IRS Publication 17 2015 -2016

Internal Revenue Service Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, is a guide to each step of an individual federal income tax return. This publication explains tax laws, including explanations of new laws for the 2010 tax year, and deductions that have expired and can no longer be taken.

The hope is that the publication will help taxpayers to understand their taxes, and help them to pay only what they owe and not a penny more.

These are some of the things the IRS wants people to know about Publication 17:

  • You can get to it online: Publication 17 can be accessed online at
  • It is full of tax filing information and tips: Publication 17 will tell you what income to report, and how to report it.
  • The online version links to other publications: Wherever information is cross-referenced, you can link directly to the other sources directly from Publication 17. The links are in the online version and the downloadable PDF.
  • You can get a free hard copy: A printed version of Publication 17 is available for free. You can order it at or call 800-TAX-FORM ((949) 751-6456).
  • It has information on many tax topics: Publication 17 has information on choosing the standard deduction versus itemizing deductions, claiming dependents, figuring capital gains and losses, and how to claim valuable tax credits.
  • You can get it in Spanish: Publication 17(SP) El Impuestos Federal sobre los Ingresos is the same document, translated into Spanish.

IRS Publication 17 is an all-purpose guide to preparing your federal individual income taxes with the IRS.  What would you need this for, you say?  Well even if you take your taxes to a tax prep office and pay to have them done, don’t you want to know about your income tax and how it works?  The more you know, the more you might be able to save money on your tax bill.  Why leave it up to strangers?

If you already do prepare your income tax return using commercial software, IRS Publication 17 can come in handy as supplemental information for parts of your 1040 that aren’t so clear to you.