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What is the Federal Tax booklet used for?

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Quick Answer

The federal tax booklet, otherwise known as "Publication 17" of the Internal Revenue Service, guides taxpayers when they are filing their federal taxes, as detailed by the IRS. "Publication 17" performs this type of guidance by interpreting for taxpayers the tax laws as enacted by Congress, treasury regulations and court decisions related to income tax issues. "Publication 17" is revised every tax year and opens by going over the recent changes that have been made in tax regulations.

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"Publication 17" then goes on to lead the taxpayer through the process of filing and paying taxes by explaining the circumstances under which an individual has to file a return, what type of form the individual should use, and how to prepare a return and pay taxes if any are due, as reported by the IRS. The publication advises the user on the difference between filing taxes in paper and filing them online.

"Publication 17" is broken up into sections or chapters, each that cover particular issues the taxpayer may face when filing his federal taxes, as seen in the IRS website. Such categories include addressing questions about the filing status the individual should choose, how to claim exemptions and dependents, explaining the difference between withheld and estimated taxes, and how to deal with and record all different kinds of income. The publication states at the beginning that not all circumstances can be covered in the guide.

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