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File 2010 State Taxes

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File 2010 State Taxes

File 2010 state taxes 5. File 2010 state taxes   Recordkeeping Table of Contents How To Prove ExpensesWhat Are Adequate Records? What If I Have Incomplete Records? Separating and Combining Expenses How Long To Keep Records and Receipts Examples of Records If you deduct travel, entertainment, gift, or transportation expenses, you must be able to prove (substantiate) certain elements of expense. File 2010 state taxes This chapter discusses the records you need to keep to prove these expenses. File 2010 state taxes If you keep timely and accurate records, you will have support to show the IRS if your tax return is ever examined. File 2010 state taxes You will also have proof of expenses that your employer may require if you are reimbursed under an accountable plan. File 2010 state taxes These plans are discussed in chapter 6 under Reimbursements . File 2010 state taxes How To Prove Expenses Table 5-1 is a summary of records you need to prove each expense discussed in this publication. File 2010 state taxes You must be able to prove the elements listed across the top portion of the chart. File 2010 state taxes You prove them by having the information and receipts (where needed) for the expenses listed in the first column. File 2010 state taxes You cannot deduct amounts that you approximate or estimate. File 2010 state taxes You should keep adequate records to prove your expenses or have sufficient evidence that will support your own statement. File 2010 state taxes You must generally prepare a written record for it to be considered adequate. File 2010 state taxes This is because written evidence is more reliable than oral evidence alone. File 2010 state taxes However, if you prepare a record on a computer, it is considered an adequate record. File 2010 state taxes What Are Adequate Records? You should keep the proof you need in an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record. File 2010 state taxes You should also keep documentary evidence that, together with your record, will support each element of an expense. File 2010 state taxes Documentary evidence. File 2010 state taxes   You generally must have documentary evidence, such as receipts, canceled checks, or bills, to support your expenses. File 2010 state taxes Exception. File 2010 state taxes   Documentary evidence is not needed if any of the following conditions apply. File 2010 state taxes You have meals or lodging expenses while traveling away from home for which you account to your employer under an accountable plan, and you use a per diem allowance method that includes meals and/or lodging. File 2010 state taxes ( Accountable plans and per diem allowances are discussed in chapter 6. File 2010 state taxes ) Your expense, other than lodging, is less than $75. File 2010 state taxes You have a transportation expense for which a receipt is not readily available. File 2010 state taxes Adequate evidence. File 2010 state taxes   Documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense. File 2010 state taxes   For example, a hotel receipt is enough to support expenses for business travel if it has all of the following information. File 2010 state taxes The name and location of the hotel. File 2010 state taxes The dates you stayed there. File 2010 state taxes Separate amounts for charges such as lodging, meals, and telephone calls. File 2010 state taxes   A restaurant receipt is enough to prove an expense for a business meal if it has all of the following information. File 2010 state taxes The name and location of the restaurant. File 2010 state taxes The number of people served. File 2010 state taxes The date and amount of the expense. File 2010 state taxes If a charge is made for items other than food and beverages, the receipt must show that this is the case. File 2010 state taxes Canceled check. File 2010 state taxes   A canceled check, together with a bill from the payee, ordinarily establishes the cost. File 2010 state taxes However, a canceled check by itself does not prove a business expense without other evidence to show that it was for a business purpose. File 2010 state taxes Duplicate information. File 2010 state taxes   You do not have to record information in your account book or other record that duplicates information shown on a receipt as long as your records and receipts complement each other in an orderly manner. File 2010 state taxes   You do not have to record amounts your employer pays directly for any ticket or other travel item. File 2010 state taxes However, if you charge these items to your employer, through a credit card or otherwise, you must keep a record of the amounts you spend. File 2010 state taxes Timely-kept records. File 2010 state taxes   You should record the elements of an expense or of a business use at or near the time of the expense or use and support it with sufficient documentary evidence. File 2010 state taxes A timely-kept record has more value than a statement prepared later when generally there is a lack of accurate recall. File 2010 state taxes   You do not need to write down the elements of every expense on the day of the expense. File 2010 state taxes If you maintain a log on a weekly basis that accounts for use during the week, the log is considered a timely-kept record. File 2010 state taxes   If you give your employer, client, or customer an expense account statement, it can also be considered a timely-kept record. File 2010 state taxes This is true if you copy