IRS Glossary of Terms


American Association of Retired Persons

Accrual method
Accounting method that reports income when earned (not necessarily received) and expenses when incurred (not necessarily paid), as opposed to the cash method. (Out of scope for the VITA/TCE programs.)

Active Participation
When a taxpayer makes significant rental or business management decisions, such as approving rental terms, repairs, expenditures, and new tenants (versus passive activity). Taxpayers who use a leasing agent or property manager are still considered active participants if they retain final management rights.

Active Pay
The military income a service member receives while on active duty (versus retirement or retainer pay).

Actual Expense Method
One of two methods for calculating business automobile expenses. For the actual expense method, the taxpayer determines the business portion of expenses for fuel, auto maintenance, parking fees and tolls, and auto loan interest. (The other method is the standard mileage method). The actual expense method is out of scope for the VITA/TCE programs.

Additional Child Tax Credit

A credit that may be taken if the full amount of the child tax credit cannot be claimed.

Adjusted Basis
The adjusted basis is the taxpayer’s basis in a home increased or decreased by certain amounts. Increases include additions or improvements to the home such as installing a recreation room or putting on a new roof. In order to be considered an increase, the improvement must have a useful life of more than one year. Repairs that maintain the home in good condition are not considered improvements and should not be added to the basis of the property.

Adopted children
If a child is adopted during the year, the child is included in the taxpayer’s household only for the full months that follow the month in which the adoption occurs. Similarly, if you place a child for adoption or foster care, the child is included in the tax household only for the full months before the month in which the placement occurs.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
The taxpayer’s total adjusted gross income (AGI) is the amount that is used to compute some limitations, such as the medical and dental deduction on Schedule A and the credit for child and dependent care expenses.

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
A nine-digit tax-processing number issued by the IRS for children who are in the process of being adopted and who can be claimed as a dependent or claimed for a childcare credit. The ATIN is used wherever the child’s social security number is requested.

Advance EIC Payments
Payments of the earned income credit (EIC) paid to qualified taxpayers through the regular paycheck.

Advanced Premium Tax Credit
A tax credit for certain people who pay premiums to enroll in a qualified health plan offered through the Marketplace (Exchange). The credit reduces the amount of tax the taxpayer owes. It may also give the taxpayer a refund or increase the refund. If the taxpayer qualifies, the taxpayer is allowed a credit amount for any month during the year that the taxpayer or one or more of the family members (spouse or dependents) were:
Enrolled in one or more qualified health plans through a Marketplace
Not eligible for minimum essential coverage

Advance Earned Income Credit Payments

After-tax Contributions
After-tax means the employee paid taxes on the money when it was contributed, i.e., the taxpayer has a cost basis in the plan.

Age Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child: Was the potential dependent under age 19 and younger than the taxpayer at the end of the year? Or, was the person under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student for some part of each of five months during the year? Or, Was the person any age and permanently and totally disabled?

Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a separation or divorce instrument.

Allocated Tips
Tips an employer assigns to an employee. They are in addition to the tips the employee reported to the employer.

American Opportunity Tax Credit
The American opportunity credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student, depending on the amount of eligible expenses and the amount of tax on the return. The American opportunity credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student, depending on the amount of eligible expenses and the amount of tax on the return.

Amount Realized
The amount realized is the selling price minus selling expenses commissions, advertising fees, legal fees, and loan charges paid by the seller, such as points.

A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.

Applicable taxpayer (ACA term)
(For purpose of premium tax credit) – Taxpayer must be an applicable taxpayer to claim the premium tax credit (PTC). Generally, an applicable taxpayer is one who has household income at least 100 percent but not more than 400 percent of the Federal poverty line (FPL) for the family size, and cannot be claimed as a dependent. If the taxpayer is married at the end of the year, the taxpayer must file a joint return to be an applicable taxpayer unless an exception is met.

A taxpayer with household income below 100 percent of the FPL is an applicable taxpayer if all of the following requirements are met:

  • The taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse or a dependent enrolled in a policy through a Marketplace.
  • The Marketplace estimated at the time of enrollment that the taxpayer’s household income would be between 100% and 400% of the FPL for the taxpayer’s family size.
  • Advance credit payments were made for the coverage for one or more months during the year.
  • The taxpayer otherwise qualifies as an applicable taxpayer.

A taxpayer with household income below 100% of the federal poverty line can be an applicable taxpayer as long as the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or a dependent who enrolled in a qualified health plan is not a U.S. citizen but is lawfully present in the U.S. and not eligible for Medicaid because of immigration status.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number, issued by the IRS while a final domestic adoption is pending and the child does not have a social security number.

At-Risk Rule
One of two restrictions on how much a loss from passive activity can offset other sources of income. Taxpayers are restricted from claiming a loss for more than they could actually lose from the activity; they can claim a loss only up to the amount for which they are personally at-risk in the activity. (The other restriction is the passive activity rule.)


Basic allowance for housing, a type of excludable military income.

Basic allowance for subsistence, a type of excludable military income.

The basis in a home is determined by how the taxpayer obtained the home. If a taxpayer bought or built a home, the basis is what it cost the taxpayer to buy or build that home. If the taxpayer inherited the home, generally the basis is its fair market value on the date of the decedent’s death, or on the later alternate valuation date chosen by the representative for the estate. There are special rules for determining the basis of property received from decedents who died in 2010.

Before-tax Contributions
Before-tax simply means that the employee did not pay taxes on the money at the time it was contributed, i.e., the taxpayer has no cost basis in the plan.

Known as a virtual currency there may be creating immediate tax consequences for those using Bitcoins to pay for goods and services.

