H&R Block
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H&R Block Software Support FAQs

Printing your current year return is easy! You can print your entire return or individual forms by following these steps:

  1. Open your return in the 2014 H&R Block software.
  2. Click the Print button on the tool bar.
  3. Select the type of return you want to print (Federal or state name) in the Return: list box.
  4. Select one of the following:
    • Official Return – to print all necessary forms and the instructions for filing.
    • Official Return plus worksheets – to print a copy of all forms, as well as data entry forms and worksheets.
    • Selected forms/materials –to print the forms you want. You can then select one of the following:
      • My Forms – to choose from a list of all forms and worksheets in your return that have data.
      • All Forms – to choose from a list of all forms and worksheets whether they have data or not.
      The program displays a list of forms, instructions, and worksheets that are in your return. Select the items you want to print by clicking on the checkbox next to it. (You can unselect an item by clicking on the checkbox again.) The program displays the estimated number of pages that will print.

      You can also print the associated mini-worksheets and itemized lists with the forms by clicking on the checkbox next to Include mini-worksheets and itemized lists.

      Note: You cannot print mini-worksheets or itemized lists by themselves nor submit them to the IRS or state.
      Click the Print button to send the form(s) to the printer you have selected.

If you prepared your prior-year return with H&R Block Software, you can print a copy of the return from a saved PDF copy or from within the prior year H&R Block Software.

Follow these steps to print a copy from the prior year H&R Block Software:

  1. Open your return in the prior year H&R Block software.
  2. Click the Print button on the tool bar.
  3. Select the type of return you want to print (Federal or state name) in the Return: list box.
  4. Select one of the following:
    • Official Return – to print all necessary forms and the instructions for filing.
    • Official Return plus worksheets – to print a copy of all forms, as well as data entry forms and worksheets.
    • Selected forms/materials –to print the forms you want. You can then select one of the following:
      • My Forms – to choose from a list of all forms and worksheets in your return that have data.
      • All Forms – to choose from a list of all forms and worksheets whether they have data or not.
      The program displays a list of forms, instructions, and worksheets that are in your return. Select the items you want to print by clicking on the checkbox next to it. (You can unselect an item by clicking on the checkbox again.) The program displays the estimated number of pages that will print.

      You can also print the associated mini-worksheets and itemized lists with the forms by clicking on the checkbox next to Include mini-worksheets and itemized lists.

      Note: You cannot print mini-worksheets or itemized lists by themselves nor submit them to the IRS or state.

  5. Click the Print button to send the form(s) to the printer you have selected.

If you do not have a PDF copy of your return or you no longer have the data file for your prior-year return, you can:

We watermark your return for a reason — it prevents you from mailing in a form that has not been approved by the IRS or your state's Department of Revenue.

In order to print the form without the message, you will need to update your H&R Block software to get the final version on the forms.

To determine if a particular form is final, visit the H&R Block Software Update Center and click the Forms Available link under Federal Updates for federal form information or the Forms Available link under State Updates for state form information. The form will have a green check if it is finalized in the most current update.

If you prepared your return at an H&R Block office, you'll find a link to all of your returns in your My Block account.

Go to www.hrblock.com and click Sign In. Create an account if you do not already have one, or login to your account. Click Tax Documents on the top right and choose the year you want. From there, you can print and save your returns. You will have to answer a series of security questions to verify your identity.

If you didn't file with us or if you still can't find your prior-year return, you can:

If you check the status of your return and it is rejected, you can use the E-file Rejection Report to view a list of any errors on your return that caused a rejection. You should correct all errors before resubmitting your return electronically.

  • Note: The Rejection Report lists the errors that were on your return the last time you attempted to e-file. It does not reflect any corrections you may have already made to your return.

To check the status of your return, and display the E-file Rejection report:

  1. Open the original e-filed return in the H&R Block tax Software (you can't check the status from a duplicate file).
  2. Click the E-File Status button in the top right corner.
  3. Click View Rejection Report.
  4. Use the Rejection Report to correct any errors on your return.
  5. Click Re-file Return after correcting any errors to begin re-filing your return.

If your federal and state returns were e-filed together, and only your federal return was rejected, your state return has not been processed. After correcting your federal errors you will need to file your state return along with your federal return again. You will not be charged for resubmitting a rejected return again.

You can also choose to print and mail your return.

To file your return by mail:

  1. Click File in the top left corner.
  2. Click Filing Options.
  3. Select Print and Mail, and click Next to proceed through the filing screens.

Mailing instructions will be included with the printed copy of your return.

When signing your e-filed return, the IRS requires you to enter a PIN or your prior-year adjusted gross income (AGI). If neither of these matches IRS records, the IRS will reject your return. In most cases, you can easily fix this issue and e-file your return again.

Don't worry — we'll help you fix this issues and e-file your return again:

  1. Open your return in the H&R Block Tax Software.
  2. Click File in the top left corner.
  3. Click Filing Options.
  4. With E-File selected, click Next to proceed through the filing screens.
  5. On the Getting Ready to Sign Your Federal Return screen, correct the AGI or PIN for the Primary taxpayer and spouse (if applicable). If you don't know your AGI or PIN, click the link labeled click here to get this year's e-filing PIN from the IRSto get a new one.
    • If you imported your prior year AGI, and the amount is wrong, right click the field and select Override – this will not prevent you from e-filing or void any H&R Block guarantees.
  6. Proceed through the rest of the Filing screens to resubmit your return electronically. If you filed a state return along with your federal return, you will also need to resubmit your state return. You will not be charged for resubmitting a rejected return again.

If you can't get a new PIN from the IRS, you'll need to file your return by mail. We'll help make it easy by including mailing instructions with your printed return.

To file your return by mail:

  1. Click File in the top left corner.
  2. Click Filing Options.
  3. Select Print and Mail, and click Next to proceed through the filing screens.

This happens when the IRS can't find the name or SSN you entered for your dependent in their records.

Don't worry — we'll walk you through how to fix this:

  1. Open your return in the H&R Block Tax Software.
  2. Click Federal on the top navigation bar.
  3. Click Personal.
  4. Click Go To, next to Your Dependents.
  5. Click Edit next to your dependent's entry.
  6. Verify the spelling of the name and the SSN.
  7. Click Next until reaching the Your Dependents screen.
  8. Repeat steps 4-6 for each dependent listed.

If you corrected your information, you'll need to e-file your return again.

If your dependent's information is correct as you have entered it, you'll need to contact both the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to correct their records:

  • SSA — 800-772-1213
  • IRS — 800-829-1040

It can take several weeks for the SSA and the IRS to correct their records. So, you should file your return by mail this year. We'll help you do this by including mailing instructions with your printed return.

To file your return by mail:

  1. Click File in the top left corner.
  2. Click Filing Options.
  3. Select Print and Mail, and click Next to proceed through the filing screens.

This happens if you've already filed a return for this year and the IRS accepted it. So, the IRS will reject any other returns you try to e-file with us.

However, if you haven't already e-filed a return, make sure you entered your name and SSN or ITIN correctly on your return. Here's how to verify this:

  1. Open your return in the H&R Block Tax Software.
  2. Click Federal on the top navigation bar.
  3. Click Personal.
  4. Click Go To, next to Personal Information.
  5. Click Next to the page titled Tell Us Your Personal Information.
  6. Verify the spelling of each name, SSN, and/or ITIN entered on this page.

If you corrected your information, you'll need to e-file your return again.

However, if your information is already correct — and you haven't already e-filed a return this season — contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.

We know you want to get your refund as soon as possible, so we make it easy for you to check the status.

First, check the status of your return. If you e-filed your return, follow these steps:

  1. Open the original e-filed return in the H&R Block tax Software (you can't check the status from a duplicate file).
  2. Click the E-File Statusbutton in the top right corner.

    If your return status is "IRS Accepted," you can check the status of your refund at www.irs.gov using the "Where's my refund?" tool, or call the IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954 or 800-829-4477.

Refund information is usually available 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days from the day they're accepted. No one can get you your money faster than H&R Block!

  • If you filed your return by mail, you can still use the "Where's my refund?" tool, or call the IRS refund hotline. However, your refund status won't be available until the IRS receives your return.
  • If you don't receive your refund on the date specified by the IRS, contact the IRS refund hotline.

Don't worry — we'll help you figure out why you didn't receive the refund you were expecting.

There are lots of different reasons why this might happen. The main reason is that the IRS took part of your refund to pay for outstanding government debts you might owe. These include:

  • Overdue federal tax debts
  • Past-due child support
  • Federal agency nontax debts
  • State income tax debt
  • Unemployment compensation debts owed to a state (for fraudulent wages paid or contributions due to a state fund)
  • Student direct and guaranteed loan repayments
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loan repayments
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan repayments

The Department of Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS) will send you a notice if there's an offset. The notice will show all of these:

  • Original refund amount
  • Your offset amount
  • Agency receiving the payment
  • Address and phone number of the agency

If you don't get a notice, you can call FMS at 800-304-3107 or 866-297-0517 (TDD).

Contact the agency listed if you believe you don't owe the debt or you're disputing the amount taken from your refund. Contact the IRS only if your original refund amount on the notice differs from the amount on your return.

Getting a tax refund is exciting! When you file with H&R Block, we offer several different ways you can receive your refund:

Direct deposit — The IRS will send your refund to your bank account within 21 days. However, more than nine out of 10 refunds are issued in less than 21 days from the day they're accepted. No one can get you your money faster than H&R Block!

  • Check — You'll receive a check sent to the address on your return within 5-7 weeks.
  • H&R Block Refund Bonus — Put some – or all – of your federal refund toward the purchase of e-gift cards from retailers like Target, Best Buy and more than 40 others. The e-gift cards you purchase can be used online or in stores, and we'll add up to a 10% bonus, just for choosing H&R Block!

Keep in mind that all of these time estimates assume the IRS accepts your e-filed return.

If you haven't filed yet, or if the IRS rejected your return, follow these steps:

  1. Open your return in the H&R Block software.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Choose how you'd like to file your return.
  4. Click Next to get to the Your Refund Method screen.
  5. Choose Direct Deposit.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Enter your routing and account numbers on the Enter Your Direct Deposit Information screen.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Re-enter your routing and account numbers on the Confirm Your Bank Information screen.
  10. Click Next and complete filing your return.

If you've already filed, you can review your direct deposit information on a copy of your return. If the IRS has accepted your return, you won't be able to change direct deposit information without contacting the IRS. If you don't, the IRS will first try to send your refund to the account / routing numbers you entered. If the bank rejects your direct deposit, the IRS will send a paper check to the mailing address on your return.

If you'd like to learn more, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Tax laws and forms can change throughout the tax season. They may even have changed since we released the H&R Block Tax Software program! We recommend that you update frequently to make sure you have the latest forms and information. You must be connected to the internet in order to check for updates and update the program.

You can update H&R Block Software from within the program or by downloading an update from the H&R Block Update Center.

To update H&R Block Software from within the program:

  1. Open the program.
  2. Go to the Tools menu, and select Update The Program.
  3. If there's an update available, click Update.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the update.

    Note: When updating the state program, the federal program may be updated at the same time.

Windows users: How to download an update from the H&R Block Software Update Center:

  1. For a federal update:
    1. Click the link Windows Program Updates under the Federal Updates section.
    2. From the drop-down list, select the product version, and click Download Update.
  2. For a state update:
    1. Click the link Windows Program Updates under the State Updates section.
    2. From the drop-down list, select the appropriate state program, and click Download Update. If your state is not listed in the drop-down menu, then an update hasn't been released yet.
  3. Save the update file to your desktop.
  4. Close H&R Block Software.
  5. Double-click the .exe file. If you can't find the update file you downloaded, you may have to perform a search for the file.
  6. Follow the instructions displayed by the update program to complete the installation.

