How Does One Find Instructions for the IRS Publication 17?

The fastest way for taxpayers to obtain U.S. Internal Revenue Services Publication 17 and the included instructions for filing a federal income tax return is to download it as a PDF file from the official IRS website. The agency also makes the publication available by mail upon request, or at IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers and select physical locations in communities around the country, according to TurboTax.

IRS Publication 17, titled "Your Federal Income Tax," is not a form that needs its own set of instructions. Instead, it is a booklet of supplemental instructions for filing a federal income tax return. Federal income tax forms, such as the 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, come with a set of instructions that provides sufficient information for most taxpayers to complete the forms. However, additional information and explanations about the intricacies of federal tax law can sometimes help a subset of taxpayers pay only the taxes they owe and no more, according to the IRS. Publication 17 helps fill that information gap.

The publication goes into depth about tax topics such as filing status, handling retirement income and taking deductions. The booklet is published every tax year, according to the agency, and the IRS makes it available in print and on the agency's website as a PDF file and an HTML Web page.