Blocked income
Blocked income is when a taxpayer cannot convert foreign currency to U.S. dollars due to local law or local government policy. Special tax rules allow taxpayers with blocked income to delay reporting part of their income.

Bona Fide Residence Test
To meet the bona fide residence test for the foreign earned income exclusion, taxpayers must show that they have set up permanent quarters in a foreign country for an entire, uninterrupted tax year.

Business Expenses
Business expenses are amounts that are ordinary and necessary to carry on a business.

Business Income
Business income is income received from the sale of products or services. For example, fees received by a professional person are considered business income. Rents received by a person in the real estate business are business income. Payments received in the form of property or services must be included in income at their fair market value.

Business Travel Expenses
Qualified business expenses for members of the armed forces such as uniforms, education and travel. Military employee business expenses are necessary business-related expenses incurred by active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.


Cancellation of Debt For Principal Residence
Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, taxpayers may exclude certain debt forgiven or canceled on their principal residence. This exclusion is applicable to the discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness. If the canceled debt qualifies for exclusion from gross income, the debtor may be required to reduce tax attributes (certain credits, losses, and basis of assets) by the amount excluded.

Capital Gain or Loss
Sale of stock, mutual funds, and the sale of a personal residence. The Capital Gain or Loss lesson will help you identify the asset’s holding period, adjusted basis, net short-term and long-term capital gains or losses, the taxable gain or deductible loss, the tax liability, and the amount of any capital loss carryover.

Capital Gain Distributions
Capital gains passed to investors typically by Mutual funds (regulated investment companies) and real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Capital Gains
See Capital Gain Distributions

Capital Loss Carryover
A taxpayer cannot take net losses of more than $3,000 ($1,500 for married taxpayers filing separately) in figuring taxable income for any single tax year. The allowable loss is referred to as the deduction limit. Unused losses can be carried over to later years until they are completely used up. The carryover losses are combined with the gains and losses that actually occur in the next year.

Cash for Keys
Cash for Keys Program income, which is taxable, is income from a financial institution, offered to taxpayers to expedite the foreclosure process.

Cash Method
Accounting method that reports income when constructively received (not earned) and expenses when paid (not incurred), as opposed to the accrual method.

Child and Dependent Care Credit
A nonrefundable credit that allows taxpayers to claim a credit for paying someone to care for their qualifying Dependents under the age of 13 or spouses or dependents who are unable to care for themselves. The credit ranges from 20 to 35% of the taxpayer’s expenses.

Child Tax Credit
A credit that may reduce tax by as much as $2,000 for each qualifying child.

Citizen or Resident Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child or qualifying relative as a dependent: Assuming all other dependency tests are met, the citizen or resident test allows taxpayers to claim a dependency exemption for persons who are U.S. citizens for some part of the year or who live in the United States, Canada, or Mexico for some part of the year.

Combat Zone
Any area (1) the President of the United States designates by Executive Order as an area in which the U.S. Armed Forces are engaging or have engaged in combat, (2) the Department of Defense has certified for combat zone tax benefits due to its direct support of military operations, or (3) a Qualified Hazardous Duty Area established by statute where the service member receives imminent danger pay. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces who serve in a combat zone may exclude military pay from their taxable income.

Wages, salaries, commissions, tips, bonuses, professional fees, earnings from self-employment, and alimony.

Constructively Received
When an amount is credited to the taxpayer’s account or made available to the taxpayer (or taxpayer’s agent) without restriction.

Cost basis
An amount for which taxes have already been paid.

Coverage Family
All members of the taxpayer’s family who are enrolled in a qualified health plan and are not eligible for minimum essential coverage (other than coverage in the individual market). The members of the coverage family may change from month to month. A taxpayer is allowed a premium tax credit only for health insurance purchased for members of the coverage family.

Coverdell ESA
A Coverdell ESA is a trust or custodial account created or organized in the United States only for the purpose of paying the qualified education expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account.

A direct reduction of the taxpayer’s liability. Credits are allowed for such purposes as child care expenses, higher education costs, qualifying children, and earned income of low-income taxpayers.

Credit for the Elderly or Disabled
The credit for the elderly or the disabled is calculated on Schedule R and reported in the Tax and Credits section of Form 1040.


Date of Transaction
Either the date on a check made payable to the taxpayer or the date money is credited to the taxpayer’s account. When converting foreign currency to U.S. dollars, the date of transaction is the date that determines the exchange rate to use.

Dependency Tests
Tests used for identifying qualifying children or qualifying relatives as dependents.

Either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative of the taxpayer.

Dependent Care Benefits
These benefits include amounts employers pay to a taxpayer or directly to the care provider.

Dependent Taxpayer Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child or qualifying relative as a dependent: Can the taxpayer or spouse (if filing jointly) be claimed as a dependent by another person?

Dependents of more than one taxpayer
The tax household does not include someone that can, but is not, claimed as a dependent if the dependent:

  • is properly claimed on another taxpayer’s return, or
  • can be claimed by a taxpayer with higher priority under the tie-breaker rules.

An annual deduction that allows taxpayers to recover the cost of property used in a trade or business or held for the production of income. The amount of depreciation depends on the basis of the property, its recovery period, and the depreciation method. This is in-scope for Military certification only (rental property).

Disability Income
This income comes from an employer’s disability insurance, health plan, or pension plan. The payments replace wages for the time the taxpayer missed work because of the disability.

Disability Pension Income
Generally paid to a taxpayer who retires because of a disability before the minimum retirement age (set by the employer). The disability pension is considered regular pension income when the taxpayer reaches the minimum retirement age.

Do-it-yourself move. The most common form of military move is the partial DITY move, where the military provides a moving company to transport some of the service member’s goods. Service members who receive DITY payments must include them in their gross income if it exceeds the allowable expenses.