it from your account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record. File 2010 state taxes Proving business purpose. File 2010 state taxes   You must generally provide a written statement of the business purpose of an expense. File 2010 state taxes However, the degree of proof varies according to the circumstances in each case. File 2010 state taxes If the business purpose of an expense is clear from the surrounding circumstances, then you do not need to give a written explanation. File 2010 state taxes Example. File 2010 state taxes If you are a sales representative who calls on customers on an established sales route, you do not have to give a written explanation of the business purpose for traveling that route. File 2010 state taxes You can satisfy the requirements by recording the length of the delivery route once, the date of each trip at or near the time of the trips, and the total miles you drove the car during the tax year. File 2010 state taxes You could also establish the date of each trip with a receipt, record of delivery, or other documentary evidence. File 2010 state taxes Confidential information. File 2010 state taxes   You do not need to put confidential information relating to an element of a deductible expense (such as the place, business purpose, or business relationship) in your account book, diary, or other record. File 2010 state taxes However, you do have to record the information elsewhere at or near the time of the expense and have it available to fully prove that element of the expense. File 2010 state taxes What If I Have Incomplete Records? If you do not have complete records to prove an element of an expense, then you must prove the element with: Your own written or oral statement containing specific information about the element, and Other supporting evidence that is sufficient to establish the element. File 2010 state taxes If the element is the description of a gift, or the cost, time, place, or date of an expense, the supporting evidence must be either direct evidence or documentary evidence. File 2010 state taxes Direct evidence can be written statements or the oral testimony of your guests or other witnesses setting forth detailed information about the element. File 2010 state taxes Documentary evidence can be receipts, paid bills, or similar evidence. File 2010 state taxes If the element is either the business relationship of your guests or the business purpose of the amount spent, the supporting evidence can be circumstantial rather than direct. File 2010 state taxes For example, the nature of your work, such as making deliveries, provides circumstantial evidence of the use of your car for business purposes. File 2010 state taxes Invoices of deliveries establish when you used the car for business. File 2010 state taxes Table 5-1. File 2010 state taxes How To Prove Certain Business Expenses IF you have expenses for . File 2010 state taxes . File 2010 state taxes THEN you must keep records that show details of the following elements . File 2010 state taxes . File 2010 state taxes . File 2010 state taxes   Amount Time Place or  Description Business Purpose Business Relationship Travel Cost of each separate expense for travel, lodging, and meals. File 2010 state taxes Incidental expenses may be totaled in reasonable categories such as taxis, fees and tips, etc. File 2010 state taxes Dates you left and returned for each trip and number of days spent on business. File 2010 state taxes Destination or area of your travel (name of city, town, or other designation). File 2010 state taxes Purpose: Business purpose for the expense or the business benefit gained or expected to be gained. File 2010 state taxes    Relationship: N/A Entertainment Cost of each separate expense. File 2010 state taxes Incidental expenses such as taxis, telephones, etc. File 2010 state taxes , may be totaled on a daily basis. File 2010 state taxes Date of entertainment. File 2010 state taxes (Also see Business Purpose. File 2010 state taxes ) Name and address or location of place of entertainment. File 2010 state taxes Type of entertainment if not otherwise apparent. File 2010 state taxes (Also see Business Purpose. File 2010 state taxes ) Purpose: Business purpose for the expense or the business benefit gained or expected to be gained. File 2010 state taxes  For entertainment, the nature of the business discussion or activity. File 2010 state taxes If the entertainment was directly before or after a business discussion: the date, place, nature, and duration of the business discussion, and the identities of the persons who took part in both the business discussion and the entertainment activity. File 2010 state taxes    Relationship: Occupations or other information (such as names, titles, or other designations) about the recipients that shows their business relationship to you. File 2010 state taxes  For entertainment, you must also prove that you or your employee was present if the entertainment was a business meal. File 2010 state taxes Gifts Cost of the gift. File 2010 state taxes Date of the gift. File 2010 state taxes Description of the gift. File 2010 state taxes   Transportation Cost of each separate expense. File 2010 state taxes For car expenses, the cost of the car and any improvements, the date you started using it for business, the mileage for each business use, and the total miles for the year. File 2010 state taxes Date of the expense. File 2010 state taxes For car expenses, the date of the use of the car. File 2010 state taxes Your business destination. File 2010 state taxes Purpose: Business purpose