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General Faq
Can I get copies of my prior year Forms W-2 from the IRS?

The quickest way to obtain a copy of a prior year Form W-2 (PDF) is through your employer. If that is not possible, you can order and pay for copies of your entire return (attachments include Form W-2) from IRS, or order W-2 information at no charge from IRS. IRS can provide W-2 information for up to 10 years. Information for the current year is generally not available until the year after it is filed with the IRS. For example, W-2 information for 2003, filed in 2004, will be available from IRS until 2006.
To receive a copy of your return or transcript, complete and mail Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return or Form 4506-T (PDF) Request for Transcript of Tax Return. You should allow 60 calendar days for a response.
Can I ask to make installment payments on the amount I owe?
Yes. If you cannot pay the full amount due as shown on your return, you can ask to make monthly installment payments. However, you will be charged a one time user fee of $43.00, as well as interest on any tax not paid by its due date, and you can be charged a late payment penalty unless you can show reasonable cause for not paying the tax by April 15, even if your request to pay in installments is granted. Before requesting an installment agreement, you should consider less costly alternatives such as a bank loan.
To request an installment agreement, send Form 9465 (PDF), Installment Agreement Request, with your return or call (800) 829-1040. You should receive a response within 30 days. For more details on installment payments, refer to Tax Topic 202, What to do if You Can't Pay Your Tax, or Publication 594 (PDF), Understanding the Collection Process.
How do I know if I have to file quarterly individual estimated tax payments?
Estimated tax payments can be used to pay Federal income tax, self-employment tax, and household employment tax. To estimate if you need to pay tax on income not subject to withholding or on other income from which not enough tax is withheld, you need to calculate if the total tax you'll owe on your annual income tax return will be covered by the amount of tax you have already had either:

  • withheld from wages and other payments, or
  • paid in earlier estimated payments for the year, or
  • credited to your account from adjustments or overpayments to previously filed returns.
Generally, you should make estimated tax payments if you will owe tax of $1,000 or more, after withholding and credits, and the total amount of tax withheld and your credits will be less than the smaller of:
90% of the tax to be shown on your current tax return, or
  1. 100% of the tax shown on your prior year's tax return, if your prior year's tax return covered all 12 months of the year. However, if your prior year's adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000, or $75,000 if you filed a separate return from your spouse, then you must pay 110% instead of 100% of last year's tax. (Note: the percentages change depending on the tax year. Refer to

    Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.)

Estimated tax requirements are different for farmers and fishermen.

Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, provides more information about these special estimated tax rules and about estimated tax in general. Get Form 1040-ES (PDF), Estimated Tax for Individuals, to help you figure your estimated tax liability for 2004.
Should I notify the IRS of my change of address?

If you moved, you need to notify the IRS of your new address. We can change our records so that any tax refunds due you or any other IRS communications will reach you in a timely manner. Refer to Tax Topic 157, Change of Address - How to Notify IRS, for additional information
Procedure
(1) What should I do if I made a mistake on my federal return that I have already filed?

It depends on the type of mistake that was made. Many mathematical errors are caught in the processing of the tax return itself. If you did not attach a required schedule the service will contact you and ask for the missing information.
If you did not report all your income or did not claim a credit, you are entitled to file an amended or corrected return using Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Include copies of any schedules that have been changed or any Forms W-2 you did not include. The Form 1040X should be submitted after you receive your refund or by the due date of the return, whichever, is earlier. Generally, to claim a refund, the Form 1040X must be received within three years after the date you filed your original return or within two years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
(2)How do I fill out the amended return Form 1040X?
Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is designed with three columns. Column A is used to show the figures from the original return. "However, if you previously amended that return or it was changed by the IRS, enter the adjusted amounts." Column C is used to show the correct figures. The difference between the figures in Columns A and C is shown in Column B. On the back of the form you need to explain the specific changes being made on the return and the reason for each change. If the changes involve another schedule or form, attach it to Form 1040X. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of the form as required.
(3)Can you send an amended tax return electronically?
No, an amended return must be filed on a paper Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and mailed to your servicing center for processing. You may submit the form once your original return has processed.
(4)How can I correct a mistake on my federal e-file return?
Once accepted, you must allow the e-file return to process before making any changes. You cannot correct a mistake on a federal return which was filed electronically. You need to file an amended or corrected return using Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, as soon as possible. Include copies of any schedules that have been changed or any Forms W-2 you did not include. The 1040X is a paper form. (5)How can I check the status of my amended return?
You will need to contact our assistance line at (800) 829-1040 to receive information on the processing of your amended return. Amended/corrected returns are processed as quickly as possible. However, it could take 8 to 12 weeks to process an amended return.
Name and SSN Issues:
How can I correct the spelling of my name with IRS?
The name on the refund check is spelled the way it appears on your tax return. If the address label you receive is spelled wrong, do not use the label. Instead, print the information on the tax return. You can also call (800) 829-1040 and we can change the spelling of your name over the phone.
Do I need to change my maiden name to my married name on my social security card for us to file jointly?
You can still file Married Filing Jointly without changing your name with the Social Security Administration. However, you do need to show your maiden name on the tax return instead of your married name.
If I go to the Social Security Administration office to change my name, how long does it take the IRS to update its records?
IRS records are generally updated 10 days after the records at the Social Security Administration are changed.

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