Filing Your Federal Taxes: In-Depth
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed January 07, 2021
Let's be honest, filing your taxes is a complicated and time-consuming process. One of the reasons why is because of the lack of easily accessible and reliable information about current tax laws and procedures. Just knowing where to start can be a challenge.
FindLaw would like to help by providing an in-depth look at filing your federal taxes to decode the process. Below, you'll find a guide to links containing detailed information on issues that typically arise during the federal tax filing process — from claiming deductions to requesting extensions. For an overview to the entire federal tax filing process, see FindLaw's Step-by-Step Guide to Filing Your Federal Taxes.
Deductions and Tax Exemptions
Depending on who you are and what you do, you may be eligible for any number of tax deductions and exemptions to reduce your taxable income. At the end of the day, these could have a significant impact on your tax exposure. Starting with the standard deduction, the links below will help you determine how to shrink your income — for tax purposes, of course.
- The Standard Deduction
- Who Should Itemize?
- List of Itemized Deductions (IRS)
- Tax Breaks Every Parent Should Know About
- Top Seven Tax Deductions for Seniors and Retirees
- Top Ten Tax Deductions for Landlords
- Best Tax Deductions for Professionals
- Tax Exemptions (IRS)
- Checklist: Non-Deductible Expenses
Common Tax Credits
Tax credits are also another way to reduce your tax exposure and possibly obtain a tax refund when the dust settles. Check out the links below to learn more.
- Earned Income Tax Credit - Do You Qualify? (IRS)
- Earned Income Tax Credit Publications, Forms, and More (IRS)
- Child Tax Credits (IRS)
- Child Tax Credit publication (IRS)
Filing Taxes From Outside the U.S.
In this increasingly globalized world, it's not surprising to find yourself living abroad for business or personal reasons, or simply for pleasure. Those serving in the military also find themselves living in other countries at one time or another due to their service obligations. There are also those who have immigrated to, and worked in, the U.S. at one time or another who may have questions about filing taxes in the U.S. The resources below can help to answer many of these questions.
- Taxes for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad (IRS)
- Immigration and Taxes: Who Has to Pay U.S. Taxes?
Extensions and Filing Late
There are many reasons why you might need a filing extension for your taxes. Perhaps you've been waiting on records from multiple employers or maybe you had a significant personal event that has consumed your focus. Whatever the reason, the links below will help you understand what is required to extend your tax deadline.
- Did You Know...? Filing a Tax Extension
- Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return (IRS)
- Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File (IRS) [PDF]
- Filing Late Returns FAQ
Let a Tax Professional Help You With Your Federal Taxes
As one of the only two sure things in life, paying taxes is something you get to look forward to each year. However, with all of the changing tax laws, it's often a convoluted process and the risk of getting it wrong can be costly. You should speak with an expert who understands current federal and state tax laws. Get in touch with an experienced tax attorney near you today.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.