A corporation’s distributions to its shareholders from its earnings and profits.

Divorced, separated, or never married parents
Special rules apply if the dependent is supported by parents who are divorced or separated; these rules also apply to parents who were never married. In general, the child will be considered a dependent of the custodial parent, assuming the child meets all the rules for a qualifying child or qualifying relative. However, the custodial parent can agree to allow the noncustodial parent to treat the child as a qualifying child or qualifying relative if certain conditions are met. A signed Form 8332 or equivalent is required and must be attached to the noncustodial parent’s return, or attached to Form 8453 if filing electronically.


A taxpayer’s legal, permanent residence. It is not always where the person presently lives.

DRIP Accounts
DRIP accounts leave cash dividends with the company for the purchase of additional shares. Even though these shares are from the same company, they retain their own individual basis separate from the original purchase. Each new purchased share could have a different basis.

Dual Status Alien
An alien who is both a nonresident and resident alien during the same tax year. The most common dual-status tax years are the years of arrival and departure.


Earned Income
Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee pay. Earned income does not include interest and dividends, social security and railroad retirement benefits, workfare payments, alimony and child support, or anything else of value received from someone for services performed, if it is not currently taxable. Earned income also includes net earnings from self-employment and other income received for personal services.

Earned Income Credit (EIC)
The earned income credit (EIC) is a refundable tax credit for most people who work but do not earn high incomes. The purpose of the EIC is to reduce their tax burden and to supplement the wages of working families whose earnings are less than the maximums for their filing status. Eligible taxpayers can receive a refund with this credit, even if they have no filing requirement, owe no tax, and had no income tax withheld. The EIC can be a very valuable credit. The EIC was expanded to allow families to claim credit for three or more children. The EIC amounts are adjusted for inflation every year. The EIC is reported in the Payments section of the tax return.

Education credits
Credits that reduce the amount of tax due and are based on qualified education expenses that the taxpayer paid during the tax year.

Earned income credit.

Earned Income Tax Credit. See EIC.

Electronic Filing (e-file)
The computer transmission of a tax return directly to the IRS.

Under common-law rules, anyone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done. This is so even when you give the employee freedom of action. What matters is that you have the right to control the details of how the services are performed.

Coverdell Education Savings Account

See Marketplace.

Excludable Income
Income that is not included in the taxpayer’s gross income and therefore exempt from federal income tax. Certain income may be exempt from tax but must be reported on the tax return.

Exempt (from withholding)
Free from withholding of federal income tax. Must meet certain income, tax liability, and dependency criteria. Does not exempt a person from other kinds of tax withholding, such as social security tax.

Exemption Amount
The dollar amount that can be deducted from an individual’s total income, thereby reducing the taxable income.

Exemption Certificate Number (ECN)
The number the taxpayer received from the Marketplace for the individual listed in Part I (Marketplace-Granted Coverage Exemptions for Individuals) on Form 8965, column c.

Exemptions (Personal or Dependency)
Amount that taxpayers can claim for themselves, their spouses, and eligible dependents. An exemption is a dollar amount that can be deducted from an individual’s total income, thereby reducing the taxable income.


Family coverage (ACA Term)
(For the purpose of determining if coverage is unaffordable in order to claim a coverage exemption) – If taxpayer (or spouse if filing jointly) is eligible for family coverage under an employer’s plan, the required contribution amount for any member of the family is the premium the taxpayer would pay for the lowest cost family coverage that would cover the taxpayer and everyone in the non-exempt family. The taxpayer’s tax family consists of the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse if filing jointly, and all other individuals for whom the taxpayer claims a personal exemption deduction.

Federal Poverty Line (FPL)
Federal Poverty Line – An income amount considered poverty level for the year, adjusted for family size. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determines the federal poverty guideline amounts annually. The government adjusts the income limits annually for inflation.

Filing statuses
Five taxpayer categories that determine the amount of tax and/or tax credits that apply to different taxpayers. The five filing statuses are (from lowest to highest tax): Married Filing Jointly; Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child; Head of Household; Single; Married Filing Separately.

First-time Homebuyer Credit
The first-time homebuyer credit is a maximum of $8,000 ($4,000 for Married Filing Separately). This is a refundable credit which means that even if the taxpayer does not owe any tax, the money will be refunded to the taxpayer. There are payback provisions if the home was sold within a 36 month period.

Five-Year Test Period Suspension
Taxpayers can choose to have the five-year test period for ownership and use suspended during any period the homeowner (either spouse if married) served on qualified official extended duty as a member of the uniformed services or Foreign Service of the United States, as an employee of the intelligence community, or as an employee or volunteer of the Peace Corps. This means that the taxpayer may be able to meet the two-year use test even if the taxpayer and/or spouse did not actually live in the home during the normal five-year period required of other taxpayers.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
The foreign earned income exclusion allows eligible taxpayers to avoid paying federal income tax on their foreign earned income.

Foreign Tax Credit
U.S. tax credit used to offset any foreign income tax taxpayers have paid on qualified income that is also subject to U.S. federal income tax.

Form 1040
Tax return used to report income from wages, salaries, and tips; qualified tuition program earnings.

Form 1040 Schedule 1
Additional Income and Adjustments to Income Schedule for Form 1040.

Form 1040 Schedule 2
Additional Taxes.

Form 1040 Schedule 3
Additional Credits and Payments.