Macintosh users: How to download an update from the H&R Block Software Update Center:

  1. For a federal update:
    1. Click the link Apple Program Updates under the Federal Updates section.
    2. From the drop-down list, select the product version, and click Download Update.
  2. For a state update:
    1. Click the link Apple Program Updates under the State Updates section.
    2. From the drop-down list, select the appropriate state program, and click Download Update. If your state is not listed in the drop-down menu, then an update hasn't been released yet.
  3. Save the update file to your desktop.
  4. Close H&R Block Software.
  5. Double-click the .dmg file.
  6. Follow the on screen prompts to install the update.

There can be several things preventing your software from updating. Please check for the following items and try installing updates again after each change you make:

  • In order for the software to update it must be installed on your C: Drive.
  • You will need Administrative Privileges in order to install the software. Remember, most work computers/laptops do not have the necessary permissions to update H&R Block software.
  • Recent Windows updates that have not been completely installed can cause problems updating. Reboot your computer and try again — especially if you've just updated Windows.
  • Updates can fail if you have any anti-virus or firewall software running. Close these programs and try updating again.

If all of the steps above do not allow you to install updates, please follow these steps to manually install updates:

  1. For a federal update:
    1. Click the link Windows Program Updates under the Federal Updates section.
    2. From the drop-down list, select the product version, and click Download Update.
  2. For a state update:
    1. Click the link Windows Program Updates under the State Updates section.
    2. From the drop-down list, select the appropriate state program, and click Download Update. If your state is not listed in the drop-down menu, then an update hasn't been released yet.
  3. Save the update file to your desktop.
  4. Close H&R Block Software.
  5. Right-click the .exe file, then click Run as Administrator.
  6. Follow the instructions displayed by the update program to complete the installation.

There can be several things preventing your software from updating. First, follow these steps to run a Disk Utility:

  1. Open the Disk Utility:
    1. Click the Macintosh HD icon on the desktop.
    2. Click Applications on the left side of the screen.
    3. Click Utilities.
    4. Click Disk Utility.
  2. Select the Mactintosh HD and click Verify Disk Permissions. Note: The scan could take a few minutes.
  3. When the scan is complete, you can review any of the permissions issues it found in the window in the middle of the Disk Utility window. To repair these issues, click the Repair Disk Permissions button.
  4. Close the Disk Utility.
  5. Try updating the H&R Block software again.

If you were unable to update the software after following these steps then antivirus or firewall software may be preventing the updates from installing. Disable any antivirus or firewall software and try updating again. If you are still unable to update your software, please follow these steps to manually install updates:

  1. For a federal update:
    1. Click the link Apple Program Updates under the Federal Updates section.
    2. From the drop-down list, select the product version, and click Download Update.
  2. For a state update:
    1. Click the link Apple Program Updates under the State Updates section.
    2. From the drop-down list, select the appropriate state program, and click Download Update. If your state is not listed in the drop-down menu, then an update hasn't been released yet.
  3. Save the update file to your desktop.
  4. Close H&R Block Software.
  5. Double-click the .dmg file.
  6. Follow the on screen prompts to install the update.

To determine if a particular form is final, visit the H&R Block Software Update Center and click the Forms Available link under Federal Updates for federal form information or the Forms Available link under State Updates for state form information. The form will have a green check if it is finalized in the most current update.

Once you've been notified that the IRS received and accepted your 2014 return, you can prepare an amended return. If you filed your 2014 return with our software program, you can also prepare an amended return with us — it's easy.

If you made any changes to your original return before starting this process, you must go back and undo those changes. Otherwise, your amended return will contain incorrect information.

To prepare your amended return:

  1. Launch the H&R Block software and open the originally filed return.
  2. Click on Take Me To in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down to Miscellaneous.
  4. Select Amended Return (Form 1040X), and click on Go To.
  5. Select the radio button for Yes and click Next.
  6. Click Next to the page titled Print Copy of Filed Return.
  7. Click Print at the bottom of the page to print a copy of your filed return.
  8. Click Next to the page titled Creating the Amend Return Copy.
  9. Follow the on-screen steps to create a new account. You will now have two datafiles, one for the original return and one for the amended return.
  10. Click Next to the page titled Print Original Form 1040X.
  11. Click Print at the bottom of the page to print an original Form 1040X. This is needed to fill in values later in the process.
  12. Click Next to the page titled Ready to Make Changes.
  13. Select the radio button for Yes and click Next.
  14. Now you will need to make the changes to your return. Click on Take Me To in the top right corner of the screen to go to the section(s) that need to be corrected.

Once you have made the necessary changes to your return:

  1. Click on Take Me To in the top right corner.
  2. Scroll down to Miscellaneous.
  3. Select Amended Return (Form 1040X), and click on Go To.
  4. Click Next to the page Original Return.
  5. Using the original 1040X printed earlier, type in the amounts from Column C and click Next.
  6. Complete the page titled Explanation of Changes and click Next.
  7. Enter any additional information and click Next to the page Filing Instructions.

Once you prepare your amended return, you must print and mail Form 1040X, even if you e-filed your original return. Include copies of any schedules you changed and any forms you didn't include with your original return.

If you haven't filed yet, or if the IRS rejected your return, follow these steps:

  1. Open your return in the H&R Block software.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Choose how you'd like to file your return.
  4. Click Next to get to the Your Refund Method screen.
  5. Choose Direct Deposit.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Enter your routing and account numbers on the Enter Your Direct Deposit Information screen.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Re-enter your routing and account numbers on the Confirm Your Bank Information screen.
  10. Click Next.

If you've already filed, you can review your direct deposit information on a copy of your return. If the IRS has accepted your return, you won't be able to change direct deposit information without contacting the IRS. If you don't, the IRS will first try to send your refund to the account / routing numbers you entered. If the bank rejects your direct deposit, the IRS will send a paper check to the mailing address on your return.

If you'd like to learn more, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

If you filed your prior year return with our software program, you can also prepare an amended return with us — it's easy.

If you made any changes to your original return before starting this process, you must go back and undo those changes. Otherwise, your amended return will contain incorrect information.

To prepare your amended return:

  1. Launch the prior year H&R Block software and open the originally filed return.
  2. Click on Take Me To in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down to Miscellaneous.
  4. Select Amended Return (Form 1040X), and click on Go To.
  5. Select the radio button for Yes and click Next.
  6. Click Next to the page titled Print Copy of Filed Return.
  7. Click Print at the bottom of the page to print a copy of your filed return.
  8. Click Next to the page titled Creating the Amend Return Copy.
  9. Follow the on-screen steps to create a new account. You will now have two datafiles, one for the original return and one for the amended return.
  10. Click Next to the page titled Print Original Form 1040X.
  11. Click Print at the bottom of the page to print an original Form 1040X. This is needed to fill in values later in the process.
  12. Click Next to the page titled Ready to Make Changes.
  13. Select the radio button for Yes and click Next.
  14. Now you will need to make the changes to your return. Click on Take Me To in the top right corner of the screen to go to the section(s) that need to be corrected.

Once you have made the necessary changes to your return:

  1. Click on Take Me To in the top right corner.
  2. Scroll down to Miscellaneous.
  3. Select Amended Return (Form 1040X), and click on Go To.
  4. Click Next to the page Original Return.
  5. Using the original 1040X printed earlier, type in the amounts from Column C and click Next.
  6. Complete the page titled Explanation of Changes and click Next.
  7. Enter any additional information and click Next to the page Filing Instructions.

Once you prepare your amended return, you must print and mail Form 1040X, even if you e-filed your original return. Include copies of any schedules you changed and any forms you didn't include with your original return.

Yes, but only for the states shown below: To start the amended return process, open the state return and click on the Misc tab. Then choose Go To next to Amended Return.

  • Alabama (Started in the state Welcome tab.)
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • District of Columbia (Full Year Residents only, started in the state Welcome tab)
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire (Started in the state Welcome tab, under Special Processing.)
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania (PA-40X is not supported, see instructions)
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Vermont

To amend a state return, follow these steps:

  1. Open the state return in the H&R Block software.
  2. Click the Misc tab.
  3. Choose Go To next to Amended Return.

If you made any changes to your original return before starting this process, you must go back and undo those changes. Otherwise, your amended return will contain incorrect information.

State Amended returns must be mailed to the State Department of Revenue.

Prior-Year (2013) PIN

  • What's a PIN? A PIN is a five-digit number you create to sign your return electronically.
  • How do I get a PIN? If you signed your return electronically last year, you created a PIN as part of your signature. You can use the PIN you created last year as a form of identification for this year's return. If you can't find your PIN, you can request a new PIN from the IRS by going to http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Electronic-Filing-PIN-Request.
  • What if I didn't file a return last year? If you didn't file last year, you won't need a PIN. The program will ask if you filed a return last year. Just choose "No" to remove the entry.

Where can I find last year's AGI? Here's where to look on your 2013 federal return for your 2013 adjusted gross income (AGI):

If you filed:

Your AGI Is Located On:

Form 1040

Line 37

Form 1040A

Line 21

1040-EZ

Line 4

First-time filer

Enter $0

Amended return

Enter original return AGI, not amended return AGI

Special circumstances:

  • If you changed from another filing status to married filing jointly, you and your spouse should use your individual, original total AGI amounts from your respective 2013 returns.
  • If you changed to another filing status from married filing jointly, each of you should use the same original total AGI amount from your 2013 joint return.
  • If you filed your 2013 return after April 15 and the IRS didn't receive and process it by Dec. 9, 2014, enter "0" (zero) for the AGI amount.
  • If your 2013 AGI was negative, enter the AGI as a negative amount.

Entering an incorrect AGI will delay your refund. If you can't find your 2013 AGI, you can request and use a PIN instead. You can get the PIN from the IRS by going to http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Electronic-Filing-PIN-Request.

The IRS might issue you an IP PIN to use for filing your federal return if you were a victim of identity theft or fraud. Follow these steps to enter it:

  1. Open your return in the H&R Block Tax Software.
  2. Click Federal on the top navigation bar.
  3. Click Misc.
  4. Click Go To, next to Miscellaneous Home.
  5. Check the box next to Received a letter from the IRS with an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN).
  6. Enter your and/or your spouse's 6-digit IP PIN.

Each year there are tax changes that require new software. If you need to prepare a return for a year before 2014, you can purchase prior year H&R Block software from the Back Editions page. Just select the tax year you need to prepare, select Windows or Mac, and then click Download Now to purchase the software.

The IRS only accepts e-files for current year returns. Any prior year returns will need to be printed and mailed to the IRS and/ or Department of Revenue.

H&R Block Tax Software includes five free federal e-files. To take advantage of your free federal e-files, you need to activate and register your software program using the Activation Code you got when you purchased your program.

Your Activation Code is a unique eight-character code that was sent with your copy of H&R Block Tax Software you purchased. If you can't find your Activation Code, use the following information to locate it based on how you purchased your software:

  • Physical CD purchase (from stores like Wal-Mart or Best Buy) — Check for an insert in the packaging the software came in.
  • Purchased from a CD you received in the mail — Your Activation Code will be in the confirmation email sent when you completed your purchase from the CD.
  • Downloaded from HRBlock.com Check your Inbox for your purchase confirmation. The Activation Code will be in the email you received when you purchased your software.
  • Downloaded from an Online retailer (like Amazon.com) — First, check your Inbox. The code will usually be sent in the purchase confirmation email. You can also check in your account on the website you purchased the software from. There should be a history of your digital software purchases and the Activation Code for the H&R Block software.

State e-file fees are a separate charge. They aren't included in the cost of your federal or state programs and don't count as one of your five free federal e-files.

Sometimes we'll ask you to enter your payment information again if you're re-filing a rejected return. H&R Block will not process your e-file fee until the IRS or state accepts your return.

An Activation Code is a unique 8-character code that is sent with the copy of H&R Block Tax Software you purchased. It is made up of uppercase letters and numbers, formatted like XXXX-XXXX. The Activation Code is used to register your software and unlock your five free federal e-files.