for the expense. File 2010 state taxes    Relationship: N/A Sampling. File 2010 state taxes   You can keep an adequate record for parts of a tax year and use that record to prove the amount of business or investment use for the entire year. File 2010 state taxes You must demonstrate by other evidence that the periods for which an adequate record is kept are representative of the use throughout the tax year. File 2010 state taxes Example. File 2010 state taxes You use your car to visit the offices of clients, meet with suppliers and other subcontractors, and pick up and deliver items to clients. File 2010 state taxes There is no other business use of the car, but you and your family use the car for personal purposes. File 2010 state taxes You keep adequate records during the first week of each month that show that 75% of the use of the car is for business. File 2010 state taxes Invoices and bills show that your business use continues at the same rate during the later weeks of each month. File 2010 state taxes Your weekly records are representative of the use of the car each month and are sufficient evidence to support the percentage of business use for the year. File 2010 state taxes Exceptional circumstances. File 2010 state taxes   You can satisfy the substantiation requirements with other evidence if, because of the nature of the situation in which an expense is made, you cannot get a receipt. File 2010 state taxes This applies if all the following are true. File 2010 state taxes You were unable to obtain evidence for an element of the expense or use that completely satisfies the requirements explained earlier under What Are Adequate Records . File 2010 state taxes You are unable to obtain evidence for an element that completely satisfies the two rules listed earlier under What If I Have Incomplete Records . File 2010 state taxes You have presented other evidence for the element that is the best proof possible under the circumstances. File 2010 state taxes Destroyed records. File 2010 state taxes   If you cannot produce a receipt because of reasons beyond your control, you can prove a deduction by reconstructing your records or expenses. File 2010 state taxes Reasons beyond your control include fire, flood, and other casualties. File 2010 state taxes    Table 5-2. File 2010 state taxes Daily Business Mileage and Expense Log Name:       Odometer Readings Expenses Date Destination  (City, Town, or Area) Business Purpose Start Stop Miles  this trip Type  (Gas, oil, tolls, etc. File 2010 state taxes ) Amount                                                                                                                   Weekly  Total             Total Year-to-Date             Separating and Combining Expenses This section explains when expenses must be kept separate and when expenses can be combined. File 2010 state taxes Separating expenses. File 2010 state taxes   Each separate payment is generally considered a separate expense. File 2010 state taxes For example, if you entertain a customer or client at dinner and then go to the theater, the dinner expense and the cost of the theater tickets are two separate expenses. File 2010 state taxes You must record them separately in your records. File 2010 state taxes Season or series tickets. File 2010 state taxes   If you buy season or series tickets for business use, you must treat each ticket in the series as a separate item. File 2010 state taxes To determine the cost of individual tickets, divide the total cost (but not more than face value) by the number of games or performances in the series. File 2010 state taxes You must keep records to show whether you use each ticket as a gift or entertainment. File 2010 state taxes Also, you must be able to prove the cost of nonluxury box seat tickets if you rent a skybox or other private luxury box for more than one event. File 2010 state taxes See Entertainment tickets in chapter 2. File 2010 state taxes Combining items. File 2010 state taxes   You can make one daily entry in your record for reasonable categories of expenses. File 2010 state taxes Examples are taxi fares, telephone calls, or other incidental travel costs. File 2010 state taxes Meals should be in a separate category. File 2010 state taxes You can include tips for meal-related services with the costs of the meals. File 2010 state taxes   Expenses of a similar nature occurring during the course of a single event are considered a single expense. File 2010 state taxes For example, if during entertainment at a cocktail lounge, you pay separately for each serving of refreshments, the total expense for the refreshments is treated as a single expense. File 2010 state taxes Car expenses. File 2010 state taxes   You can account for several uses of your car that can be considered part of a single use, such as a round trip or uninterrupted business use, with a single record. File 2010 state taxes Minimal personal use, such as a stop for lunch on the way between two business stops, is not an interruption of business use. File 2010 state taxes Example. File 2010 state taxes You make deliveries at several different locations on a route that begins and ends at your employer's business premises and that includes a stop at the business premises between two deliveries. File 2010 state taxes You can account for these using a single record of miles driven. File 2010 state taxes Gift expenses. File 2010 state taxes   You do not always have to record the name of each recipient of a gift. File 2010 state taxes A general listing will be enough if it is evident that you are not trying to avoid