Income tax forms are available in both electronic and paper products. These forms have instructions or publications to accompany them, all items available online at www.irs.gov. Individual and business taxpayers will no longer receive tax packets in the mail according to a TY2010 notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Tax forms, instructions and publications are online and include extension forms, fill-in forms and “information only” forms. The IRS uses the universal PDF document to distribute their information and publications. IRS workers verify all documents before posting them at www.irs.gov.
Since TY2004, PDF fill-in forms with “document rights” are available to taxpayers. You can insert the information, save and print your file thus insuring the integrity of your figures and calculations. Tax forms need to be consistent with the official IRS documents and must not have negative impact on the processing system.
There are some electronic files at www.irs.gov which are “for information only” and not for filing purposes. These forms are “machine readable” and must be on unique paper using distinctive ink and have other strict specifications. They are accessible by phone or online following the directions at the website.
Changes and corrections to forms and publications for use to file TY2011 income tax returns are already part of an extensive list found at the website1. As soon as this list is complete, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) can distribute the IRS Tax Products DVD. It contains:
- Current year forms, publications and instructions
- Prior year forms, publications and instructions
- Internal Revenue Service Code
- The IRS Tax Map, an electronic research tool and finding aid
- Frequently asked questions
- Topics and articles from the IRS phone response system
- Fill-in, print and save features for most of the tax forms
- IRS Bulletins
- Technical support toll free and by email
- January and March DVD updates
The DVD is publication 1796 and is available from NTIS online for $30.00. You will receive it by U S Postal Service First Class Mail. There are no additional shipping and handling fees. Information on the DVDs is up-to-date on the day the NTIS mails it out to you.
Taxpayers and eReaders
Tax reporting is taking a new route for filing TY2011 returns. People with a Kindle eReader will be able to get the Form 1040 instructions, the Form 1040 Schedule A instructions and Publication 590 for Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). The IRS will catch up with taxpayers wherever they may go. The topical lookup tool, IRS Tax Map, is viewable online. This resembles a table of contents for tax law research. It is new, innovative and brings information to the level of the taxpayer who wants to understand the income tax filing at a deeper level. This tool is in the testing phase right now and taxpayers using it should send feedback or comments to the Internal Revenue Service.
State Income Tax Forms
The Federation of Tax Administrators has an online presence providing connections to income tax forms from the states collecting an income tax2. In most cases, the information you place on Form 1040 and its variety of schedules will transfer in whole or in part to the forms in use at the state level. This applies to 41 United States and the District of Columbia.