If you can't find your Activation Code, use the following information to locate it based on how you purchased your software:

  • Physical CD purchase (from stores like Wal-Mart or Best Buy) — Check for an insert in the packaging the software came in.
  • Purchased from a CD you received in the mail — Your Activation Code will be in the confirmation email sent when you completed your purchase from the CD.
  • Downloaded from HRBlock.com Check your Inbox for your purchase confirmation, the Activation Code will be in the email you received when you purchased your software.
  • Downloaded from an Online retailer (like Amazon.com) — First, check your Inbox, the code will usually be sent in the purchase confirmation email. You can also check in your account on the website you purchased the software from. There should be a history of your digital software purchases and the Activation Code for the H&R Block software.

Once you have you Activation Code, you'll need to enter it into the software to activate and utilize your free federal e-files.

To activate your software:

  • Launch the H&R Block Tax Software.
    1. If your software is already open, save your return (if applicable), close the software, then launch it again.
  • Click Next to the page titled Activate and Register Your Software.
  • Enter your personal information and the 8 character Activation Code you received when you purchased your software.
  • Click Activate Now.

If you've had to uninstall and reinstall your program, or if you installed it on a second computer, you'll need to activate again.

H&R Block Tax Software includes 5 free federal e-files. In order to take advantage of your free federal e-files, you need to activate and register your software program using the Activation Code you got when you purchased your program.

State e-file fees are a separate charge. They are not included in the cost of your federal or state programs and do not count as one of your five free federal e-files.

Sometimes we'll ask you to enter your payment information again if you're re-filing a rejected return. H&R Block will not process your e-file fee until the IRS or state accepts your return.

Each year there are tax changes that require new software. If you need to prepare a return for a year before 2014, you can purchase prior year H&R Block software from the Back Editions page. Just select the tax year you need to prepare, select Windows or Mac, and then click Download Now to purchase the software.

The IRS only accepts e-files for current year returns. Any prior year returns will need to be printed and mailed to the IRS and/ or Department of Revenue.

Just follow these steps to purchase a state within the H&R Block Software.

  1. Open your H&R Block Software.
  2. Click the button Buy State.
  3. Select the state from the dropdown menu. If the state is not available yet, you will have the option to give your email address to be notified when it is ready.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Enter your credit card information to complete the purchase.

If the state program is available, but you are unable to purchase it through the program, you can purchase it directly from www.hrblock.com/taxsoftware/state-editions.html

Paying for your e-file fees with your refund is easy! Just choose our Pay with your federal refund option for $34.95. Here's how it works:

  • E-file your return and have your refund deposited to your bank account.
  • When you choose this option, H&R Block Bank processes your refund to collect the tax prep fees.
  • After processing is complete, you'll receive the remainder of your refund.

This process usually takes 2-3 business days. However, it could take longer. Make sure that your proceeds have been deposited into your bank account before you use these funds.

An Activation Code is a unique 8-character code that is sent with the copy of H&R Block Tax Software you purchased. It is made up of uppercase letters and numbers, formatted like XXXX-XXXX. The Activation Code is used to register your software and unlock your five free federal e-files.

If you can't find your Activation Code, use the following information to locate it based on how you purchased your software:

  • Physical CD purchase (from stores like Wal-Mart or Best Buy) — Check for an insert in the packaging the software came in.
  • Purchased from a CD you received in the mail — Your Activation Code will be in the confirmation email sent when you completed your purchase from the CD.
  • Downloaded from HRBlock.com Check your Inbox for your purchase confirmation, the Activation Code will be in the email you received when you purchased your software.
  • Downloaded from an Online retailer (like Amazon.com) — First, check your Inbox, the code will usually be sent in the purchase confirmation email. You can also check in your account on the website you purchased the software from. There should be a history of your digital software purchases and the Activation Code for the H&R Block software.

Once you have you Activation Code, you'll need to enter it into the software to activate and utilize your free federal e-files.

To activate your software:

  • Launch the H&R Block Tax Software.
    1. If your software is already open, save your return (if applicable), close the software, then launch it again.
  • Click Next to the page titled Activate and Register Your Software.
  • Enter your personal information and the 8 character Activation Code you received when you purchased your software.
  • Click Activate Now.

If you've had to uninstall and reinstall your program, or if you installed it on a second computer, you'll need to activate again.

Yes. You can use these credit cards to pay your tax bill:

  • MasterCard
  • Discover
  • Visa
  • American Express

After you complete your return and know how much you owe, the product will direct you to PayUSATax, an external website where you can make a payment to the IRS using a credit card.

To set up a payment plan, you'll file Form 9465 to request an installment agreement from the IRS. The IRS charges $120 to set up a payment plan. However, the fee is $43 for low-income taxpayers. To meet this condition, your income must fall at or below 250% of the dollar criteria established by the poverty guidelines of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To fill out Form 9465, follow these steps:

  1. Open your return in H&R Block Software.
  2. Click Take Me To in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to the Miscellaneous section and select Installment Payment of Tax.
  4. Click Go To.
  5. Follow the steps on the screen.

Form 1040-V is a payment voucher used with these forms:

  • Forms 1040
  • 1040A
  • 1040EZ

If you have a balance due, you'll send a 1040-V with your payment to speed processing. Don't send cash for payments to the IRS.

If you're paying by check:

  • You can find a 1040-V in the printed copy of your return (usually the bottom page).
  • Make the check payable to "U.S. Treasury."
  • Make sure your name and address are on the check.
  • In the check's memo section, write these:
    • Form number you're filing:
      • "2014 Form 1040"
      • "2014 Form 1040A"
      • "2014 Form 1040EZ"
    • Daytime phone number
    • Social Security number (SSN) — If you're married filing jointly, write the first SSN shown on the return.
  • When writing the payment amount on the right side of the check, write the number like this, without using a dash or slash: $XXX.XX.

To download and install software you bought from HRBlock.com, follow these steps.

For Windows

View our step-by-step installation guide.

For Mac

  1. Download the installer from the purchase confirmation page or from the confirmation email.
  2. Close all open applications.
  3. Double-click the downloaded (.dmg) file.
  4. Drag H&R Block 20XX to the Applications folder. (Where XX is the year of the product).
  5. Open the H&R Block software from the applications folder.

If you don't have your confirmation email with the download link, you can request to receive it again at https://store.hrblock.com/order/find.

If you're having problems finding your downloaded installer, follow these steps to search for it on your computer:

For Windows

Determine the file name to search for:

  1. Basic + E-file - HRBlock_Basic+Efile.exe
  2. Deluxe + E-file - HRBlock_Deluxe+Efile.exe
  3. Deluxe + E-file + State - HRBlock_Deluxe+Efile+State.exe
  4. Premium + E-file + State - HRBlock_Premium+Efile+State.exe
  5. H&R Block Business - HRBlock_Premium_and_Business.exe

Run a search for the name:

Windows 8:

  1. Slide the Mouse to the top right corner of the desktop to activate the Charm Bar.
  2. Click Search.
  3. Choose Files and enter your search term from above in the search box.

Windows 7/Windows Vista:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Search.
  3. Enter your search term from above in the Search box.

Windows XP:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Search.
  3. Click All files and folders.
  4. Type all or part of the file name from above in the all or part of the file name field.
  5. Choose a location in the Look in drop-down list or click Browse at the bottom of the list to browse to a particular folder.
  6. Click Search.

For Mac

Determine the file name to search for:

  1. Basic + E-file - HRBlock_Basic+Efile.dmg
  2. Deluxe + E-file - HRBlock_Deluxe+Efile.dmg
  3. Deluxe + E-file + State - HRBlock_Deluxe+Efile+State.dmg
  4. Premium + E-file + State - HRBlock_Premium+Efile+State.dmg

Then, you can search by following these steps:

  1. Click on the Spotlight (Magnifying glass) in the top right corner of the screen
  2. Enter your search term from above in the search field.

Software received in the mail is purchased when you install it the first time. Follow these steps to buy and install software on a CD you received in the mail:

  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Insert the CD into your CD-ROM or DVD drive. (If you don't have a CD or DVD drive on your computer, you will need to purchase the software from a retail location such as Walmart or Best Buy, or buy it online from www.hrblock.com.)
  3. If the program does not start automatically, follow these steps:
    1. Click the Start button, and then click Computer. (My Computer on Windows XP)
    2. Right-click on the drive that contains the CD.
    3. Click Open on the shortcut menu. (Explore on Windows XP)
    4. Double-click If you don't have your confirmation email with the Unlock Code, you can request to receive it again at https://store.hrblock.com/order/find. (If the program does not run at this point, right click on the file and select If you don't have your confirmation email with the Unlock Code, you can request to receive it again at https://store.hrblock.com/order/find).
  4. Click on the version of software you would like to purchase.
  5. Go through the purchase process in the software screens. At the end you will receive an Unlock Code and a confirmation email. We recommend printing the Unlock Code and keeping it with your CD because you will need it and the last four digits of the credit card used to purchase the software if you ever have to re-install your software.
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete installing the software.

If you already bought the software from the CD you received in the mail and need to re-install it, follow these steps:

  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Insert the CD into your CD or DVD drive.
  3. If the program does not start automatically, follow these steps:
    1. Click the Start button, and then click Computer. (My Computer on Windows XP)
    2. Right-click on the drive that contains the CD.
    3. Click Open on the shortcut menu. (Explore on Windows XP)
    4. Double-click tcauto.exe. (If the program does not run at this point, right click on the file and select Run as Administrator).
  4. Click Support in the top right corner of the screen. (Help Center in 2012 & 2011 H&R Block Software)
  5. Select the Second Machine Installation option.
  6. Enter the Unlock Code or Activation ID and the last 4 digits of the credit card use to purchase the software.
  7. Click Install.
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete installing the software.

If you don't have your confirmation email with the Unlock Code, you can request to receive it again at https://store.hrblock.com/order/find.

If you bought a CD from a retail store like Walmart, Best Buy, or Amazon, you'll use these steps to install or reinstall the software:

Installing on Windows

  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Insert the CD into your CD or DVD drive.
  3. If the program doesn't start automatically, follow these steps:
    1. Click the Start button, and then click Computer. (My Computer on Windows XP)
    2. Right-click on the drive that contains the CD.
    3. Click Open on the shortcut menu. (Explore on Windows XP)
    4. Double-click Setup.exe. (If the program doesn't run at this point, right-click on the file and choose Run as Administrator).
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete installing the software.

Installing on Mac

  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Insert the CD into your CD or DVD drive.
  3. If the window doesn't automatically open, double-click the CD icon on the desktop.
  4. From the window, drag the application to the computer drive icon. We suggest installing the program in the Applications folder.

If you bought a downloaded copy of the software from a retailer like Best Buy or Amazon, follow these steps to download and install the software:

  1. Go to the retailer's website and login to your account.
  2. Go to the location for digital orders:
    • Amazon — Your Digital Items
    • Best Buy — Digital Library under Orders
  3. Click Download next to your H&R Block Software.
  4. Save the installer to your desktop. (If you don't choose a location, Windows Vista, 7 and 8 save downloaded programs to the Downloads folder under the Users folder.)
  5. Double-click the downloaded file.
  6. Follow the instructions in the installation wizard to complete the installation. We recommend installing the program to the default location.

If you bought a version of H&R Block Tax Software that includes a free state program (H&R Block Federal + State), you can choose and install your state program from within the H&R Block software.

To install your +State program:

  1. Open the H&R Block Tax Software.
  2. Click the Start a Tax Return button.
  3. Click on the State tab.
  4. Select the state you wish to install from the dropdown menu (you must be connected to the internet).
  5. Click Next.
  6. Your state program will automatically begin downloading. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

If you bought a version of H&R Block Tax Software that doesn't include a free state program, you must buy the state program within the software or on www.hrblock.com.