Form 1040 Schedule A
Itemized Deductions

Form 1040 Schedule B
Interest and Ordinary Dividends

Form 1040 Schedule C-EZ
Net Profit from Business

Form 1040 Schedule D
Capital Gains and Losses

Form 1040 Schedule E
Supplemental Income and Loss

Form 1040 Schedule L
Standard Deduction for Certain Filers

Form 1040 Schedule M
Making Work Pay and Government Retiree Credits

Form 1040 Schedule SE
Self-Employment Tax


Form 1040A
Tax return used to report all Form 1040A items, plus all other forms of income.

Form 1040ES
Estimated Tax for Individuals

Form 1040EZ
Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers with No Dependents, used to report income from wages, salaries, and tips, plus income from dividends and interest greater than $1,500; capital gain distributions; IRA, pension, and annuity income; and social security and railroad retirement benefits.

Form 1040NR
U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return

Form 1040NR-EZ
U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return

Form 1040X
Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, used to modify a previously filed tax return.

Form 1041 Schedule K-1
Beneficiary’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. Used by the fiduciary of a domestic decedent’s estate, trust, or bankruptcy estate to report income, gains, losses, etc., of the estate or trust.

Form 1042-S
Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding

Form 1065 Schedule K-1
Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. Used by partnerships to report the taxpayers’ share of the partnership’s income, deductions, credits, etc.

Form 1095-A
Affordable Insurance Marketplace Statement is used to report certain information to the IRS about family members who enroll in a qualified health plan through the Marketplace. Form 1095-A also is furnished to individuals to allow them to claim the premium tax credit, to reconcile the credit on their returns with advance payments of the premium tax credit (advance credit payments), and to file an accurate tax return.

Form 1095-B
Form 1095-B is used to report certain information to the IRS and to taxpayers about individuals who are covered by minimum essential coverage and therefore are not liable for the individual shared responsibility payment.

Form 1095-C
Employers with 50 or more full-time employees use Form 1095-C to report information about offers of health coverage and enrollment in health coverage for their employees.

Form 1098
Statement showing Mortgage Interest

Form 1098-E
Statement showing Student Loan Interest

Form 1098-MA
Form 1098-MA, Mortgage Assistance Payments, is a new information return. The form is used to report to the IRS and homeowners the total amounts of certain mortgage assistance payments made to mortgage servicers. Although, mortgage assistance payments are not included in income, taxpayers cannot deduct interest that is paid for them.

Form 1099-A
Acquisition or Abandonment of Secured Property

Form 1099-B
Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions

Form 1099-C
Cancellation of Debt

Form 1099-DIV
Statement showing Dividends and Distributions

Form 1099-G
Statement showing certain government payments (such as Unemployment Compensation Income)

Form 1099-INT
Statement showing Interest Income

Form 1099-K
Form 1099-K is used to report the proceeds of payment card and third party network transactions made to taxpayers under Internal Revenue Code section 6050W. Merchant card and third party network payers, as payment settlement entities (PSE), must report the proceeds of payment card and third party network transactions made to taxpayers on Form 1099-K.

Form 1099-LTC
Long-term Care and Accelerated Death Benefits

Form 1099-MISC
Statement showing miscellaneous income (such as rents, royalties, fishing boat proceeds, non-employee compensation, medical and healthcare payments, substitute payments in lieu of dividends or interest, crop insurance proceeds, gross proceeds paid to an attorney, excess golden parachute payments, and other miscellaneous income)

Form 1099-OID
Statement showing Original Issue Discount

Form 1099-R
Statement showing Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc

Form 1099-S
Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions

Form 1116
Foreign Tax Credit (Individual, Estate or Trust)

Form 1120S Schedule K-1
Shareholder’s Share of Income , Deductions, Credits, etc. Used by S corporations to report the taxpayers’ share of the corporation’s income (reduced by any tax the corporation paid on the income), as well as any deductions, credits, etc.

Form 13614-C
Intake/Interview & Quality Review Sheet

Form 2106
Employee Business Expenses

Form 2106-EZ
Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

Form 2120
Multiple Support Declaration, allows taxpayers to identify other eligible individuals who paid over 10% of the support of another person.

Form 2210
Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individual, Estates and Trusts. While completion of the Form 2210 is out of scope, volunteers need to caution taxpayers they will receive a notice of an estimated tax penalty if it is applicable.

Form 2441
Child and Dependent Care Expenses

Form 2555
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Form 2555-EZ
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Form 2848
Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative

Form 3903
Moving Expenses

Form 4137
Social Security and Medicare Tax on Unreported Tip Income, is used to report unreported tip income.

Form 4506
Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form

Form 4852
Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRA’s, Insurance Contracts, Etc., used by taxpayers who have been unable to obtain (or have received incorrect) wage or distribution statements.

Form 4868
Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Form 4952
Investment Interest Expense Deduction

Form 5329
Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (including IRAs) and Other Tax Favored Accounts

Form 5405
First-Time Homebuyer Credit

Form 5695
Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit

Form 8233

Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual

Form 8316
Information Regarding Request for Refund of Social Security Tax

Form 8332
Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent. This form allows a taxpayer who is a custodial parent (and who was married to his or her child’s noncustodial parent) to release his or her claim on the child’s exemption.

Form 8379
Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation, allows taxpayers to request relief from a spouse’s past due federal debts, including back child support and past due taxes.

Form 843
Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement

Form 8453-OL
Income tax declaration used for e-filing

Form 8582
Passive Activity Loss Limitations

Form 8606
Nondeductible IRAs, reports nondeductible contributions to traditional IRAs and/or distributions taken from certain IRAs. Part I explains in detail when this form is used.

Form (Schedule) 8812
Child Tax Credit

Form 8822
Change of Address

Form 8840
Closer Connection Exception Statement for Aliens

Form 8843
Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition

Form 8857
Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. This form explains various forms of relief and who may qualify.

Form 8863
Education Credits, may be used instead of Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses, if education expenses were the only business expenses.

