Your federal tax return: What it is and how to file


Good, fast, easy: not usually what comes to mind when you think of filing taxes, is it? Luckily, filing your federal tax return doesn’t have to be a headache.

At H&R Block, we know how to make filing taxes easy, quick, and as painless as possible. After spending more than 60 years in the tax business, we’ve gotten pretty good at it.

What is a federal tax return?

Before we get into the ways to file your taxes, let’s define, “what is a federal tax return?”

A federal tax return is a tax return you send to the IRS each year through Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. It shows how much money you earned in a tax year and how much money you paid in taxes. Its purpose is to display that you met your obligation to pay the U.S. government.

Your tax filing status and gross income determine if you need to file a federal income tax return, get guidance on if you need to file a tax return from this IRS tool.

Need to also file a state return? Check out our state filing resources.

Tax support to maximize your federal refund

Sit with a tax pro at a safe distance in our office or stay put on your couch. We have all the tax filing options you need to file in a way that works for you.

And, our tax pros can spotlight every tax opportunity for you – from tax credits to deductions – to maximize your federal refund.

Easy ways to file and maximize your federal income tax return

With our extensive tax knowledge, 10,000 office locations, and highly qualified tax professionals, we can help you get the maximum federal tax refund you’re entitled to.

Prefer to take-on taxes on your own? We offer convenient online tax filing options and tax preparation software that allow you to complete your federal tax return on your schedule and in the comfort of your home, regardless of your income or federal tax rates.

If you’re not comfortable filing your federal tax return on your own, don’t worry. We offer in-person advice and help from our tax professionals face-to-face in our tax offices. Our goal is to make sure you get the maximum federal tax refund you deserve.

No matter which income tax return option you choose – access to one of our experienced H&R Block tax professionals is available to make the process easy.

Review your options for filing your federal income tax return below to learn more.

1 – File tax returns online

File your taxes from the comfort of your own home with our online tax filing services. Our products are designed to fit your needs, whatever they may be.

Ready to get your taxes done today? Depending on your tax situation, you may be able to file your taxes for free with H&R Block Free Online.

2 – File your income tax return using software

Store your taxes on your computer with H&R Block’s tax preparation software. Stay in control, and always get your maximum federal refund. Get help with how to install, use and complete your federal tax return with H&R Block Software support articles.

3 – File tax returns in our office

Looking to spend some one-on-one time with a tax professional? With over 10,000 tax service offices nationwide, there’s an H&R Block Office near you. You can:

  • Make an appointment or walk in for a one-on-one tax appointment. You’ll meet with your tax pro at a safe distance.
  • Drop off your tax files at an office and have a tax pro prepare your tax return for you.
  • Work virtually over chat, phone, or video.

We’re ready to help you with all your tax needs. Locate a tax office today.

Professional tax support beyond your federal tax return

H&R Block provides more than just tax preparation services. We are here to assist you even after your income tax return is filed. If you file online using one of our products, you have the option of having your return reviewed by a tax professional. We also offer tax audit support, access to your tax returns, e-file refund status and more.

If you have a unique tax situation we’ve got you covered at a local tax office near you.

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