To buy and install a state program within the software:

  1. Open the H&R Block Tax Software.
  2. Click the Start a Tax Return button.
  3. Click on the State tab.
  4. Select the state you wish to purchase and install from the dropdown menu (you must be connected to the internet).
  5. Click Next.
  6. On the Enter State Purchase Information screen, enter your billing information and email address.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Review the information on the Purchase State screen to make sure everything is correct.
  9. Click Purchase.
  10. Your state program will automatically begin downloading. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your installation.

To purchase and install a state program from www.hrblock.com:

  1. Save your return and close the H&R Block Tax Software.
  2. Launch your web-browser and go tohttp://www.hrblock.com/tax-software/state-editions.html.
  3. Select the radio button for your operating system (Windows or Mac).
  4. Select the state you wish to purchase from the dropdown menu.
  5. Enter your billing information and email address.
  6. Click Preview Order.
  7. Review the information on the purchase preview screen to make sure everything is correct.
  8. Click Purchase.
  9. You will receive a confirmation email containing your state program install file.
  10. Once you have received the email, download and save the state program to your computer.
  11. Launch the state installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete your installation.

If you installed your state program from within the H&R Block software and need to reinstall:

  1. Open the H&R Block Tax Software.
  2. Click the Start a Tax Return button.
  3. Click Tools, at the top of the program.
  4. Click Reinstall State Program.
  5. Select the state(s) you wish to reinstall.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Your state program will automatically begin downloading. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your installation.

If you installed your state program from an install file:

  1. Save your return and close the H&R Block software.
  2. Locate the state installer file on your computer, or re-download it from your confirmation email.
  3. Launch the installer and follow on-screen instructions to complete your installation.

If you're having issues installing your H&R Block Tax Software, here are a few things that can help.

Before beginning the troubleshooting instructions below, keep this information in mind:

  • Allow the program to install to the hard drive location that is automatically selected by the software installer. The H&R Block software must be installed on a drive labeled C:/ to install and function properly.
  • You will need Administrative Privileges in order to install the software. Remember, most work computers/laptops do not have the necessary permissions to install H&R Block software.
  • Recent Windows updates that have not been completely installed can cause problems installing. Reboot your computer and try installing again — especially if you've just updated Windows.
  • Installation can fail if you have any anti-virus software running. Disable these programs and try installing again.

If you are still unable to install, disable third-party programs that may interfere with your installation:

  1. Save any work you may be working on and close any program that is currently open.
  2. Press and hold the Windows Key down on your keyboard, then press R. A Run window will open.
  3. In the search box, type MSCONFIG.
  4. On the General tab, select the radio button beside Selective startup.
  5. After selecting Selective startup, uncheck the box for Load startup items.
  6. On the Services tab, check the box in the lower left corner of the window labeled Hide all Microsoft Services.
  7. Click Disable all.
  8. Click OK.
  9. At this point, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Make sure the box for Don't show this message again is unchecked, then click Restart.
  10. Once your computer reboots, press and hold the Windows Key down on your keyboard, then press R.
  11. In the search box, type MSCONFIG.
  12. On the General tab, select the radio button beside Normal startup.
  13. Launch the H&R Block installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install your tax software.

If you're having either issue, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the TaxCut or H&R Block CD and cancel out of any popup messaging you may receive.
  2. Click Start, then Computer.
  3. Right-click on your computer's CD drive icon, then choose Copy.
  4. Right-click on a clear area of the desktop, then choose Paste.
  5. Once the copy process is complete, double-click on the new folder you created.
  6. Right-click on the Setup.exe file, then choose Properties.
  7. Click the Compatibility tab.
  8. Under Compatibility mode, check the box next to "Run this program in compatibility."
  9. From the drop-down menu, choose a different version of Windows. It must be a version supported by the year of the program that's having the issue.
  10. Check the box next to Run Program as Administrator.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Double-click on Setup.exe and follow the onscreen instructions to finish installation.

If you're still having permission or anti-virus issues, contact an H&R Block support specialist for additional assistance:

  • Call 800-HRBLOCK (800-472-5625)

You'll need to unregister / register your Windows Installer Service:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R on the keyboard.
  2. In the Open box, type msiexec /unregister. Make sure you don't include the period, and that you've added a before the forward slash. Click OK. If the command works, you won't see a notification.
  3. Click Start again, then choose Run.
  4. In the Open box, type msiexec /unregister. Make sure you don't include the period, and that you've added a before the forward slash. Click OK. If the command works, you won't see a notification.
  5. Restart your computer, and then try installing the product again.

If you're still getting a 1721 error, contact an H&R Block support specialist for additional assistance:

  • Call 800-HRBLOCK (800-472-5625)

You might have some temporary files that are faulty. Here's how to delete them:

If you're running Windows Vista/7:

  1. Double-click Computer.
  2. Double-click the C:\ drive.
  3. Double-click Users.
  4. Double-click on the username the client is using. This folder might be hidden.If you can't see it:
    1. Click Organize at the top of the screen.
    2. Click Search & Folder Options.
    3. Click on the View tab.
    4. Choose the radio button next to Show hidden files and folders.
    5. Click OK.
  5. In the Local folder, double-click the Temp folder.
  6. Highlight files found in the Temp folder, then press Delete.

If you're running Windows 8:

  1. Press and hold down the Windows key + E to open Computer.
  2. Double-click the C:/ drive.
  3. Double-click Users.
  4. Double-click on the username the client is using.
  5. Double-click the AppData folder. This folder might be hidden.If you can't see it:
    1. Click the View tab at the top of the window.
    2. Check the box for Hidden Items.
  6. In the Local folder, double-click the Temp folder.
  7. Highlight files found in the Temp folder, then press Delete.

If you're still getting a 1152 error, contact an H&R Block support specialist for additional assistance:

  • Call 800-HRBLOCK (800-472-5625)

Windows:

First, check the time and date on your system:

  1. Double-click on the time shown at the lower right-hand corner of your screen (in the system tray).
  2. On the Date and Time tab, set the correct date and time.
  3. Click Apply, then click OK.

Next, check your H&R Block software proxy settings:

  1. Click the Tools menu item in the top left corner of the software window.
  2. Click Proxy Settings.
  3. Choose Use the system automatic proxy configuration script, then click OK.
  4. Try to install your state return or e-file your return again.
  5. If these steps don't work, repeat them but, at step 3, choose Disable all proxy settings.

Finally, restart your computer before you attempt to e-file your return or buy a state return.

Macintosh:

Check the time and date on your system:

  1. Choose Systems Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Click the Date & Time icon.
  3. Set the current date and time, and click Save.
  4. Exit System Preferences.

If you're still having SSL certificate errors, contact an H&R Block support specialist for additional assistance:

  • Call 800-HRBLOCK (800-472-5625)

Most likely, the Windows version of our installer is being downloaded to your system in error.

To correct the issue, contact an H&R Block support specialist for additional assistance:

  • Call 800-HRBLOCK (800-472-5625)

Your software did not install correctly, Here's how to remove and reinstall your product:

  1. Open your Applications folder.
  2. Drag the H&R Block 2014 icon to your Trash Can.
  3. On your computer's desktop, double-click the CD or disk image icon labeled H&R Block 2014 to open the installer window.
  4. Drag the green square H&R Block 2014 icon to the Applications folder and drop it in.
  5. Open your Applications folder.
  6. Double-click the H&R Block 2014 green icon.

If your software still won't launch, contact an H&R Block support specialist for additional assistance:

  • Call 800-HRBLOCK (800-472-5625)

Before you uninstall your H&R Block Tax Software:

  • Make sure any antivirus software you may have running is disabled.
  • Back up your tax return data file to a back-up location or USB drive.

To uninstall your H&R Block program on a Windows computer:

  1. Save your return then close the H&R Block Tax Software and any other programs you may have open.
  2. Press and hold the Windows Key down on your keyboard, then press R. A Run window will open.
  3. In the search box, type Control Panel.
  4. Under Programs, click Uninstall a program. If you see Programs and Features, select this option.
  5. In the list of programs installed on your computer, find the H&R Block program you wish to uninstall.
  6. Highlight the H&R Block software then click Uninstall.
  7. Follow on-screen instructions to complete the uninstall process.
  8. If you have any state programs installed, follow steps 5-7 to completely uninstall all H&R Block software.

To uninstall your H&R Block program on a Mac computer:

  1. Double click the Finder icon on the dock.
  2. Select Applications.
  3. In the list of applications installed, find the H&R Block software you wish to remove.
  4. Drag the H&R Block icon into the Trash.

We recommend you complete your part-year resident or nonresident return before you begin your resident return.

Your completed part-year resident or nonresident return often will come in handy when you're completing your resident return.

It depends. If you paid taxes to two states for the same income, you might be eligible for a credit from one of the states. We'll help you figure that out in your resident state return.

Yes. Our software programs support both part-year and nonresident returns for these states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California*
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia (2014 program only)
  • Georgia*
  • Idaho
  • Illinois*
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas*
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts*
  • Michigan*
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri*
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey*
  • New Mexico
  • New York*
  • North Carolina*
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania*
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

*These states allow e-filing a return for part-year or nonresidents in the H&R Block Software.

The payer is treating you as a self-employed worker — also called an independent contractor. If there's an amount shown on your Form 1099-MISC, Box 7, you're considered self-employed, rather than an employee.

Three basic areas determine if you're an employee:

  • Behavioral control — Whether the business has a right to direct and control how your work is done
  • Financial control — Whether the business pays your business expenses and buys your tools
  • Relationship of the parties — Whether the business offers you benefits like insurance, vacation, or sick pay

If you think you should be classified as an actual employee, you can have the IRS issue a determination. You'll need to file Form SS-8: Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding.

Basis is the amount of your capital investment in a property for tax purposes. To find the adjusted basis:

  1. Start with the original investment in the property.
  2. Add the cost of major improvements.
  3. Subtract the amount of allowable depreciation and casualty and theft losses.

You'll need to determine the original investment in the property. In most cases, the basis is the asset's cost. Cost includes sales tax and other expenses for the purchase. In other cases:

  • The basis for inherited property is the fair market value (FMV) at the date of death.
  • For gifted property, the basis depends on any gain or loss when you sell the property:
    • When there's a gain, the basis is the donor's adjusted basis.
    • When there's a loss, the basis is the lesser of the donor's adjusted basis, or the FMV at the time of the gift.
  • When property changes from personal to business use, the basis at the time of sale depends on whether the property is sold at a gain or loss:
    • Gain — the basis is your adjusted basis when you sell the property.
    • Loss — the basis is the lesser of the adjusted basis or the FMV at the time you changed it to business use then adjusted during the time after the change to include any additions or subtractions you had.

If an item is expected to last more than one year, you must depreciate it and not deduct it in the year you buy it.

To depreciate an item, all of these must be true:

  • It must be property you own.
  • You must use it for business or to produce income.
  • It must wear out, decay, get used up, become obsolete, or lose its value from natural causes. In other words, it must have a determinable useful life. Land doesn't have a determinable useful life and isn't a depreciable asset.

If you use an item for both business and personal purposes, you can deduct depreciation only on the business use:

  • Depreciation begins when you place an item in service. It ends when it's fully depreciated, or you retire or dispose of the item in some way.
  • Depreciation doesn't include property placed in service and disposed of in the same year.

Finally, you can't depreciate repairs that don't do any of these:

  • Increase the value of your property
  • Make the property more useful
  • Lengthen the property's useful life

Instead, you can expense these repairs.

Yes, you can use the same home office for two or more separate businesses. However, each business must separately meet the rules for deducting expenses for business use of the home.

Remember, you can't use your home office for any personal activities.

To deduct the expenses:

  • Divide the expenses between the two businesses. Base this on usage of the home office for each business.
  • If you use the simplified method for your home office deduction, you're limited to a maximum of 300 square feet for all of your businesses combined.
  • Allocate the 300 square feet among your businesses in a reasonable manner. Don't allocate more square feet for a business than you actually use for that business.

