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Taxpayers who need certain prior year tax return information can obtain it from the IRS. Here are nine things to know if you need federal tax return information from a previously filed tax return.

          1. There are three options for obtaining free copies of your federal tax return information on the web, by phone or by mail.

          2. The IRS does not charge a fee for transcripts, which are presently available for the current tax year as well as the past three tax years.

          3. A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not reflect any changes made after the return was filed.

          4. A tax account transcript shows any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after the tax return was filed. This transcript shows basic data including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income.

          5. To request either transcript online, go to http://www.irs.gov and look for our new online tool called Order A Transcript. To order by phone, call 800-908-9946 and follow the prompts in the recorded message.

          6. To request a 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ tax return transcript through the mail, complete IRS Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript. Businesses, partnerships and individuals who need transcript information from other forms or need a tax account transcript must use the Form 4506T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

          7. If you order online or by phone, you should receive your tax return transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives your request. Allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail using Form 4506T or Form 4506T-EZ.

          8. If you still need an actual copy of a previously processed tax return, it will cost $57 for each tax year that you order. Complete Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form for your area. Copies are generally available for the current year as well as the past six years. Please allow 60 days for actual copies of your return.


How to Get Your Prior Year Tax Information
from the IRS
Visit http://www.irs.gov to determine which form will meet your needs.
Forms 4506, 4506T and 4506T-EZ can be found at http://www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS forms and publications order line at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
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Ten Facts about the Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit is an important tax credit that may be worth as much as $1,000 per qualifying child depending upon your income. Here are 10 important facts from the IRS about this credit and how it may benefit your family.

          1. Amount - With the Child Tax Credit, you may be able to reduce your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under the age of 17.

          2. Qualification - A qualifying child for this credit is someone who meets the qualifying criteria of six tests: age, relationship, support, dependent, citizenship, and residence.

          3. Age Test - To qualify, a child must have been under age 17 age 16 or younger at the end of 2010.

          4. Relationship Test - To claim a child for purposes of the Child Tax Credit, they must either be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of these individuals, which includes your grandchild, niece or nephew. An adopted child is always treated as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.

          5. Support Test - In order to claim a child for this credit, the child must not have provided more than half of their own support.

          6. Dependent Test - You must claim the child as a dependent on your federal tax return.

          7. Citizenship Test - To meet the citizenship test, the child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien.

          8. Residence Test - The child must have lived with you for more than half of 2010. There are some exceptions to the residence test, which can be found in IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.

          9. Limitations - The credit is limited if your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. The amount at which this phase-out begins varies depending on your filing status. For married taxpayers filing a joint return, the phase-out begins at $110,000. For married taxpayers filing a separate return, it begins at $55,000. For all other taxpayers, the phase-out begins at $75,000. In addition, the Child Tax Credit is generally limited by the amount of the income tax you owe as well as any alternative minimum tax you owe.


Additional Child Tax Credit - If the amount of your Child Tax Credit is greater than the amount of income tax you owe, you may be able to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit.
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