Form 8879
IRS e-file Signature Authorization

Form 8880
Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions

Form 8888
Direct Deposit of Refund to More Than One Account

Form 8901
Information on Qualifying Children Who Are Not Dependents (For Child Tax Credit)

Form 8949
Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets. This form is used to report capital gains or losses.

Form 8962
Premium Tax Credit

Form 8965
Health Care Coverage Exemptions

Form 9452
Filing Assistance Program, helps taxpayers determine whether they are required to file a federal income tax return.

Form 9465
Installment Agreement Request, used to request a monthly installment plan for taxes owed.

Form 982
Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness

Form RRB-1099
Payments by the Railroad Retirement Board

Form RRB-1099-R
Annuities or Pensions by the Railroad Retirement Board

Form S-5
Application for a Social Security Card.

Form SSA-1099
Social Security Benefit Statement

Form W-2
Wages and Tax Statement, issued by employers to report their employees’ earned income for the year. Generally, employers should issue Form W-2 to every employee and a copy to the Social Security Administration.

Form W-2c
Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, used to correct information issued on a W-2.

Form W-4
Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate is completed by the employee and used by an employer to determine how much to withhold from an employee’s paycheck for federal income tax purposes.

Form W-4P
Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments. The form allows taxpayers to tell payers the correct amount of federal income tax to withhold from payments.

Form W-4V
Voluntary Withholding Request, filed by taxpayers (or estates) who are recipients of social security benefits and want to request withholding from their payments from the Social Security Administration.

Form W-5
Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate, used by taxpayers who have a qualifying child, may be eligible for the earned income credit, and choose to get advance EIC payments.

Form W-7
Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

Form W-8BEN
Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding


Green Card Test
The determination that an individual has been issued a “green card” by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), generally making that person a lawful, permanent resident of the United States

Gross Income
This is all income received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax.

Gross Income Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying relative as a dependent: To meet this test, the dependent’s gross income for the tax year must be less than the threshold amount.


Head of Household Filing Status
This filing status is generally for unmarried taxpayers who paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for a qualified dependent relative during the tax year.

Health Insurance Marketplace
See Marketplace

High Taxed Income
Passive income that is taxed by a foreign government at a rate higher than the highest U.S. income tax rate, and may be classified as “general category income,” making it eligible for the foreign tax credit.

Household Income
The sum of the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), the spouse’s MAGI (if Married Filing Jointly), and the MAGI of all dependents is required to file a tax return.

Holding Period
Schedule D requires entries for the stock purchase and sale date. Taxpayers must provide the date the stock was acquired and Form 1099-B will indicate the date the stock was sold. These two dates will determine the holding period.


Income Taxes
Taxes on income, both earned (for example, salaries, wages, tips, commissions) and unearned (for example, interest and dividends). Income taxes can be levied both on individuals (personal income tax) and businesses (business and corporate income taxes).

Independent Contractor
People who are in an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the general public are generally independent contractors. The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to self-employment tax.

Identity Protection PIN
There is a new field next to spouse’s occupation at the bottom of Form 1040 labeled Identity Protection PIN. This is designed to help prevent refunds from being issued to an identity thief. It the taxpayer has been a victim of identity theft, verify the special PIN (6 digit IPPIN) is correct using CP01A Notice or see Form 1040 Instructions for more information.

Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA)
A tax-sheltered retirement savings plan set up by the taxpayer.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
Income a person receives from certain financial accounts or from lending money to someone else.

Injured Spouse Relief
A provision of tax law that allows a taxpayer to get back his or her share of a joint overpayment when the overpayment was used to pay one spouse’s past-due federal tax, state income tax, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan.

Innocent Spouse Relief
A provision of tax law that allows a taxpayer to be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if the taxpayer’s spouse (or former spouse) improperly reported items or omitted items on a joint tax return.

Intake and Interview sheet
Form 13614-C used to conduct the initial interview and screen the taxpayer.

Interest Income
Income a person receives from certain financial accounts or from lending money to someone else.

Investment Income
Investment Income includes taxable interest and dividends, tax-exempt interest, capital gain net income, net income from rents and royalties not derived from a trade or business, and net income from passive activities

Individual Retirement Arrangement – A tax-sheltered savings plan set up by the taxpayer, generally for retirement income.

Itemized Deductions
Itemized deductions allow taxpayers to reduce their taxable income based on specific personal expenses. If the total itemized deductions are greater than the standard deduction, it will result in a lower taxable income and lower tax.

Individual taxpayer identification number, issued by the IRS to individuals who are not eligible for a social security number.


Joint Return Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child or qualifying relative as a dependent. Generally, a married person cannot be claimed as a dependent if he or she files a joint return.



Lawfully Present
The taxpayer is a resident for tax purposes if, the taxpayer is a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time during calendar year.

Letter of Determination
Document from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sent to discharged service members who qualify for severance pay subject to medical disability, which is nontaxable.

Lifetime Learning Credit
One of two tax credits available to offset costs of higher education by reducing the amount of income tax. The Lifetime Learning credit is a nonrefundable credit of up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses for students enrolled in eligible educational institutions. It is available to students for all years of postsecondary education and for courses to acquire or improve job skills.

Lump-sum Distribution
A lump-sum distribution is the distribution or payment within one tax year of an employee’s entire balance from all qualified pension, stock bonus, or profit-sharing plans that the employer maintains.


Main home
A taxpayer’s “main” home is where they live most of the time. It does not have to be a traditional house; for example, it may be a houseboat, mobile home, cooperative apartment, or condominium, but it must have cooking, sleeping, and bathroom facilities.

