gross income. 2. Your filing status. 3. Your age. To find out whether you must file, see Table 1-1, Table 1-2, and Table 1-3. Even if no table shows that you must file, you may need to file to get money back. See Who Should File, later. Gross income. This includes all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that isn't exempt from tax. It also includes income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude all or part of it). Include part of your social security benefits if: 1. You were married, filing a separate return, and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2021; or 2. Half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). Table 1-1. 2021 Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers THEN file a return if your gross income was at least...** IF your filing status is... AND at the end of 2021 you were...* Single under 65 $12,550 65 or older $14,250 under 65 (both spouses) $25,100 65 or older (one spouse) $26,450 65 or older (both spouses) $27,800 Married filing jointly*** Married filing separately any age Head of household under 65 $18,800 65 or older $20,500 under 65 $25,100 65 or older $26,450 Qualifying widow(er) $5 * If you were born on January 1, 1957, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2021. (If your spouse died in 2021 or if you are preparing a return for someone who died in 2021, see Pub. 501.) ** Gross income means all income you received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that isn't exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). Don't include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2021, or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). If (a) or (b) applies, see the Instructions for Form 1040 or Pub. 915 to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income. Gross income includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. But, in figuring gross income, don't reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. *** If you didn't live with your spouse at the end of 2021 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $5, you must file a return regardless of your age. If either (1) or (2) applies, see the Instructions for Form 1040 or Pub. 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits, to figure the social security benefits you must include in gross income. Common types of income are discussed in Part Two of this publication. Community property states. Community property states include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you and your spouse lived in a community property state, you must usually follow state law to determine what is community property and what is separate income. For details, see Form 8958 and Pub. 555. Nevada, Washington, and California domestic partners. A registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California must generally report half the combined community income of the individual and his or her domestic partner. See Pub. 555. Self-employed individuals. If you are self-employed, your gross income includes the amount on line 7 of Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business; and line 9 of Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming. See Self-Employed Persons, later, for more information about your filing requirements. ! CAUTION If you don't report all of your self-employment income, your social security benefits may be lower when you retire. Filing status. Your filing status depends on whether you are single or married and on your family situation. Your filing status is determined on the last day of your tax year, which is December 31 for most taxpayers. See chapter 2 for an explanation of each filing status. Age. If you are 65 or older at the end of the year, you can generally have a higher amount of gross income than other taxpayers before you must file. See Table 1-1. You are considered 65 on the day before your 65th birthday. For example, if your 65th birthday is on January 1, 2022, you are considered 65 for 2021. Surviving Spouses, Executors, Administrators, and Legal Representatives You must file a final return for a decedent (a person who died) if both of the following are true. • You are the surviving spouse, executor, administrator, or legal representative. • The decedent met the filing requirements at the date of death. For more information on rules for filing a decedent's final return, see Pub. 559. U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Living Abroad To determine whether you must file a return, include in your gross income any income you received abroad, including any income you can Chapter 1 Filing Information Page 7 exclude under the foreign earned income exclusion. For information on special tax rules that may apply to you, see Pub. 54. It is available online and at most U.S. embassies and consulates. See How To Get Tax Help in the back of this publication. Residents of Puerto Rico If you are a U.S. citizen and also a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico, you must generally file a U.S. income tax return for any year in which you meet the income requirements. This is in addition to any legal requirement you may have to file an income tax return with Puerto Rico. If you are a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico for the entire year, your U.S. gross income doesn't include income from sources within Puerto Rico. It does, however, include any income you received for your services as an employee of the United States or a U.S. agency. If you receive income from Puerto Rican sources that isn't subject to U.S. tax, you must reduce your standard deduction. As a result, the amount of income you must have before you are required to file a U.S. income tax return is lower than the applicable amount in Table 1-1 or Table 1-2. For more information, see Pub. 570. Individuals With Income From U.S. Possessions If you had income from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, special rules may apply when determining whether you must file a U.S. federal income tax return. In addition, you may have to file a return with the individual island government. See Pub. 570 for more information. Dependents If you are a dependent (one who meets the dependency tests in chapter 3), see Table 1-2 to find out whether you must file a return. You must also file if your situation is described in Table 