the $25 annual limit on the amount you can deduct for gifts to any one person. File 2010 state taxes For example, if you buy a large number of tickets to local high school basketball games and give one or two tickets to each of many customers, it is usually enough to record a general description of the recipients. File 2010 state taxes Allocating total cost. File 2010 state taxes   If you can prove the total cost of travel or entertainment but you cannot prove how much it cost for each person who participated in the event, you may have to allocate the total cost among you and your guests on a pro rata basis. File 2010 state taxes To do so, you must establish the number of persons who participated in the event. File 2010 state taxes   An allocation would be needed, for example, if you did not have a business relationship with all of your guests. File 2010 state taxes See Allocating between business and nonbusiness in chapter 2. File 2010 state taxes If your return is examined. File 2010 state taxes    If your return is examined, you may have to provide additional information to the IRS. File 2010 state taxes This information could be needed to clarify or to establish the accuracy or reliability of information contained in your records, statements, testimony, or documentary evidence before a deduction is allowed. File 2010 state taxes    THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL INTERNAL REVENUE FORM Table 5-3. File 2010 state taxes Weekly Traveling Expense and Entertainment Record From: To: Name: Expenses Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total 1. File 2010 state taxes Travel Expenses: Airlines                                 Excess Baggage                                 Bus – Train                                 Cab and Limousine                                 Tips                                 Porter                                 2. File 2010 state taxes Meals and Lodging:  Breakfast                                 Lunch                                 Dinner                                 Hotel and Motel  (Detail in Schedule B)                                 3. File 2010 state taxes Entertainment  (Detail in Schedule C)                                 4. File 2010 state taxes Other Expenses:  Postage                                 Telephone & Telegraph                                 Stationery & Printing                                 Stenographer                                 Sample Room                                 Advertising                                 Assistant(s)                                 Trade Shows                                 5. File 2010 state taxes Car Expenses: (List all car expenses - the division between business and personal expenses may be made at the end of the year. File 2010 state taxes ) (Detail mileage in Schedule A. File 2010 state taxes ) Gas, oil, lube, wash                                 Repairs, parts                                 Tires, supplies                                 Parking fees, tolls                                 6. File 2010 state taxes Other (Identify)                                 Total                                 Note: Attach receipted bills for (1) ALL lodging and (2) any other expenses of $75. File 2010 state taxes 00 or more. File 2010 state taxes Schedule A – Car Mileage: End                 Start                 Total                 Business Mileage                 Schedule B – Lodging Hotel or Motel Name                 City                 Schedule C – Entertainment Date Item Place Amount Business Purpose Business Relationship                                             WEEKLY REIMBURSEMENTS:     Travel and transportation expenses     Other reimbursements     TOTAL   How Long To Keep Records and Receipts You must keep records as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. File 2010 state taxes Generally, this means you must keep records that support your deduction (or an item of income) for 3 years from the date you file the income tax return on which the deduction is claimed. File 2010 state taxes A return filed early is considered filed on the due date. File 2010 state taxes For a more complete explanation of how long to keep records, see Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records. File 2010 state taxes You must keep records of the business use of your car for each year of the recovery period. File 2010 state taxes See More-than-50%-use test in chapter 4 under Depreciation Deduction. File 2010 state taxes Reimbursed for expenses. File 2010 state taxes   Employees who give their records and documentation to their employers and are reimbursed for their expenses generally do not have to keep copies of this information. File 2010 state taxes However, you may have to prove your expenses if any of the following conditions apply. File 2010 state taxes You claim deductions for expenses that are more than reimbursements. File 2010 state taxes Your expenses are reimbursed under a nonaccountable plan. File 2010 state taxes Your employer does not use adequate accounting procedures to verify expense accounts. File 2010 state taxes You are related to your employer as defined under Per Diem and Car Allowances , in chapter 6. File 2010 state taxes Reimbursements , adequate accounting , and nonaccountable plans are discussed in chapter 6. File 2010 state taxes Examples of Records Table 5-2 and Table 5-3 are examples of worksheets which can be used for tracking business expenses. File 2010 state taxes Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Online Scams that Impersonate the IRS