Making Work Pay Tax Credit
A refundable tax credit of up to $400 for working individuals ($800 for Married Filing Jointly) calculated at a rate of 6.2 percent of earned income and phased out for taxpayers with a modified Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 for Married Filing Jointly). Claimed on Schedule M (Form 1040A or 1040).

Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, a method for calculating a taxpayer’s depreciation deduction that uses the property’s placed-in-service date, recovery period, and depreciable basis.

Marketplace (also: Exchange, Health Insurance Marketplace)
A governmental agency or nonprofit entity that makes qualified health plans available to individuals. The term “Marketplace” refers to state Marketplaces, regional Marketplaces, subsidiary Marketplaces, and a federally-facilitated Marketplace.

Married Filing Jointly
Filing status for taxpayers who are married to each other or live together in a common law marriage and combine their income and deductions on the same tax return. The status also applies to taxpayers who are separated but not divorced and to taxpayers whose spouse died during the tax year and has not remarried, as long as one tax return is used for both individuals.

Married Filing Separately
Filing status for taxpayers who are married to each other or live together in a common law marriage and report their own incomes and deductions on separate returns.

Medical Severance Pay
A type of includable military income given to service members who have been separated from the service for medical reasons

Member of Household or Relationship Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying relative as a dependent: Was the person related to the taxpayer in any of the following ways: Son, daughter, foster child, or a descendant of any of them; brother, sister, or a son or daughter of either of them; father, mother, or an ancestor or sibling of either of them; stepbrother, stepsister, stepfather, stepmother, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law? Any other person (other than the taxpayer’s spouse) who lived with the taxpayer all year as a member of the taxpayer’s household?

Minimum essential coverage (MEC)
Coverage under a government-sponsored program, an eligible employer-sponsored plan, a plan in the individual market, a grandfathered health plan, or other coverage recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury, as minimum essential coverage.

Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)
MAGI is a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income plus his or her untaxed foreign earned income, tax-exempt interest, and Social Security benefits not included in income.

Mortgage Interest Credit
Taxpayers who hold qualified mortgage credit certificates (MCCs) under a qualified state or local government program may claim a nonrefundable credit for mortgage interest paid.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums
Qualified mortgage insurance is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Administration, the Rural Housing Service, and private mortgage insurance (PMI) companies. Taxpayers can treat qualified mortgage insurance premiums paid or accrued during the tax year as home mortgage interest. PMI is deductible on line 13 of Schedule A.

Multiple Support Agreements
If one person has not provided over half the support, go to step 8 to determine if multiple support exists. Multiple support means that two or more people together, who could claim the person as a dependent except for the support test, provide more than half the dependent’s support. However, only one taxpayer can claim the exemption for a dependent with multiple support. In this situation, the individuals who provide more than 10% of the person’s total support (step 9), and who meet the other tests for a qualifying relative, can agree that one of them will take the person’s exemption.

Mutual Funds
A mutual fund is a regulated investment company generally created by pooling funds of investors, which allows investors to take advantage of a diversity of investments and professional management. Owners of mutual funds may receive both Form 1099-DIV and Form 1099-B. Form.


Nonbusiness credit card debt cancellation
If a taxpayer receives Form 1099-C for canceled credit card debt and was solvent (assets greater than liabilities) immediately before the debt was canceled, all the canceled debt will be included on the tax return as other income.

Nonbusiness energy property credit
Taxpayers may be able to claim a nonbusiness energy property credit for certain energy efficient property or improvements.

Nondeductible Traditional IRA Contributions
Traditional IRA contributions that taxpayers may not deduct from their total income because the taxpayers do not meet the requirements; also includes remaining contributions from a partial IRA deduction.

Nonrecourse Debt
Nonrecourse debt is satisfied by the surrender of the secured property regardless of the fair market value (FMV) at the time of surrender and the borrower is not personally liable for the debt. If property subject to nonrecourse debt is abandoned, foreclosed upon, subject of a short sale, or repossessed by the lender, the circumstances will be treated as a sale of the property by the taxpayer.

Nonrefundable Credit
A nonrefundable credit can only reduce the tax liability to zero. Any excess credit is not refunded to the taxpayer.

Nonresident Alien
A residency status of an individual who does not meet the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test,

Nontaxable Income
Any income exempt from federal income tax. Although some types of nontaxable income are reported on the return, it is not added into the amount of income subject to tax.

Nondeductible Traditional IRA Contributions
Traditional IRA contributions that taxpayers may not deduct from their adjusted gross income because the taxpayers do not meet the requirements; also includes remaining contributions from a partial IRA deduction.


Overseas housing allowance, a type of excludable military income.

Ordinary Dividends
Corporate distributions paid out of the earnings and profits of the corporation.


Paid Preparers
Paid preparers are legally liable under federal law for the returns they prepare; volunteers are not.

Passive Activity
When a taxpayer receives income mainly from the use of property rather than for services. Passive activity means the taxpayer is not involved in making significant rental or business management decisions (versus active participation). Because rental activities are generally considered passive activities, rental losses may not fully deductible.

Passive Income
Taxable income that comes from passive activity, such as dividends, interest, royalties, rents, and annuities.

Permanent change of station for a military service member.

A series of definitely determinable payments made to an employee or survivor (the beneficiary of a deceased employee’s pension) after the employee retires from work.

Period of Stay
Amount of time a taxpayer stays in a foreign country, which is one of the factors used to determine whether the taxpayer is eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion. To meet the period of stay requirement, the taxpayer must meet either the Bona Fide Residency test or the Physical Presence test.

Personal Exemption
An exemption that allows taxpayers to claim themselves as exemptions on their tax return. Also included in this category is the taxpayer’s spouse, when filing a joint return.