Yes, you can deduct unreimbursed partnership expenses (UPE) if you were required to pay the expenses under the partnership agreement.

  • Don't include any expenses you can deduct as an itemized deduction.
  • Don't combine these expenses with — or net them against — any other amounts from the partnership. You can't deduct unreimbursed expenses if you weren't required to pay them under the partnership agreement.

Also, deductible UPE will reduce your self-employment income.

To deduct UPE:

  • Add another K-1, enter "UPE" as the Partnership name, and enter the total expense as a negative in both Boxes 1 and 14.
  • Answer all other questions the same as on your original K-1, but don't enter the income amounts again.

Maybe. It depends on your age, marital status, and income. Income falls into three categories:

  • Earned income — like:
    • Salaries
    • Wages
    • Tips
    • Professional fees
    • Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants
  • Unearned income — like:
    • Taxable interest
    • Ordinary dividends
    • Capital gain distributions
    • Unemployment compensation
    • Taxable social security benefits, pensions, and annuities
  • Gross income — The total of your earned and unearned income

You must file a return if you meet any of these qualifications:

  • You're a single or married dependent under age 65 with:
    • Unearned income over $1,000
    • Earned income over $6,200
    • Gross income more than $1,000 or earned income up to $5,850 — plus $350
    • Gross income of at least $5, and you had a spouse who filed a separate return and itemized deductions (if married)
  • You're a single dependent over age 65 with:
    • Unearned income over $2,550 ($4,100 if over 65 and blind)
    • Earned income over $7,750 ($9,300 if over 65 and blind)
    • Gross income more than the larger of $2,550 (or $4,100 if over 65 and blind), or earned income (up to $5,850) plus $1,900 (or $3,450 if over age 65 and blind)
  • You're a married dependent over age 65 with:
    • Unearned income over $2,200 ($3.400 if over 65 and blind)
    • Earned income over $7,400 ($8,600 if over 65 and blind)
    • Gross income of at least $5, and you had a spouse who filed a separate return and itemized deductions
    • Gross income more than the larger of $2,200 (or $3,400 if over 65 and blind), or earned income up to $5,850 plus $1,550 (or $2,750 if over 65 and blind)

Even if you're not required to file a return, you might want to. That way, you'll get a refund of any tax you've had withheld.

If any of these are true, you'll still need to file:

  • You've received an advance payment of the premium tax credit.
  • You have to pay any Social Security or Medicare taxes on:
    • Tips you didn't report to an employer
    • Wages you received from an employer who didn't withhold them
  • You have to repay the first-time homebuyer credit.
  • You (or your spouse, if you're filing jointly) received Archer MSA, Medicare Advantage MSA, or health savings account (HSA) distributions.
  • You had at least $400 in net earnings from self-employment.
  • You had at least $108.28 in wages from either of these:
    • A church
    • Qualified church-controlled organization that's exempt from employer Social Security and Medicare taxes
  • You sold a home.
  • You're subject to Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). This is rare if you have low income.
  • You have to pay additional tax on a qualified plan, including an IRA or other tax -favored account. However, if this is the only reason you have to file, you can file Form 5329 by itself.
  • You have to pay household employment taxes. However, if this is the only reason you have to file, you can file Schedule H by itself.

Even if you're not required to file a return, you might still want to file if any of these are true:

  • You've had income tax withheld by an employer.
  • You qualify for one or more of these:
  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)
  • Additional child tax credit
  • American Opportunity Credit
  • You qualify for the premium tax credit but didn't get any advance payments.

No. If both parents live in the same home, only one parent is allowed to claim head of household.

However, if you and your boyfriend are both single, there's a possibility one of you can qualify to file head of household. Usually, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) should file as head of household and the other parent should file as single.

To claim head of household as a single person, all of these must be true:

  • You were unmarried on the last day of the tax year.
  • You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
  • A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year, except for temporary absences like school.

Most married couples file jointly for convenience as well as for the tax savings.

In most cases, filing a joint return can lower your tax liability more than filing separate returns, since there are more tax breaks offered to people filing a joint return. Plus, if you live in a community property state and file jointly, you'll avoid additional tax rules that apply to married couples who file separate returns.

Here are some of the most common credits and deductions unavailable to married couples who file separately:

  • Standard deduction (if your spouse itemizes deductions)
  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)
  • Child and dependent care credit
  • Education benefits, like the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit
  • Premium tax credit (unless one of you is a victim of domestic abuse)
  • Student loan interest deductions
  • Adoption credit or exclusion (in most cases)
  • Interest income from U.S. Savings Bonds you use for higher education expenses

If a married couple files separate returns, the phase-out levels for certain credits and deductions are half the amount of the joint status. So, it'll be harder for you to claim credits and deduction like these:

  • Child tax credit
  • Retirement savings contribution credit
  • Deductions for personal exemptions (since each spouse claims an individual exemption)
  • Phase-out limitations for exemptions and itemized deductions
  • Capital loss deduction limit
  • IRA deductible contributions
  • Rental activity losses

Also, if you file separate returns, your Social Security benefits can be taxed up to 85% if you lived with your spouse at any time in the year.

However, there are valid reasons some couples choose to file separate returns, like:

  • Nontax reasons, like maintaining separate finances
  • Lower income tax breaks — The spouse with the lower income might qualify for tax breaks (like a medical expense deduction) he or she is only eligible for when filing separately.
  • State tax reasons

If you were married at the end of the year, you can choose between these filing statuses:

  • Married filing jointly
  • Married filing separately
  • Head of household (if you qualify)

To qualify as head of household, you must be considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year.

To file head of household, all of these must be true:

  • You'll file a separate return from your spouse.
  • You provided more than half the cost of maintaining your home the entire year.
  • Your spouse didn't live in the home in the last six months of the year. (This doesn't include temporary absences due to illness, education, business, vacation, or military.)
  • Your home was the main home for more than half of the year for one of these people:
    • Son or stepson
    • Daughter or stepdaughter
    • Foster child
  • You can claim an exemption for the child. You'll also meet this test if you can claim the child, but you released the child to your spouse under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents.

Close relatives, including grandchildren, don't qualify you to be considered unmarried for tax purposes.

We'll ask you about it when we're working on the Healthcare section of your return. All you'll need to do is click a checkbox to indicate you had health insurance coverage all year:

  • If you had health insurance coverage through your employer, your W-2 might show the code "DD" in Box 12. That indicates you had employer-provided insurance.
  • If you bought health insurance through a state or federal marketplace, you'll receive Form 1095-A. This form tells you which family members had health insurance coverage. It also shows if you received an advance of the premium tax credit to help pay your insurance premiums.

You'll need Form 1095-A to complete the premium tax credit reconciliation form included in your 2014 return.

You're not required to attach any documentation to prove you had health insurance, or indicate what type of coverage it is.

For some exemptions, you'll need to apply through the Marketplace and then claim the exemptions on your return. For others, you'll be able to apply for and claim the exemptions on your return. Here are some guidelines:

  • If you submit an exemption application through the Marketplace, you'll receive an exemption certificate. You'll only receive this if you're eligible.
  • You'll need to enter this exemption certificate number on your return.

You can apply for these exemptions:

  • Religious Conscience — request through Marketplace
  • Hardship* — request through Marketplace
  • Indian Tribe Membership — request through Marketplace or claim on federal return
  • Health Care Sharing Ministry — request through Marketplace or claim on federal return
  • Incarceration — request through Marketplace or claim on federal return
  • Unaffordable Coverage** — claim on federal return
  • Short Coverage Gaps — claim on federal return
  • Exempt Noncitizen — claim on federal return

* In some cases, you can claim the Hardship exemption on your return.
** If you want to apply for the Unaffordable Coverage exemption prospectively, you can submit an application through the Marketplace.

In any situation, if your income is below the filing threshold, you don't need to file a return or request an exemption.

The IRS collects the penalty as an additional tax on your return. Usually, the IRS has broad powers to collect unpaid taxes, but provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) limit this. To collect the payment, the IRS can't:

  • Subject you to criminal prosecution or criminal penalties
  • File a notice of lien on your property
  • Levy your property

However, after sending the required notice, the IRS can offset the amount of the penalty against any future refunds or credits you receive. Interest will accrue on the unpaid amount just like it would for an underpayment of tax.

Form 1095-A: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement is an information-reporting document. It shows the amount of advance payments of the premium tax credit you received, your health coverage by month, and more.

You'll use it to reconcile these:

  • Advance of the premium tax credit you received in the year
  • Premium tax credit amount you're eligible to receive based on your actual income

If you received the advance premium tax credit, you must have Form 1095-A to prepare your return. If you don't have Form 1095-A, you'll need to get it from the Marketplace that services your state.

There are three parts in the Form 1095-A:

  • Recipient information — This provides basic information about you (and spouse, if applicable), the policy issuer, and the dates of your insurance policy.
  • Coverage household — This provides information (name, date of birth, coverage start and end date, etc.) on all members of the household for which your insurance covers.
  • Household information — This provides the premium tax credit information, including:
    • Monthly premium amounts for your plan
    • Benchmark plan
    • Monthly premium tax credit advances

The premium tax credit is a credit available to eligible individuals who enroll in a qualified health plan (QHP) through a Marketplace.

  • It's intended to help low-to-moderate-income individuals get health insurance coverage. This occurs by subsidizing the cost of the insurance plan's premium.
  • It's refundable, so individuals with little or no tax liability can still receive the benefits of the credit.
  • It might be advanced directly to an individual's insurance company. This helps reduce the amount of the monthly insurance premium payments. This is called the advance of the premium tax credit.

After the year ends, the advanced amount is reconciled to the actual amount of the premium tax credit for which you're eligible. This is necessary since the advance is based on your projected income during the tax year. This amount is determined by the Marketplace when you enroll in coverage.

The premium tax credit, on the other hand, is based on your actual household income at end of the year. If there's a difference in these amounts, you'll either get a credit or have to repay some, or all, of the excess money you received.

Unfortunately, you can't do that. Unlike a contribution to an IRA — which you can make until the date your return is due — a conversion must be completed by Dec. 31 of the tax year.

So, your contribution will be counted for last year, but the conversion will count for this year. If this is a deductible IRA, you'll realize a tax benefit on last year's return. However, you'll owe tax on the conversion when you do this year's return.

If the contribution to your traditional IRA wasn't deductible, you'll only pay tax on the earnings, if any, at the time of the conversion. Since you converted the contribution after two days, it's unlikely you'll have earnings.

Sure! We're happy to help:

  • Deductible: Deductible means you can deduct it on your return. Any deductible contribution reduces your taxable income. Deductible contributions are fully taxed at the time of distribution.
  • Nondeductible: A nondeductible contribution doesn't affect your tax the year you contribute as long as it's not an excess contribution. Nondeductible contributions are made from after-tax funds. So, when you take a distribution, the original contribution amount won't be taxed.
  • Contribution:Money you put into an IRA account. There are annual limits on the amounts you can contribute to IRA accounts.

    For 2014, contributions are limited to the lower of these:

    • Your compensation (wages and net self-employment income)
    • $5,500 (or $6,500, if you're age 50 or over)

    You might have heard the terms rollover contribution and conversion contribution before. These aren't considered contributions since they don't have the dollar limits that regular contributions have.

    Depending on your income, contributions to traditional IRAs might be deductible. You can still contribute after going over income limits, but your contribution becomes nondeductible. Roth IRA contributions are never deductible.

  • Distribution: Money you withdraw from an IRA account. This includes any amount you convert or rollover. You'll receive a 1099-R from the custodian of your IRA (the financial institution holding the money) that shows this amount. Also, there will be one or two distribution codes shown in Box 7. You'll use these to determine the taxability of your distribution.
  • Recharacterization: Changing a contribution you made to a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA contribution (or vice versa). If you recharacterize a contribution, the IRS treats it as if you had made your original contribution into the more recent form of IRA.
  • Rollover: The nontaxable transfer of the funds from a retirement plan into another retirement plan. Ex: If you leave a job, you can withdraw money from your 401(k) and deposit it into an IRA. It's like a distribution and a contribution done in a single transaction.