Video: Phishing-Malware:  English

FS-2010-9, January 2010

WASHINGTON — Consumers should protect themselves against online identity theft and other scams that increase during and linger after the filing season. Such scams may appropriate the name, logo or other appurtenances of the IRS or U.S. Department of the Treasury to mislead taxpayers into believing that the scam is legitimate.
    
Scams involving the impersonation of the IRS usually take the form of e-mails, tweets or other online messages to consumers. Scammers may also use phones and faxes to reach intended victims. Some scammers set up phony Web sites.

The IRS and E-mail

Generally, the IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails to taxpayers. Further, the IRS does not discuss tax account information with taxpayers via e-mail or use e-mail to solicit sensitive financial and personal information from taxpayers. The IRS does not request financial account security information, such as PIN numbers, from taxpayers.     

Object of Scams

Most scams impersonating the IRS are identity theft schemes. In this type of scam, the scammer poses as a legitimate institution to trick consumers into revealing personal and financial information — such as passwords and Social Security, PIN, bank account and credit card numbers — that can be used to gain access to and steal their bank, credit card or other financial accounts. Attempted identity theft scams that take place via e-mail are known as phishing. Other scams may try to persuade a victim to advance sums of money in the hope of realizing a larger gain. These are known as advance fee scams. 

Who Is Targeted

Anyone with a computer, phone or fax machine could receive a scam message or unknowingly visit a phony or misleading Web site. Individuals, businesses, educators, charities and others have been targeted by e-mails that claim to come from the IRS or Treasury Department. Scam e-mails are generally sent out in bulk, based on e-mail addresses (urls), similar to spam.

How an Identity Theft Scam Works

Most of the scams that impersonate the IRS are identity theft scams. Typically, a consumer will receive an e-mail that claims to come from the IRS or Treasury Department. The message will contain an enticing or intimidating subject line, such as tax refund, inherited funds or IRS notice. Usually, the message will state that the recipient needs to provide the IRS with information to obtain the refund or avoid some penalty. The message will instruct the consumer to open an attachment or click on a link in the e-mail. This may lead to an official-looking form to be filled out online or send the taxpayer to a seemingly genuine but bogus IRS Web site. The look-alike site will then contain a phony but genuine-looking online form or interactive application that requires the personal and financial information the scammer can use to commit identity theft. 

Alternatively, the clicked link may secretly download malware to the consumer’s computer. Malware is malicious code that can take over the computer’s hard drive, giving the scammer remote access to the computer, or it could look for passwords and other information and send them to the scammer.

Phony Web or Commercial Sites

In many IRS-impersonation scams, the scammer sends the consumer to a phony Web site that mimics the appearance of the genuine IRS Web site, IRS.gov. This allows the scammer to steer victims to phony interactive forms or applications that appear genuine but require the targeted victim to enter personal and financial information that will be used to commit identity theft.  

The official Web site for the Internal Revenue Service is IRS.gov, and all IRS.gov Web page addresses begin with http://www.irs.gov/

In addition to Web sites established by scammers, there are commercial Internet sites that often resemble the authentic IRS site or contain some form of the IRS name in the address but end with a .com, .net, .org or other designation instead of .gov. These sites have no connection to the IRS. Consumers may unknowingly visit these sites when searching the Internet to retrieve tax forms, publications and other information from the IRS.

Frequent or Recent Scams

There are a number of scams that impersonate the IRS. Some of them appear with great frequency, particularly during and right after filing season, and recur annually. Others are new.   

