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Paper Tax Returns: How and Where to File

February 11, 2016

A large number of taxpayers still prefer to file paper tax returns. For those who are not computer savvy, paper filing is preferable to electronic filing. If you are more comfortable filing a paper return, reviewing the following IRS online services may simplify the seemingly complex process of preparing and filing your return.

‘Do I Need to File a Tax Return?’

If you are unsure of whether or not you’re required to file, you may visit IRS.gov to determine the criteria. You will need your filing status, federal income tax withheld, and basic information to help you determine your gross income.

Determining Your Filing Status

Your filing status can affect your standard deduction, eligibility for certain credits, tax liability and filing requirements. If you are eligible to use more than one filing status, you may determine the one that saves you the most in taxes using the IRS service, ‘What Is My Filing Status?’.

When you use this service, you will need your marital status, and the percentage of the costs that your household members paid towards keeping up a home. If your spouse is deceased, you also need your spouse’s year of death.

Downloadable Tax Forms

To obtain tax forms, including Form 1040, Form W-9, Form W-4, Form 9465, Form 8962, Form 941, and Form 1040-EZ, you can use the IRS Forms and Publications page. Tax forms and publications for individuals and businesses are available for download and print. The IRS also provides prior year forms, instructions and publications for download and print.

If you do not find a tax form that you need in order to file, you may request the form(s) by U.S. mail. You may order up to 100 different products and up to 100 copies of each form you order. To place an order, you may use this page: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Forms-and-Publications-by-U.S.-Mail

‘Where to File Paper Tax Returns’

Depending upon the tax form you are filing and your state, the mailing address changes. Those filing Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040ES, 1040V, amended returns, and extensions (also addresses for taxpayers in foreign countries, U.S. possessions, or with other international filing characteristics) can use this IRS page to find out the address to which to send the paper return: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Where-to-File-Addresses-for-Tax-Professionals#stateLinks

You may check the status of your refund on the IRS service ‘Where My Refund?’ four weeks after you mail your paper return.

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