There are two ways to roll over your retirement plan money:

  • A rollover can be a direct transfer from the custodian of one plan to the custodian of the other, usually by an electronic funds transfer (EFT). Or, it can be accomplished by the first custodian sending a check to the other.
    • You can withdraw the funds from your old plan by check or with an EFT to one of your bank accounts. Then within 60 days, you'll need to deposit the funds into your new plan.

      There are drawbacks to this plan. The withdrawal is likely subject to tax withholding of 20%. So, to make this a tax-free rollover, you must deposit, with the 80% remaining, enough from your own funds to make up for the amount withheld. If you only deposit the 80%, you'll be taxed on the 20% that was withheld. If you're under age 59 1/2, there will be an additional 10% penalty for early withdrawal.

    • You can make a rollover back into the same IRA account that you withdrew the funds from.
  • Conversion: Similar to a rollover, except the first retirement plan is a traditional IRA and the second is a Roth IRA. If the traditional IRA is a deductible IRA, the conversion will be taxable. (A deductible IRA means you deducted all the contributions on your returns when you made them.) If it's a nondeductible IRA (you didn't take a deduction), the converted contributions are not taxed. However, any earnings that are converted will be taxed.

No, required minimum distributions (RMDs) aren't eligible for rollover. You must pay tax on them.

You can't contribute to a Roth IRA if your income rises above a certain level. So, many high-income taxpayers use a transaction referred to as a "back-door Roth."

Here's how it works:

  • First, you'd make a nondeductible contribution to a traditional IRA. This has no income limits preventing you from contributing to it.
  • Then, you'd immediately convert the traditional IRA contribution to a Roth IRA.

Since a conversion isn't considered a contribution, it isn't limited by income. And, since you couldn't deduct your contribution to the traditional IRA, the conversion isn't taxable. (The IRS has already taxed that money.)

Although we can't help you get a back-door Roth, we can help you report it. This can be complicated, since you need to answer all the questions correctly. Otherwise, it'll result in a taxable conversion.

Here's what to remember about back-door Roth conversions:

  • This isn't a rollover or a recharacterization — it's a conversion. So, answer the rollover and recharacterization questions correctly.
  • When you get to the section on IRA contributions, you must enter your conversion as a contribution to a traditional IRA, not a Roth IRA.
  • At some point, you'll be asked for the value of your traditional IRAs. If you've converted all of your traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, the value is zero at the end of the current year.
  • You'll also be asked for the basis of your traditional IRAs at the end of the previous year. If you converted all of your IRAs before the end of last year, your basis is zero.

If you answer everything correctly, you should have no problem entering this as a tax-free conversion. You'll show the converted amount on Form 1040, Line 15a, and zero on Line 15b.

Maybe. Your Social Security benefits might be tax-free. Or, a portion of your benefits (up to 85%) can be taxed at your personal tax rate — it just depends on your other income.

  • Up to 85% of your Social Security income might be taxed if you meet certain income thresholds. If half of your SSA income plus all your non-SSA income including tax-free interest is more than $25,000 (or $32,000 if married filing jointly), then up to 50% of your SSA income is taxable. If it's more than $34,000 (or $44,000 if married filing jointly), then up to 85% of your SSA income is taxable. Also, if you're married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time during the year, up to 85% of your SSA income is taxable.

All Social Security benefits — regardless of whether they're retirement, survivor, or disability benefits — are taxed in the same manner. This doesn't apply to supplemental security income (SSI), which is never taxable.

If you prepare your return with H&R Block software, we'll ask you a few simple questions to automatically calculate the taxable amount of your Social Security benefits. This ensures you get your maximum guaranteed refund.

If you'd rather figure it out on your own, the IRS offers an 18-step Social Security Benefits Worksheet that you can download.

You can each deduct the interest you actually paid. If one of you doesn't itemize deductions, the other can't deduct the full amount of the interest unless he or she actually paid it.

Remember, if you want to deduct mortgage interest, your mortgage:

  • Must have been used to buy, build, or make improvements to your home
  • Must be secured by the home

Deductible taxes include:

  • State and local income taxes withheld
  • State and local estimated payments
  • State and local payment sent in during the tax year for a prior-year return (not including penalties or interest)
  • Real estate taxes
  • Personal property taxes
  • Occupational taxes paid to your local government as an employee
  • State and local sales taxes (instead of state and local income taxes, if it's more beneficial)
  • Estate tax paid in respect of a person who has died
  • Income taxes paid to a foreign country or US possession
  • Half of any self employment taxes paid

You can't deduct these taxes:

  • Federal income tax
  • Federal excise tax
  • Social Security, Medicare, FUTA, and RRTA taxes
  • Customs duties
  • Most federal estate or gift tax (except estate tax paid in respect to a decedent)
  • Gasoline taxes
  • Car inspection fees
  • Special assessments for improvements to property
  • Tax paid for someone else
  • License fees for dog license, driver's license, and marriage license

You'll need to itemize your deductions to be able to deduct ordinary and necessary employee business expenses. In addition, employee business expenses are subject to a 2% of adjusted gross income (AGI) limitation.

So, to get a benefit, those expenses — combined with all other expenses included in the 2% of AGI limitation — must be more than 2% of your AGI. That's the amount you can claim as an itemized deduction on your return.

Maybe — it depends on when you pay your premiums:

  • If you pay for health insurance before taxes are taken out of your check, you can't deduct your health insurance premiums.
  • If you pay for health insurance after taxes are taken out of your paycheck, you might qualify for the medical expense deduction.

You'll need to review your paycheck stub to determine when you pay for health insurance. If you need additional help, check with your employer's payroll or human resources department.

If you've paid premiums with after-tax money, include these payments:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Medicare A insurance (if you're enrolled voluntarily and not as a Social Security recipient or government employee)
  • Medicare B supplemental insurance
  • Medicare D prescription insurance
  • HMO membership

Also, you can include long-term care insurance, up to these age-based limits:

  • Age 40 or under: $370 maximum deduction
  • Age 41-50: $700 maximum deduction
  • Age 51-60: $1,400 maximum deduction
  • Age 61-70: $3,720 maximum deduction
  • Age 71 or older: $4,660 maximum deduction

Don't include these payments:

  • Any amount you entered in the "Self-Employed Health Insurance" section of your return
  • Disability insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Vehicle insurance (even if it covers medical care in the event of an accident)
  • Medicare taxes
  • Insurance you used to figure your health coverage care credit (Form 8889)
  • The incremental cost of adding a nondependent child under age 27 to your policy
  • Medical costs reimbursed by any of these:
    • Insurance
    • Health savings accounts (HSAs)
    • Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
    • Other tax-benefitted medical savings accounts

It's simple — choose whichever method saves you the most tax.

Standard Deduction

The standard deduction is a flat dollar amount that reduces the income you're taxed on. It's determined according to your filing status, and increases if you're blind or age 65 or older.

With the standard deduction:

  • You'll be able to reduce your taxable income, even if you don't have qualified itemized expenses.
  • You don't have to show records and receipts of your expenses, even if you're audited by the IRS.

Itemized Deductions

Itemized deductions also reduce your taxable income and might offer additional tax savings over the standard deduction. Ex: If you're in the 15% tax bracket, every $1,000 in itemized deductions over the standard deduction knocks another $150 off of your tax bill.

Itemized deductions include:

  • Unreimbursed medical and dental expenses
  • Mortgage interest and real estate taxes you paid on your home
  • Unreimbursed expenses as an employee
  • Uninsured or underinsured casualty or theft losses
  • Contributions to qualified charities

Even if your itemized deductions are less the standard deduction, you might choose to itemize:

  • If claiming itemized deductions on the state return offers you more benefits on your state return
  • If itemizing on your state return offers you a larger state refund to offset a lower refund on your federal return

Some states only let you itemize deductions on your state return if you itemized on your federal return. However, others allow you to itemize even if you didn't do so on your federal return. So, review all of your options before choosing the method you'll use.

Keep these in mind:

  • If you itemize deductions on your federal return using your state withholding, your state refund might be taxable next year.
  • Your itemized deductions might be reduced if your adjusted gross income (AGI) (shown on Form 1040, Line 38) is more than the limits based on your filing status.

It depends. To claim a qualifying child:

  • You can't be someone else's dependent, even if they don't claim you as a dependent.
  • Your child can't file a joint return unless he or she is only filing to get a refund of tax withheld.
  • Your child must be one of these:
    • U.S. citizen
    • U.S. resident
    • U.S. national
    • Resident of Canada or Mexico
  • The child must be your:
    • Child
    • Stepchild
    • Foster child placed by a licensed agency
    • Sibling, a step-sibling, or a descendent of any of these, like a niece or nephew
  • The child must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year. (Temporary absences for things like school, vacation, and medical care still count as time lived with you.)

Also, the child must be either:

  • Under age 19 at the end of the tax year, and younger than you
  • Under age 24, a full-time student for at least five months of the year, and younger than you — unless he or she is permanently and totally disabled

Finally, your child can't have provided more than half of his or her own support:

  • Support includes the appropriate portion of food, utilities, repairs, household expenses, and rent paid or the fair rental value of the home.
  • Other costs include:
    • Clothing
    • Education
    • Medical and dental expenses paid out of pocket
    • Travel and entertainment costs specifically for the child
  • Scholarships or grants received aren't counted as support if they go towards qualified education costs. However, loans are considered to be support provided by the person who must repay the loan.

Use Worksheet 3-1 in Publication 17: Worksheet for Determining Support to help you. If you use the worksheet, keep it with your copy of your return for your records.

If your child doesn't meet these tests, he or she can still be your dependent if:

  • The child doesn't meet the tests above for someone else.
  • You provide more than half of the child's support.
  • His or her gross income (income that's not exempt from tax) is less than $3,950.

Yes, you can claim a parent or another relative when he or she no longer qualifies as anyone's qualifying child. However, all six of these conditions must be met:

  • You can't be someone else's dependent, even if they don't claim you as a dependent.
  • Your parent (or other relative) can't file a joint return unless he or she is only filing to get a refund of tax withheld.
  • Your parent (or other relative) must be one of these:
    • U.S. citizen
    • U.S. resident
    • U.S. national
    • Resident of Canada or Mexico
  • Also, he or she must be one of these:
    • Your parent, ancestor, or sibling of either of them
    • Stepsibling, stepparent, parent-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law, or brother- or sister-in-law
    • Any person that lived with you for the entire year as a member of your household
  • He or she must have gross income (income that's not exempt from tax) of less than $3,950. This includes the taxable portion of these:
    • Social Security
    • Pensions
    • Scholarships
    • Unemployment
    • All other taxable income
  • You must have provided over half of the person's support. This includes all money spent supporting the person — including food stamps, housing assistance, and other government assistance.

Use Worksheet 3-1 in Publication 17: Worksheet for Determining Support to help you. If you use the worksheet, keep it with your copy of your return for your records.

Yes. Your child is considered to have lived with you the entire year if:

  • The child was born or died during the year.
  • Your home was the child's home for more than half the time he or she was alive. This is true if the child lived with you more than half the year except for any required hospital stay after the birth.

You might be able to claim an exemption for a child born alive during the year, even if your child lived only for a moment. These must be true:

  • State or local law must treat the child as having been born alive.
  • There must be proof of a live birth shown by an official document like a birth certificate.
  • All of the other tests to claim an exemption for a dependent must be met.