  • Refund Scam — This is the most frequent IRS-impersonation scam seen by the IRS. In this phishing scam, a bogus e-mail claiming to come from the IRS tells the consumer that he or she is eligible to receive a tax refund for a specified amount. It may use the phrase “last annual calculations of your fiscal activity.” To claim the tax refund, the consumer must open an attachment or click on a link contained in the e-mail to access and complete a claim form. The form requires the entry of personal and financial information. Several variations on the refund scam have claimed to come from the Exempt Organizations area of the IRS or the name and signature of a genuine or made-up IRS executive. In reality, taxpayers do not complete a special form to obtain their federal tax refund — refunds are triggered by the tax return they submitted to the IRS.
  • Lottery winnings or cash consignment — These advance fee scam e-mails claim to come from the Treasury Department to notify recipients that they’ll receive millions of dollars in recovered funds or lottery winnings or cash consignment if they provide certain personal information, including phone numbers, via return e-mail. The e-mail may be just the first step in a multi-step scheme, in which the victim is later contacted by telephone or further e-mail and instructed to deposit taxes on the funds or winnings before they can receive any of it. Alternatively, they may be sent a phony check of the funds or winnings and told to deposit it but pay 10 percent in taxes or fees. Thinking that the check must have cleared the bank and is genuine, some people comply. However, the scammers, not the Treasury Department, will get the taxes or fees. In reality, the Treasury Department does not become involved in notification of inheritances or lottery or other winnings.
  • Beneficial Owner Form — This fax-based phishing scam, which generally targets foreign nationals, recurs periodically. It’s based on a genuine IRS form, the W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding. The scammer, though, invents his or her own number and name for the form. The scammer modifies the form to request passport numbers, information that is often used for account security purposes (such as mother’s maiden name) and similar detailed personal and financial information, and states that the recipient may have to pay additional tax if he or she fails to immediately fax back the completed form. In reality, the real W-8BEN is completed by banks, not individuals.

Other Known Scams

The contents of other IRS-impersonation scams vary but may claim that the recipient will be paid for participating in an online survey or is under investigation or audit. Some scam e-mails have referenced Recovery-related tax provisions, such as Making Work Pay, or solicited for charitable donations to victims of natural disasters. Taxpayers should beware of an e-mail scam that references underreported income and the recipient’s “tax statement,” since clicking on a link or opening an attachment is known to download malware onto the recipient’s computer.

How to Spot a Scam

Many e-mail scams are fairly sophisticated and hard to detect. However, there are signs to watch for, such as an e-mail that:

  •  Requests detailed or an unusual amount of personal and/or financial information, such as name, SSN, bank or credit card account numbers or security-related information, such as mother’s maiden name, either in the e-mail itself or on another site to which a link in the e-mail sends the recipient.
  • Dangles bait to get the recipient to respond to the e-mail, such as mentioning a tax refund or offering to pay the recipient to participate in an IRS survey.
  • Threatens a consequence for not responding to the e-mail, such as additional taxes or blocking access to the recipient’s funds.
  • Gets the Internal Revenue Service or other federal agency names wrong.
  • Uses incorrect grammar or odd phrasing (many of the e-mail scams originate overseas and are written by non-native English speakers).
  • Uses a really long address in any link contained in the e-mail message or one that does not start with the actual IRS Web site address (http://www.irs.gov). The actual link’s address, or url, is revealed by moving the mouse over the link included in the text of the e-mail.

What to Do

Taxpayers who receive a suspicious e-mail claiming to come from the IRS should take the following steps:

  • Avoid opening any attachments to the e-mail, in case they contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
  • Avoid clicking on any links, for the same reason. Alternatively, the links may connect to a phony IRS Web site that appears authentic and then prompts for personal identifiers, bank or credit card account numbers or PINs.
  • Visit the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov, to use the “Where’s My Refund?” interactive tool to determine if they are really getting a refund, rather than responding to the e-mail message.
  • Forward the suspicious e-mail or url address to the IRS mailbox phishing@irs.gov, then delete the e-mail from their inbox.

Consumers who believe they are or may be victims of identity theft or other scams may visit the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Web site for identity theft, www.OnGuardOnline.gov, for guidance in what to do. The IRS is one of the sponsors of this site.

More information on IRS-impersonation scams, identity theft and suspicious e-mail is available on IRS.gov.

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 08-Jan-2014

The File 2010 State Taxes

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