To encourage e-filing, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers taxpayers an array of printable online tax forms. Because the agency no longer mails forms to individuals or tax professionals, this service is the main source of federal tax forms for most taxpayers. Most states have followed the IRS example and also offer their forms online.
IRS-Offered Printable Online Tax Forms
The first place to start your search for printable online tax forms is the IRS website. The agency's website provides a total of 19 tax forms in PDF format that are printable from any personal computer. Additionally, it offers instructions to assist taxpayers in the proper completion of printed forms and publications to explain their purpose. Instructions are also in PDF format, but publications are not. Both are printable from a personal computer. Many forms are also available in Spanish.
To access online forms, select "Individuals" at the top of the IRS website and then the "Forms and Publications" link located on the left hand side of the page. You will then see a list of printable forms, including the 1040, 1040-EZ, 4868 form for an extension of time and Schedule A for itemized deductions.
Eight tax forms are not printable, including W-2s and 3s, 1096, 1098, 1099 and 8109-B. These forms require special ink and paper, and because of that the IRS does not offer them to taxpayers online.
If you want more information about tax forms, select the "Form and Instruction Number" link located underneath the list of forms. This page provides the number and title of all IRS forms, their date of most recent revision and when they were posted online. Revision and posting dates will assist you in ensuring that you complete the most updated form. Selecting a form number takes you to its PDF page, will allows you to print.
The IRS Free File and Tax Map
This IRS Tax Map program assists taxpayers in understanding their tax issues and determining which form they must complete. It divides tax issues by topics and provides a list of -and live link to- forms applicable for each topic. It also provides live links to publications concerning the searched-for topic.
The IRS also offers taxpayers the "IRS Free File" program, which assists medium to low-income individuals earning less than $58,000 per year with free tax preparation services. The program is the result of an alliance between the IRS and tax software companies. Free File allows users to complete their taxes online, then print and mail the completed form. This format ensures that the completed form will be legible. However, the service requires users to calculate their annual income independently.
State Tax Forms
Many states provide their income tax forms on their tax authority website. In most states, the tax authority is either the Department of Revenue or the Tax Commission. On these agency websites taxpayers can select and print the proper form, complete it as required and mail it to the appropriate authority.
Other Printable Tax Forms
Many other companies offer printable tax forms. However, there is no guarantee that these forms will be the most current revisions of required state or federal forms. Always compare any forms not provided by the IRS to the one on the IRS website to ensure that you complete the correct form.
- H & R Block: This company offers users printable, basic forms for free, but charges $29.95 for more complex forms. You must register with the website before gaining access to the printable forms.
- Taxact: This website provides free tax software for basic and complex tax returns. Users can print their forms after completing them online.
- Income Tax Pro Net: This page offers links to printable, federal tax forms. It also offers links to all 50 state's tax agencies.
- Finance for Families: This website provides not only the 1040 and 1040-EZ forms, but also information on who must file taxes, instructions on completing the forms and publications explaining general tax laws and rules.
Your Tax Return
Obtaining printable online tax forms is not difficult, and just may make your tax preparation easier. The fact that they are free, moreover, means that you will not need to pay an accountant or other tax professional money to access the forms. Ensure you use the most recent forms, and also make sure that the forms are exactly what you need for your tax preparation.