Physical Presence Test
To meet the physical presence test for the foreign earned income exclusion, a taxpayer must be physically present in a foreign country 330 full days during a period of twelve consecutive months.

Premium tax credit
A tax credit for certain people who pay premiums to enroll in a qualified health plan offered through the Marketplace (Exchange). The credit reduces the amount of tax the taxpayer owes. It may also give the taxpayer a refund or increase the refund. If the taxpayer qualifies, the taxpayer is allowed a credit amount for any month during the year that the taxpayer or one or more of the family members (spouse or dependents) were:
Enrolled in one or more qualified health plans through a Marketplace
Not eligible for minimum essential coverage

Property Taxes
Taxes on property, especially real estate. It can also be levied on boats, automobiles (often paid along with license fees), recreational vehicles, and business inventories.

Publication 3
Armed Forces Tax Guide

Publication 17
Tax Guides for Individuals

Publication 54
Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad

Publication 463
Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses

Publication 519
U.S. Tax Guides for Aliens

Publication 521
Moving Expenses

Publication 523
Selling Your Home

Publication 527
Residential Rental Property

Publication 551
Basis of Assets

Publication 552
Recordkeeping for Individuals

Publication 555
Community Property

Publication 575
Pension and Annuity Income

Publication 590
Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)

Publication 594
The IRS Collection Process

Publication 915
Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits

Publication 925
Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules

Publication 939
General Rules for Pensions and Annuities

Publication 946
How to Depreciate Property

Publication 947
Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney

Publication 970
Tax Benefits for Education

Publication 971
Innocent Spouse Relief, addresses how one spouse may request relief from past taxes due solely based on the other spouse’s debt.

Publication 5120
Facts About the Premium Tax Credit. Your Credit, Your Choice – Get It Now or Get It Later

Publication 5121
Affordable Care Act: Individuals & Families. Facts About the Premium Tax Credit

Publication 5157
Affordable Care Act (ACA) for VITA/TCE


Qualified Charitable Contributions (QCD)
A QCD is a distribution from an IRA made to an organization eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. If all requirements are met, this will exclude any part of the distribution that would otherwise be taxable.

Qualified Medicaid waiver payments
Qualified Medicaid waiver payments are payments by a state, a political subdivision of a state, or a certified Medicaid provider under a Medicaid waiver program to an individual care provider for nonmedical support services provided under a plan of care to an individual (whether related or unrelated) living in the individual care provider’s home.

Qualified Medical Expenses
For HSA, MSA, FSA, and HRA purposes, a medicine or drug will be a qualified medical expense only if the medicine or drug: requires a prescription, is available without a prescription (an over-the-counter medicine or drug) and you get a prescription for it, or is insulin.

Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness
Qualified principal residence indebtedness is any debt incurred in acquiring, constructing, or substantially improving a principal residence and which is secured by the principal residence. Qualified principal residence indebtedness also includes any debt secured by the principal residence resulting from the refinancing of debt incurred to acquire, construct, or substantially improve a principal residence but only to the extent the amount of the debt does not exceed the amount of the refinanced debt.

Qualified Tuition Program
A program set up to allow taxpayers to either prepay, or contribute to an account established for paying a student’s qualified expenses at an eligible educational institution. The program must meet certain requirements set by the state. Also known as a 529 program.

Qualifying Child
To be identified as a qualifying child, a person must meet certain basic tests. In addition there may be other requirements to claim various tax benefits for that qualifying child.

Qualifying Child of More than One Person Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child or qualifying relative as a dependent: Is the person the qualified child of any other person?

Qualifying Relative
To be identified as a qualifying relative, a person must meet seven tests: Member of household or relationship test, Qualifying child of another taxpayer test, Citizen or resident test, Gross income test, Support test, Joint return test, and Dependent taxpayer test.

Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child
Filing status is for widow or widower with one or more dependent children.


Railroad Retirement Benefits (RRBs)
Benefits paid to railroad retirees covered by the Railroad Retirement Act. The RRA has two components. Tier 1 is the equivalent of social security benefits and Tier 2 is like an employer’s pension plan.

Recourse Debt
Recourse debt holds the borrower personally liable for any amount not satisfied by the surrender of secured property. If a lender forecloses on property subject to a recourse debt and cancels the portion of the debt in excess of the fair market value (FMV) of the property, the canceled portion of the debt will be treated as ordinary income from cancellation of indebtedness and will be required to be included in gross income unless the cancellation of indebtedness qualifies for one of the exceptions or exclusions from gross income under some provision of the Internal Revenue Code.

Refundable Credit
Occurs when the amount of a credit is greater than the tax owed. Taxpayers not only can have their tax reduced to zero; they can also receive a “refund” of excess credit.

Regular Method
Most common method for computing self-employment tax. Under the regular method, the net self-employment income entered on Schedule SE is the sum of net self-employment earnings from the taxpayer’s Schedules C, C-EZ, and F. (Taxpayers should consult a professional tax preparer or a military legal assistance officer if they use a different method or require Schedule F.

Regular Place of Abode
Regular place of abode is defined as one’s home, habitation, domicile, or place of dwelling. It does not necessarily include one’s principal place of business. For purposes of the foreign earned income exclusion, if taxpayers work overseas for an indefinite period of time, and their regular place of abode is the U.S., the taxpayers cannot designate the foreign country as the tax home.

Relationship Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child as a dependent: Was the person the taxpayer’s son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (i.e., the taxpayer’s grandchild, niece, or nephew)?

Someone related to the taxpayer by blood, marriage, or adoption, including the following:

  • Child, grandchild, great grandchild
  • Stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister
  • Brother, sister
  • Half-brother, half sister
  • Parent, grandparent, or other direct ancestor (but not foster parent)
  • Stepmother or stepfather
  • Brother or sister of one’s father or mother
  • Son or daughter of one’s brother or sister
  • Father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law.