1-3. Responsibility of parent. Generally, a child is responsible for filing his or her own tax return and for paying any tax on the return. If a dependent child must file an income tax return but can’t file due to age or any other reason, then a parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person must file it for the child. If the child can’t sign the return, the parent or guardian must sign the child's name followed by the words “By (your signature), parent for minor child.” Child's earnings. Amounts a child earns by performing services are included in his or her gross income and not the gross income of the parent. This is true even if under local law the child's parent has the right to the earnings and may actually have received them. But if the child doesn't pay the tax due on this income, the parent is liable for the tax. Page 8 Chapter 1 Filing Information Certain Children Under Age 19 or Full-Time Students If a child's only income is interest and dividends (including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends), the child was under age 19 at the end of 2021 or was a full-time student under age 24 at the end of 2021, and certain other conditions are met, a parent can elect to include the child's income on the parent's return. If this election is made, the child doesn't have to file a return. See Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends in Pub. 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents. Self-Employed Persons You are self-employed if you: • Carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor, • Are an independent contractor, • Are a member of a partnership, or • Are in business for yourself in any other way. Self-employment can include work in addition to your regular full-time business activities, such as certain part-time work you do at home or in addition to your regular job. You must file a return if your gross income is at least as much as the filing requirement amount for your filing status and age (shown in Table 1-1). Also, you must file Form 1040 or 1040-SR and Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax, if: 1. Your net earnings from self-employment (excluding church employee income) were $400 or more, or 2. You had church employee income of $108.28 or more. (See Table 1-3.) Use Schedule SE (Form 1040) to figure your self-employment tax. Self-employment tax is comparable to the social security and Medicare tax withheld from an employee's wages. For more information about this tax, see Pub. 334, Tax Guide for Small Business. Employees of foreign governments or international organizations. If you are a U.S. citizen who works in the United States for an international organization, a foreign government, or a wholly owned instrumentality of a foreign government, and your employer isn't required to withhold social security and Medicare taxes from your wages, you must include your earnings from services performed in the United States when figuring your net earnings from self-employment. Ministers. You must include income from services you performed as a minister when figuring your net earnings from self-employment, unless you have an exemption from self-employment tax. This also applies to Christian Science practitioners and members of a religious order who have not taken a vow of poverty. For more information, see Pub. 517. Aliens Your status as an alien (resident, nonresident, or dual-status) determines whether and how you must file an income tax return. The rules used to determine your alien status are discussed in Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens. Resident alien. If you are a resident alien for the entire year, you must file a tax return following the same rules that apply to U.S. citizens. Use the forms discussed in this publication. Nonresident alien. If you are a nonresident alien, the rules and tax forms that apply to you are different from those that apply to U.S. citizens and resident aliens. See Pub. 519 to find out if U.S. income tax laws apply to you and which forms you should file. Dual-status taxpayer. If you are a resident alien for part of the tax year and a nonresident alien for the rest of the year, you are a dual-status taxpayer. Different rules apply for each part of the year. For information on dual-status taxpayers, see Pub. 519. Who Should File Even if you don't have to file, you should file a federal income tax return to get money back if any of the following conditions apply. 1. You had federal income tax withheld or made estimated tax payments. 2. You qualify for the earned income credit. See Pub. 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC), for more information. 3. You qualify for the refundable child tax credit or additional child tax credit. See chapter 14 for more information. 4. You qualify for the premium tax credit. See Pub. 974, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), for more information. 5. You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. See Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit, and its instructions, for more information. 6. You qualify for the American opportunity credit. See Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for more information. 7. You qualify for the credit for federal tax on fuels. See chapter 13 for more information. 8. You qualify for the child and dependent care credit. Form 1040 or 1040-SR Use Form 1040 or 1040-SR to file your return. (But also see Why Should I File Electronically, later.) You can use Form 1040 or 1040-SR to report all types of income, deductions, and credits. Table 1-2. 2021 Filing Requirements for Dependents See chapter 3 to find out if someone can claim you as a dependent. If your parents (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this table to see if you must file a return. (See Table 1-3 for other situations when you must file.) In this table, unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. (See Scholarships and fellowships in chapter 8.) Gross income is the total of your earned and unearned income. Single dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? No. You must file a return if any of the following apply. • Your unearned income was more than $1,100. • Your earned income was more than $12,550. • Your gross income was more than the larger of: • $1,100, or • Your earned income (up to $12,200) plus $350. Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply. • Your unearned income was more than $2,800 ($4,500 if 65 or older and blind). • Your earned income was more than $14,250 ($15,950 if 65 or older and blind). • Your gross income was more than the larger of: • $2,800 ($4,500 if 65 or older and blind), or • Your earned income (up to $12,200) plus $2,050 ($3,750 if 65 or older and blind). Married dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? No. You must file a return if any of the following apply. • Your unearned income was more than $1,100. • Your earned income was more than $12,550. • Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. • Your gross income was more than the larger of: • $1,100, or • Your earned income (up to $12,200) plus $350. Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply. • Your unearned income was more than $2,450 ($3,800 if 65 or older and blind). • Your earned income was more than $13,900 ($15,250 if 65 or older and blind). • Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. • Your gross income was more than the larger of: • $2,450 ($3,800 if 65 or older and blind), or • Your earned income (up to $12,200) plus $1,700 ($3,050 if 65 or older and blind). Why Should I File Electronically? paper returns. However, as with a paper return, you are responsible for making sure your return contains accurate information and is filed on time. Electronic Filing If your return is filed with IRS e-file, you will receive an acknowledgment that your return was received and accepted. If you owe tax, you can e-file and pay electronically. The IRS has processed more than one billion e-filed returns safely and securely. Using e-file doesn't affect your chances of an IRS examination of your return. If your adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than a certain amount, you are eligible for Free File, a free tax software service offered by IRS partners, to prepare and e-file your return for free. If your income is over the amount, you are still eligible for Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. Table 1-4 lists the free ways to electronically file your return. IRS e-file uses automation to replace most of the manual steps needed to process paper returns. As a result, the processing of e-file returns is faster and more accurate than the processing of Requirements for an electronic return signature. To file your return electronically, you must sign the return electronically using a personal identification number (PIN). If you are filing online, you must use a Self-Select PIN. For 2021, if we issued you an identity protection personal identification number (IP PIN) (as de- scribed in more detail below), all six digits of your IP PIN must appear in the IP PIN spaces provided next to the space for your occupation for your electronic signature to be complete. Failure to include an issued IP PIN on the electronic return will result in an invalid signature and a rejected return. If you are filing a joint return and both taxpayers were issued an IP PIN, enter both IP PINs in the spaces provided. If you are filing electronically using a tax practitioner, you can use a Self-Select PIN or a Practitioner PIN. Self-Select PIN. The Self-Select PIN method allows you to create your own PIN. If you are married filing jointly, you and your spouse will each need to create a PIN and enter these PINs as your electronic signatures. A PIN is any combination of five digits you choose except five zeros. If you use a PIN, there is nothing to sign and nothing to mail—not even your Forms W-2. Your electronic return is considered a valid signed return only when it includes your PIN; last name; date of birth; IP PIN, if applicable; and AGI from your originally filed 2020 federal income tax return, if applicable. If you're filing jointly, your electronic return must also include your spouse's PIN; last name; date of birth; IP PIN, if applicable; and AGI, if applicable, in order to be considered validly signed. Don't use AGI from an amended return (Form 1040-X) or a math error correction made by the IRS. AGI is the amount shown on your 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR, line 11. If you don't have your 2020 income tax return, you can request a transcript by using our automated self-service tool. Go to IRS.gov/Transcript. (If you filed electronically last year, you, and your spouse if filing jointly, may use your prior year PIN to verify your identity instead of your prior year AGI. The prior year PIN is the five-digit PIN you used to electronically sign your 2020 return.) You will also be prompted to enter your date of birth. ! CAUTION You can’t use the Self-Select PIN method if you are a first-time filer under age 16 at the end of 2021. Practitioner PIN. The Practitioner PIN method allows you to authorize your tax practitioner to enter or generate your PIN. Your electronic return is considered a validly signed return only when it includes your PIN; last name; date of birth; and IP PIN, if applicable. If you’re filing jointly, your electronic return must also include your spouse’s PIN; last name; date of birth; and IP PIN, if applicable, in order to be considered a validly signed return. The practitioner can provide you with details. Form 8453. You must send in a paper Form 8453 if you have to attach certain forms or other documents that can’t be electronically filed. For details, see Form 8453. For more details, visit IRS.gov/efile. Identity Protection PIN. If the IRS gave you an identity protection personal identification number (IP PIN), enter it in the spaces provided on your tax form. If the IRS hasn’t given you this type of number, leave these spaces blank. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040. Chapter 1 Filing Information Page 9 Table 1-3. Other Situations When You Must File a 2021 Return You must file a return if any of the seven conditions below apply for 2021. 1. You owe any special taxes, including any of the following. a. Alternative minimum tax. b. Additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself. c. Household employment taxes. But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Schedule H by itself. d. Social security and Medicare tax on tips you didn't report to your employer or on wages you received from an employer who didn't withhold these taxes. e. Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security and Medicare or RRTA tax on tips you reported to your employer on group-term life insurance and additional taxes on health savings accounts. See the instructions for Schedule 2 (Form 1040), line 8. f. Recapture taxes. See the instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040-SR, line 16, and Schedule 2 (Form 1040), lines 10 through 18. 2. You (or your spouse, if filing jointly) received health savings account, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA distributions. 3. You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. 4. You had wages of $108.28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. 5. Advance payments of the premium tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or a dependent who enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace. You or whoever enrolled you should have received Form(s) 1095-A showing the amount of the advance payments. 6. Advance payments of the health coverage tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or a dependent. You or whoever enrolled you should have received Form(s) 1099-H showing the amount of the advance payments. 7. You are required to include amounts in income under section 965 or you have a net tax liability under section 965 that you are paying in installments under section 965(h) or deferred by making an election under section 965(i). All taxpayers are now eligible for an IP TIP PIN. For more information, see Pub. Table 1-4. Free Ways To e-file 5477. To apply for an IP PIN, go to IRS.gov/IPPIN and use the Get an IP PIN tool. Use Free File for free tax software and free e-file. • IRS partners offer name-brand products for free. Power of attorney. If an agent is signing your return for you, a power of attorney (POA) must be filed. Attach the POA to Form 8453 and file it using that form's instructions. See Signatures, later, for more information on POAs. • Many taxpayers are eligible for Free File software. • Everyone is eligible for Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. • Free File software and Free File Fillable Forms are available only at IRS.gov/FreeFile. State returns. In most states, you can file an electronic state return simultaneously with your federal return. For more information, check with your local IRS office, state tax agency, tax professional, or the IRS website at IRS.gov/efile. Refunds. You can have a refund check mailed to you, or you can have your refund deposited directly to your checking or savings account or split among two or three accounts. With e-file, your refund will be issued faster than if you filed on paper. As with a paper return, you may not get all of your refund if you owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or certain other federal nontax debts, such as student loans. See Offset against debts under Refunds, later. Refund inquiries. Information about your return will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return. See Refund Information, later. Amount you owe. To avoid late-payment penalties and interest, pay your taxes in full by April Page 10 Chapter 1 Filing Information Use VITA/TCE for free tax help from volunteers and free e-file. • Volunteers prepare your return and e-file it for free. • Some sites also offer do-it-yourself software. • You are eligible based either on your income or age. • Sites are located nationwide. Find one near you by visiting IRS.gov/VITA. 18, 2022 (for most people). See How To Pay, later, for in
2021 Publication 17
More about the Federal Publication 17 Individual Income Tax Tax Credit TY 2021
Publication 17 is the official IRS tax guidebook for individuals, and features close to 300 pages of tax information, instructions, tax rate tables, and more. The tax guide is updated yearly.
We last updated the Your Federal Income Tax Guide in January 2022, so this is the latest version of Publication 17, fully updated for tax year 2021. You can download or print current or past-year PDFs of Publication 17 directly from TaxFormFinder. You can print other Federal tax forms here.
Other Federal Individual Income Tax Forms:
|Form Code||Form Name|
|1040 (Schedule A)||Itemized Deductions|
|Form 1040-V||Payment Voucher|
|1040 (Schedule R)||Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled|
|Form 1040-EZ||Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents|
|Form 4868||Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return|
The Internal Revenue Service usually releases income tax forms for the current tax year between October and January, although changes to some forms can come even later. We last updated Federal Publication 17 from the Internal Revenue Service in January 2022.
Publication 17 is a Federal Individual Income Tax form. States often have dozens of even hundreds of various tax credits, which, unlike deductions, provide a dollar-for-dollar reduction of tax liability. Some common tax credits apply to many taxpayers, while others only apply to extremely specific situations. In most cases, you will have to provide evidence to show that you are eligible for the tax credit, and calculate the amount of the credit to which you are entitled.
About the Individual Income Tax
The IRS and most states collect a personal income tax, which is paid throughout the year via tax withholding or estimated income tax payments.
Most taxpayers are required to file a yearly income tax return in April to both the Internal Revenue Service and their state's revenue department, which will result in either a tax refund of excess withheld income or a tax payment if the withholding does not cover the taxpayer's entire liability. Every taxpayer's situation is different - please consult a CPA or licensed tax preparer to ensure that you are filing the correct tax forms!
Historical Past-Year Versions of Federal Publication 17
We have a total of six past-year versions of Publication 17 in the TaxFormFinder archives, including for the previous tax year. Download past year versions of this tax form as PDFs here:
2021 Publication 17
2020 Publication 17
2018 Publication 17
2017 Publication 17
2016 Publication 17
2015 Publication 17
While we do our best to keep our list of Federal Income Tax Forms up to date and complete, we cannot be held liable for errors or omissions. Is the form on this page out-of-date or not working? Please let us know and we will fix it ASAP.