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General Information about Federal 1040EZ

What are your rights as a taxpayer?
You have the right to be treated fairly, professionally, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees. Our goal at the IRS is to protect your rights so that you will have the highest confidence in the integrity, efficiency, and fairness of our tax system. To ensure that you always receive such treatment, you should know about the many rights you have at each step of the tax process.

Innocent spouse relief.
Generally, both you and your spouse are each responsible for paying the full amount of tax, interest, and penalties on your joint return. However, you may qualify for relief from liability for tax on a joint return if (a) there is an understatement of tax because your spouse omitted income or claimed false deductions or credits, (b) you are divorced, separated, or no longer living with your spouse, or (c) given all the facts and circumstances, it would not be fair to hold you liable for the tax. To request relief, you generally must file Form 8857 no later than 2 years after the date on which the IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you. For more information, see Pub. 971 and Form 8857 or you can call the Innocent Spouse office toll-free at 1-866-897-4270.

Income tax withholding and estimated tax payments for 2008.
If the amount you owe or your refund is large, you may want to file a new Form W-4 with your employer to change the amount of income tax withheld from your 2008 pay. For details on how to complete Form W-4, see Pub. 919. If you receive certain government payments (such as unemployment compensation or social security benefits) you can have tax withheld from those payments by giving the payer Form W-4V. In general, you do not have to make estimated tax payments if you expect that your 2008 tax return will show a tax refund or a tax balance due of less than $1,000. See Pub. 505 for more details.

How long should you keep your tax return?
Keep a copy of your tax return, worksheets you used, and records of all items appearing on it (such as Forms W-2 and 1099) until the statute of limitations runs out for that return. Usually, this is 3 years from the date the return was due or filed or 2 years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. You should keep some records longer. See Pub. 552 for details.

How do you amend your tax return?
Use Form 1040X to change a return you already filed. Generally, Form 1040X must be filed within 3 years after the date the original return was filed or within 2 years after the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. But you may have more time to file Form 1040X if you live in a Presidentially declared disaster area or you are physically or mentally unable to manage your financial affairs. See Pub. 556 for details.

How do you make a gift to reduce debt held by the public?
If you wish to do so, make a check payable to “Bureau of the Public Debt.” You can send it to: Bureau of the Public Debt, Department G, P.O. Box 2188, Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188. Or you can enclose the check with your income tax return when you file.