There are seven qualifications that you must meet to claim your boyfriend (a non-relative) as a dependent:

  1. You can't be someone else's dependent, even if they don't claim you as a dependent.
  2. He can't qualify as anyone else's qualifying child.
  3. He can't file a joint return, unless he is only filing to get a refund of tax withheld.
  4. He must be one of these:
    • U.S. citizen
    • U.S. resident
    • U.S. national
    • Resident of Canada or Mexico
  5. He must have lived with you all 365 days of the year as a member of your household.
  6. He must have gross income (income that's not exempt from tax) of less than $3,950. This includes the taxable portion of these:
    • Social Security
    • Pensions
    • Scholarships
    • Unemployment
    • All other taxable income
  7. You must have provided over half of his support. This includes all money spent supporting the person — including food stamps, housing assistance, and other government assistance.

Use Worksheet 3-1 in Publication 17: Worksheet for Determining Support to help you. If you use the worksheet, keep it with your copy of your return for your records.

It's important to determine who your child's custodial parent is for tax purposes. We're here to help:

  • The IRS doesn't use the same definition of custodial parent that family court does.
  • Your divorce decree might say that one parent has custody, while the IRS determines that the other parent is the custodial parent for tax purposes.

For tax purposes, the custodial parent is usually the parent the child lives with the most nights. If the child lived with each parent for an equal number of nights, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income (AGI).

You can't legally defy the divorce decree or the custody agreement since you're only the custodial parent for tax reasons. However, you might be eligible for some tax benefits.

If the custodial parent qualifies for these benefits, he or she can claim all of these on his or her return:

  • Head of household filing status
  • Child and dependent care expense exclusion or credit for any expenses paid
  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)

The parent claiming the child for the tax year will be able to claim all of these:

  • Dependent exemption
  • Child tax credit
  • Additional child tax credit
  • Any education expenses

In order for the noncustodial parent to claim these benefits, he or she must send one of these to the IRS with the return or with a Form 8453 after e-filing:

  • Form 8332: Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent
  • A pre-2009 legal agreement or divorce decree that states he or she is eligible to claim the child. He or she will also need to attach these pages of the agreement to the return:
    • Statement that says the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, like payment of support
    • Statement that the other parent won't claim the child as a dependent
    • Year, or years, the child can be claimed
    • Cover page that includes the other parent's Social Security number (SSN)
    • Signature page with the other parent's signature and date of agreement

You'll need to submit this information to the IRS each year you're claiming a child who wasn't your custodial child for tax purposes.

There are several reasons why you might not have qualified for Earned Income Credit (EIC) this year:

  • If you don't have any qualifying children, you must be at least age 25 but no older than age 65.
  • If you do have children, it's possible the children didn't meet all of the qualifications for the EIC.

We'll help you figure this out. Let's go through the qualifications you must meet in order to claim the credit:

  1. To qualify for EIC, your child must meet these requirements:
    • Age — A qualifying child must be under age 19 or a full-time student under age 24. If your child is permanently and totally disabled, the age requirements don't apply.
    • Relationship —A qualifying child must be one of these:
      • Son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, or eligible foster child
      • Brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister
      • Descendant of any of these individuals
      • These rules also apply to relationships:
        • Relationships established by marriage aren't ended by death or divorce.
        • An adopted child is treated as your own child. The term "adopted child" includes any child legally placed with you for legal adoption.
      • Residency —The child must live with you in the same main home within the U.S. for more than half of the year.
        • This doesn't include Puerto Rico or other U.S. possessions.
        • Exceptions are allowed for:
          • Temporary absences
          • Children who were born or died during the year (if your home was the child's home for over half of the time he or she was alive)
          • Kidnapped children
        • Another exception allows individuals on extended active duty outside of the United States to be treated as having a main home within the United States. Extended active duty equals more than 90 days or for an indefinite period.
      • Citizenship — A qualifying child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident. A child who's a resident of Canada or Mexico doesn't qualify.
    • Citizenship — A qualifying child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident. A child who's a resident of Canada or Mexico doesn't qualify.
    • Dependency Requirement — There's no general requirement that the child be claimed as a dependent. However, a married child is only a qualifying child for EIC purposes if you could claim his or her dependency exemption.
    • Marital Status —A qualifying child must not file a joint return, unless both of these are true:
      • The return is only filed as a claim for refund.
      • No tax liability would exist for either spouse if both spouses had filed separate returns.
    • SSN Requirement — A qualifying child must have a valid SSN. An adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) or an individual tax identification number (ITIN) doesn't qualify.
  2. You must have earned income to claim this credit:
    • Unearned income (interest, sale of investments, pensions, and unemployment) doesn't qualify for the credit.
    • If you're a military taxpayer with nontaxable combat pay, you can choose to include the combat pay in income for purposes of calculating the EIC.
  3. Your filing status can't be married filing separately.
  4. Your investment income has a limit:
    • For 2014, you can only claim the EIC if your investment income is $3,350 or less. Investment income includes:
      • Interest
      • Dividends
      • Capital gains
      • Royalties
      • Rental income
      • Passive activity income

It's possible one of your children is now too old to qualify for the child tax credit. This credit is only available for children who are age 16 or younger on Dec. 31 of the tax year. So, if your oldest child turned age 17 during the year, he or she no longer qualifies for the child tax credit.

If you feel you should qualify for this credit, review what you entered in the Personal Information section of your return.

This valuable credit can be up to $7,500 of the expenses you've incurred to buy a qualifying vehicle. However, it's limited to the amount of tax you owe and isn't refundable.

After you answer a few simple questions, we'll calculate this credit for you — helping ensure you get your maximum refund.

To claim your qualified electric vehicle credit:

  1. Go to the Federal section of your return.
  2. Click Credits.
  3. Click Electric Vehicle Credit, on the list of available credits.
  4. Answer the questions shown on screen, so we can calculate your allowable credit.

There are a few reasons why you might not be receiving this credit:

  1. You might have paid for childcare from a flexible spending account (FSA) you set up through your employer. Any money you contributed to your FSA is considered pre-tax. Since these funds are untaxed, they reduce the amount of eligible expenses.

    So, if you paid for daycare using $5,000 from your FSA, you have no eligible expenses remaining to claim the credit.

  2. If you're married, both you and your spouse must have earned income. There are special rules for calculating earned income if you or your spouse is:
    • A full-time student
    • Physically unable to care for himself or herself
  3. Your child is over age 12. Once a child reaches age 13, child care expenses are no longer eligible for this credit. However, any expenses incurred during the year until their 13th birthday are still eligible.

If you feel you should qualify for this credit, review what you entered in the Personal Information section of your return.

Kindergarten is primarily educational in nature, so tuition for it doesn't qualify for this credit. This is also true for other primary and secondary education. However, the expenses of a before – or after – school care program might qualify.

This depends on whether the two states have a reciprocal agreement.

  • Reciprocity agreements allow you to request an exemption from having state taxes withheld in your nonresident state. If the states have a reciprocity agreement, fill out an exemption request form for the nonresident state and submit it to your employer. Then, you'll only file a return in your resident state. You might also have to ask your employer to withhold taxes for your resident state or make estimated tax payments to the state you live in.
  • If both states collect income taxes and don't have a reciprocity agreement, you'll have to pay taxes on your earnings in both states:
    • First, file a nonresident return for the state where you work. You'll need information from this return to properly file your return in your home state.
    • Next, file a resident return for the state where you live. To prevent double-taxing, the state where you live will usually give you a credit for taxes paid to the nonresident state.

Since each state's tax rules are different, check the rules for your states before preparing your taxes.

It depends on several factors, including:

  • Which state is considered the source of the income
  • Specific states involved
  • If you changed jobs or kept the same one
  • If there's a reciprocity agreement between the states involved

You'll likely file a part-year resident return in both states. Usually, you'll have to file a state return in any states that you:

  • Have earned income from wages or self-employment
  • Have property that produces income

Before you begin, check the residency rules for each state. Some states consider you a full-year resident if you're present in the state for at least 183 days.

If you move to a neighboring state and keep your job in your original state, find out if there's a reciprocity agreement between those states. Usually, you'll be taxed only in your state of residence if:

  • You work in the other state
  • Your wages are your only income from the other state

If you're filing two part-year resident returns, check the rules for each state on what income to report. Income from interest, dividends, and pensions is usually considered to be from your state of residence.

  • Some states will have you report your income from all sources — just as a full-year resident does. Then, after the tax is calculated, this amount will be reduced based on the income you made as a resident compared to your total income.
  • Other states will have you allocate the income between states before calculating the tax.

Yes, Service Member Relief Act regulations require active-duty military members to file state returns. You'll do this for your state of domicile — also known as your state of legal residence.

Your state of legal residence is recorded by the military and remains your tax state:

  • While you're on active duty
  • Until the state is officially changed

Even if you're stationed in a different state, you'll file your return in your state of legal residence.

Any nonmilitary wages you earned are considered earned in the state that you performed the work. If you have nonmilitary wages, check the nonresident filing requirements for the state where you earned the income.

Normally, a spouse who moves to a new state and establishes a new residence becomes a resident of that new state. So, he or she would be taxed as a resident of that new state.

However, the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act allows military spouses to keep the same domicile (state of legal residence) as their service-member spouse. This is true as long as the military spouse also has an established residency in the same state.

A military spouse is exempt from income taxes in a state when these qualifications are met:

  1. The spouse currently lives in a state other than his or her state of legal residence.
  2. The spouse resides in the state solely to live with the service-member spouse.
  3. The service member is present in the state, in compliance with military orders.
  4. The spouse and service member are both able to claim the same domicile.

The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act provides protection to a military spouse who's moving due to military orders. This is true as long as the residence is the same for the husband and wife. The spouse can't lose or get a new residence (for tax purposes) if the spouse is moving with the service member.

The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act also has implications for both state income tax and certain personal property taxes:

  • A military spouse covered by the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act will file his or her state return in his or her state of legal residence. However, he or she shouldn't assume their tax status in that state will be the same as their service member spouse's status.
  • A state might exempt military income earned while the service member is out-of-state on military orders. However, the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act doesn't automatically extend this exemption to a spouse.

This means two or more states have an agreement to exempt the income earned by nonresidents from a nearby state. These agreements enable residents of one state to work in a nearby state while only paying income taxes to their state of residency.

Reciprocity is most common in the areas where a large number of individuals work across state lines.

Reciprocal agreements usually only cover earned income, like wages, tips, and commissions. Usually, they don't affect any income not earned through employment.

  • Reciprocity agreements don't matter when looking at capital gains, interest income, or lottery winnings. These types of income are subject to income tax in the state where they were generated.
  • Some reciprocity agreements are only valid if wages are the only income you earned in the neighboring state. If you have other income sourced in the nonresident state, the wages also become taxable there.

Make sure your employer is aware if your state has a reciprocal agreement. That way the employer won't withhold state income tax for the incorrect state. If they do withhold tax incorrectly, you'll need to file a return to get your withholding back from the state you work in.

You don't enter that income on your return since it's taxable to your daughter. If she's using our software product to prepare her taxes, she'd click on Income, then scroll down to find "Scholarships" and click Go To on that line.

Maybe. Before you can find out, you'll need to gather some relevant information about your son's expenses and any financial aid he's received.

  • First, calculate your son's qualified education expenses (like tuition, fees, and course materials). You'll need this to determine American Opportunity Credit eligibility.
  • Then, calculate the amount of expenses that aren't qualified for the credit, but are considered qualified for the 529 account (like room and board).
  • Finally, locate the amounts of any scholarships, grants, and fellowships your son received, and figure out what those amounts paid for.

Now, you'll have everything you need to determine whether or not you can claim the American Opportunity Credit.

  • Step 1:Deduct the amount of scholarships from qualified education expenses.
    • If the remaining amount of expenses is zero or less, you can't claim the credit since there are no remaining qualified expenses to use for the claim.
    • If there's still scholarship money after reducing expenses to zero, this excess scholarship is taxable.
    • If there's a balance of qualified expenses remaining, make note of this amount. We'll get back to that in a moment.
  • Step 2:Now, deduct the amount of your 529 withdrawal from the amount of expenses you have that aren't qualified for the credit, but are qualified for the 529 plan.
    • If the remaining amount of the expenses is zero or positive, you can claim the American Opportunity Credit using the balance of qualified expenses remaining from Step 1.
    • If the remainder is negative, you'll deduct it from the balance of qualified expenses remaining from Step 1. This means you have extra 529 money that you haven't applied to any expenses.
    • If this uses up the 529 money and you still have qualified education expenses remaining, you can use them to claim the credit.
    • If the 529 money takes the qualified expenses to zero, you're not eligible for the credit.
    • If you still have money from your 529 withdrawal after reducing your qualified expenses to zero, the part of it attributable to earnings in the 529 account is taxable. It'll incur a penalty for using the 529 money for nonqualified expenses.

You can choose to consider the money from the 529 account as taxable in order to claim the credit. If you do this, you'll be taxed on it. However, the penalty won't apply.

We know this is complicated. For more help, see Publication 970 for specific examples or contact one of our knowledgeable tax professionals.

When your son is away at college, it's considered a temporary absence. This is because he'll return to your home when he's on breaks and in between terms. Temporary absences don't take away from the time he lives with you. So, for tax purposes, he lived with you all year, and you'll get the dependency exemption (if you meet the other requirements).

The school has a choice of whether to use Box 1 or Box 2, but not both:

  • Box 1 shows how much the school received on your account from all sources. This includes amounts from:
    • Student
    • Student's parents
    • Scholarships
    • Any other third-parties
  • Box 2 shows how much the school billed. When a school uses Box 2, you can only claim what was paid, not what was billed.

It's your responsibility to make sure you claim the correct amount.

Under certain circumstance, part of a child's unearned income might be taxed at the parents' tax rate. This is commonly referred to as the "kiddie tax." It kicks in if both of these apply:

  • Your child's unearned income was more than $2,000.
  • Your child meets one of these age conditions:
    • He or she was under age 18 at the end of the tax year.
    • He or she was age 18 at the end of the tax year and the earned income wasn't more than half of his or her own support for the year.
    • He or she was a full-time student under age 24 at the end of the year and the earned income wasn't more than half of his or her own support for the year (excluding scholarships).

The kiddie tax doesn't pertain exclusively to investment income. Congress intended it to end parents sheltering investment gains under their children's names, but used the term "unearned income".

However, there was a problem — Congress used a definition of unearned income that was already being used for another purpose. Instead, Congress should have created a new definition of the income they were trying to control.

That definition still stands today and, since there are so many more sources of unearned income today than there were in 1986, more people are getting caught in it.

For purposes of kiddie tax, scholarship income counts as unearned income. However, scholarship income is earned income when you use it to calculate the standard deduction for a dependent.

As you can imagine, there are many terms used throughout the tax code that have different definitions in different places. At H&R Block, we've got the expertise to help you prepare your taxes correctly, ensuring you get your maximum refund — guaranteed.

First, you need to determine how the property was used. All property falls into one of four use types:

  • Personal use
  • Business use
  • Stock-in-trade (inventory)
  • Investment use

Since the house has been sitting vacant, waiting to appreciate in value, the investment use will apply to you.

When you sell an investment property, you'll report it as "Sale of stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds and Investment Property (1099-B)" within our program. Once you enter the sale, it'll appear on Form 8949, which flows to Schedule D.

Since this isn't a sale of securities, you didn't receive a 1099-B. So, be sure that box isn't checked when you enter this information:

  1. Date acquired — The date you took ownership of the inherited property. Enter "Inherit."
  2. Cost or other basis— For inherited property, this is usually the fair market value (FMV) at the date of death. If you didn't get a property appraisal at the date of death, you'll need to get one now.

    Most appraisers will be able to consider market conditions at date of death and give you a retroactive appraisal of the home. You can't use a property tax statement from that time, since assessed values for property taxes rarely match their FMV. If you made any improvements to the home after you inherited it (like a remodeled kitchen or new roof), you'll need to add those costs to the basis.

  3. Date sold — This is the date that escrow closed and the new owner took possession.
  4. Sales price— Enter the selling price minus any sales expenses. The usual selling expense is the broker's commission, but you can also deduct:
    • Advertising fees
    • Legal fees
    • Any points you paid for the buyer

Once you've entered this information, we'll calculate your gain or loss (the sales price minus basis). Since this is an investment property, you'll be able to deduct a loss (if there is one). However, you can't exclude a gain from your income as you can do with your main home.

Basis is the amount of your capital investment in a property for tax purposes. To find it, determine your original investment in the property. In most situations, the basis of an asset you buy is its cost. This includes sales tax and other expenses connected with the purchase.

  • If you don't have the record of sale, or don't remember how much you paid, contact your broker or realtor.
  • The county clerk's office (where the house is located) should have records of all home sales in their jurisdiction. You may also look to online historical pricing information from various online resources.
  • Once you find the information you need, be sure to note the source you used. Keep this document with your tax records.

To find the adjusted basis:

  1. Start with the original investment in the property.
  2. Add the cost of major improvements.
  3. Subtract the amount of allowable depreciation and casualty and theft losses.

Here's how to determine the basis of other acquired property.

  1. Inherited property is usually the FMV of the property at the date of death.
  2. Gifted propertydepends on if there is a gain or loss when you sell or dispose of the property:
    • When there's a gain, that's the donor's adjusted basis.
    • When there's a loss, the basis is the lower of the FMV at the time of the gift or the donor's adjusted basis.
    • There's no gain or loss on the sale if:
      • The result is a loss when the basis for figuring gain is used.
      • The result is a gain when the basis for figuring a loss is used.
  3. Property changed from a personal to businessdepends on whether you have a gain or a loss:
    • If you have a gain, you'll use your adjusted basis.
    • If you have a loss, you'll use the lesser of the adjusted basis or the FMV at the time the property changed to business use.

    Then, you'll adjust this basis for any events that occurred after the property was converted to business use. These include:

    • Improvements
    • Depreciation
    • Casualties and thefts

Your grandmother is giving you a gift of equity, and you'll have no immediate tax impact. The basis of the property will be the greater of these:

  • The amount you paid for the property
  • Your grandmother's adjusted basis of the property at the time of the transfer

This amount will be increased by the amount, if any, of gift tax your grandmother has to pay.

  • You should treat the purchase as if she gave you cash to pay her for the difference between what you actually paid and the home's FMV. This difference is the gift she gave to you. Gifts aren't taxable to the recipient.
  • Your grandmother might have to file a gift return. She's allowed to gift $14,000 per person each year without having to file a gift return. So, her gift to you and your spouse can be $28,000:
    • If the equity she gave you is less than $28,000, she doesn't have to file the return.
    • If it's more than that, she'll have to file the return, but still might not have to pay gift tax.

If you'd like to learn more, see Publication 559: Survivors, Executors, and Administrators.

Just visit the Income/Rentals and Royalties section of your return and click Add Activity.

If you've never managed a rental property before, there could be a few terms you'll see that you might not understand. Don't worry — we'll walk through this section together to make sure you get your maximum refund — guaranteed.

Here's a quick primer on what to expect, and what you'll need to do:

  • You'll tell us your rental income. You'll also tell us about any expenses related to the home rental. Since you only rented your home for part of the year, you'll only get to deduct the expenses for that part of the year. Just enter all of your expenses, and we'll prorate them based on the number of days rented (which you'll enter as well).
  • We'll ask you some general questions about the property, like:
    • The home's address
    • If you ever rented the home before
    • How many days you owned the house
    • How many days was it rented (or available for rent)
    • If there was any personal use of the house after you placed the property for rent. Usually, the answer to this question is "no", assuming you rented the house out for the remainder of the year. If you rented your home to anybody at less than fair rental value you should answer "yes" to this question. During times of personal use, you can only deduct mortgage interest as an itemized deduction if the home was your main or second home.
  • If you hired a property management company to manage your rental, that company collects rent and sends it to you. At the end of the year, they'll send you a 1099-MISC showing how much rent you received. We'll help you enter this 1099-MISC on your return. If you collect the rent yourself, you'll enter it a little later in your return.
  • Once you've finished with income, you'll report any expenses related to your rental home. One of the first expenses you'll come to is depreciation. This allows you to spread the cost of an asset across a period of years:
    • Your home itself is the largest asset you'll need to enter. You'll need to allocate part of the cost of the home to land using a reasonable method. Check your property tax statement for an allocation between land and improvements or obtain an appraisal.
    • If you're including appliances with the rental, you'll need to enter each of those as separate assets.
    • For each item of property, click Add Property, and complete the next screen.
  • If you travel to check on the house, or you go there to collect the rent, you might be able to deduct vehicle expenses. There's a specific section of your return for reporting your vehicle use.
  • You'll enter the mortgage interest later, in the Deductions section of your return. When you enter it, you'll be asked if the interest is related to the rental that you entered earlier. Say "yes" and the software will ask the percentage of rental use, and allocate the correct amount to Schedule E and leave the balance on Schedule A. To calculate the percentage, divide the number of days rented by the number of days owned.

Finally, be sure to click any Learn More or What Qualifies? links you see. They'll help explain and educate in greater detail.

If a debt is canceled or forgiven (other than as a gift or bequest), you must include it in your income. However, there's an exception if:

  • The debt is canceled due to a Title 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

    The debt is canceled when you're insolvent immediately before the discharge. This exclusion is limited to the amount by which you're insolvent. Insolvent means you owe more in debt (like car loans, credit cards, and mortgages) than you own in assets (your car, home, and furniture.)

  • If you're using this exception, fill out an insolvency worksheet. You'll report your assets as of midnight the day before the discharge took place. You can find this worksheet on Publication 4681, Page 8. Once you've completed it, keep it with your tax records.
  • The debt discharged is qualified farm indebtedness.
  • The debt discharged is qualified real property business debt. (This is only true for taxpayers, not C corporations.)
  • The debt discharged is qualified principal residence indebtedness discharged before Jan. 1, 2014. (This might be extended by Congress)
  • The debt was certain indebtedness of a qualified individual due to Midwestern disasters.

If you think any of these might apply to you, enter details in Form 982. If a foreclosure on your home was involved, you'll also need to report that in the Sale of Home section.

Reporting Canceled Debt

If you don't qualify for an exclusion, you'll need to report your canceled debt on your return:

  • If the canceled debt is nonbusiness debt, report the taxable part on Form 1040, Line 21.
  • If it's a business debt of a sole proprietorship, report the amount on Form 1040, Schedule C.
  • If it's a debt for your rental activity, report the amount on Form 1040, Schedule E.
  • If it's a debt for your farming activity, report the amount on Form 1040, Schedule F.
  • If you are unsure whether you have a valid exclusion, you should enter the data for the potential exclusion into the software first. Otherwise, you'll have to delete your entries if you later find you do qualify for an exclusion.

Recourse vs Nonrecourse Debt

There are two different kinds of debt:

  • Nonrecourse debt is debt you (the borrower) aren't personally liable for. If you don't pay the loan, a creditor (lender) can only take the property that secured the loan to satisfy the debt.
  • Recourse debt is debt you (the borrower) are personally liable for. If the property that secured the loan doesn't fully pay the recourse debt, the lender can try to get more money from you to pay the remaining debt.

If you receive a 1099-C for the cancellation of debt, Box 5 will be checked for recourse loans.

Usually, if the canceled debt is nonrecourse debt, there's no cancellation of debt income. This is due to the fact that the property you give to the lender fully satisfies the debt.

However, you might still have a taxable gain on the transfer or "sale" of the property. This is true if the amount realized is more than your adjusted basis in the property. If the mortgage was a non-recourse debt, the amount realized is the amount of debt forgiven (1099-C, Box 2). If the mortgage was a recourse debt, the amount realized is the fair market value (FMV) of the home (Form 1099-C, Box 7) minus any expenses of the sale. These expenses include court costs and legal fees in a foreclosure action or real estate commissions.

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