Rental Expenses
Ordinary and necessary expenses attributable to the production of rental income and maintenance of the rental property, such as advertising, cleaning and repairs, insurance premiums, and property management fees.

Rental Income
Payments received by a taxpayer from tenants who rent the taxpayer’s property, including regular and advanced rent, payments for breaking a lease, expenses paid by the tenant, and the fair market value of property or services received in lieu of monetary rental payments.

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)
The amount that must be distributed each year from a retirement plan or IRA.

Residence Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child as a dependent: Did the potential dependent live with the taxpayer as a member of the taxpayer’s household for more than half of the year?

Resident Alien
An individual is considered to be a U.S. resident alien if he or she meets either the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test.

Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit
Taxpayers may qualify for an energy credit for qualified solar electric property costs, qualified solar water heating property costs, qualified small wind energy property costs, and qualified geothermal heat pump property costs. This credit is claimed on Part I of Form 5695. This information is out of scope for the VITA/TCE programs and is included for your awareness only.

Retirement Income
Retirement income can include Social Security benefits as well as any benefits from annuities, retirement or profit sharing plans, insurance contracts, IRAs, etc. Retirement income may be fully or partially taxable.

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit
The retirement savings contributions credit is a nonrefundable credit a qualifying taxpayer may claim if they made a contribution to a qualified plan.

Retirement Tax Act (RTTA)
Tier I Railroad Retirement Tax is the railroad retirement equivalent of social security wages and benefit amounts.

Generally, a rollover is a tax-free distribution to the taxpayer from one retirement account (traditional IRA or employer’s pension plan) that rolls over into a similar retirement account within 60 days.


Sale of Main Home
Only a gain from the sale of a taxpayer’s main home may be excluded from the taxpayer’s income; a gain from a sale of a home that is not the taxpayer’s main home will generally have to be reported as income.

Self-employment Income
Earned income from a trade, business, farming or profession that is not paid by an employer. For example, hair stylists and lawncare workers who work for themselves (and not for someone else) are considered self-employed.

Self-employment Tax
Self-employment (SE) tax is social security and Medicare taxes collected primarily from individuals who work for themselves, similar to the social security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners.

Shared responsibility payment (SRP)
The individual Shared Responsibility Payment (SRP) is reduced to zero for tax year 2019. Taxpayers who do not have health insurance coverage during 2019 or later do not require an exemption to avoid the SRP.

Single Filing Status
Filing status that applies to a taxpayer who (1) has never married, or (2) is legally separated or divorced.

Simplified Method
This method is used to calculate the tax-free portion of each pension or annuity payment.

Social Security Benefits
Social security benefits are payments made under Title II of the Social Security Act. They include old-age, survivor, and disability insurance (OASDI) benefits.

Social security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. They do not include supplemental security income (SSI). Certain government retirees who receive a pension from work are not covered by social security.

Some portion of the social security benefits received may be taxable. Generally, if social security benefits are the only source of income, the benefits are not taxable. In this instance, taxpayers may not be required to file a return. However, if the taxpayers are filing Married Filing Separately and lived with their spouse at any time during the tax year, 85% of the benefits will be taxable.

Social Security Administration

Special separation benefits, a type of military severance payment that affects the amount of VA compensation paid.

Social Security Number

Standard Deduction
An amount, provided by law and based on filing status, age, blindness, and dependency that taxpayers can deduct from their adjusted gross income before tax is determined.

Standard Mileage Method
One of two methods for calculating business automobile expenses. For the standard mileage method, the taxpayer multiplies the business miles by the mileage rate for that tax year. (The other method is the actual expense method).

Statutory employee
If workers are independent contractors, such workers may nevertheless be treated as employees by statute (a statutory employee) for certain employment tax purposes.

Stock dividends
Stock dividends merely increase the taxpayer’s number of shares in the company and generally are not taxable.

Stock split
A stock split is a method used by corporations to lower the market price of stock. A two-for-one stock split will decrease the basis per share by half. The original basis of $200 for 100 shares becomes $200 for 200 shares.

Student Loan Interest
The interest paid during the year on a loan for qualified higher education expenses that were for the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or a person who was the taxpayer’s dependent when the loan was obtained.

Substantial Presence Test
The criteria that an individual without a green card must meet in order to be considered a resident alien; the criteria relate to specific numbers of days physically present in the United States.

Support Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child or a qualifying relative as a dependent: Did the taxpayer provide over half of the potential dependent’s total support for the year?


Temporary additional duty for military service members. (See TDY)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (previously known as AFDC), a state benefit also known as welfare.

Tax Credit
A dollar-for-dollar reduction in the tax. Can be deducted directly from taxes owed.

Tax Deduction
An amount (often a personal or business expense) that reduces income subject to tax.

Tax Forgiveness
For U.S. military personnel who die while serving in a combat zone or as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while so serving, any unpaid tax liability is waived and any forgiven tax liability that has already been paid is refunded.

Tax Home
The country in which the taxpayer is permanently or indefinitely engaged to work as an employee or self-employed individual, regardless of where the taxpayer maintains his or her family home. For taxpayers who work abroad, but do not have a regular place of business because of the nature of the work, their tax home is the place where they regularly live.

Tax Liability (or total tax bill)
The amount of tax after nonrefundable credits have been subtracted. Taxpayers meet (pay) their federal income tax liability through withholding, estimated tax payments, and payments made with the income tax return.

Taxable Income
Any income subject to federal income tax.

Tax-exempt Interest
Interest that is exempt from federal income tax such as bonds issued by state and political subdivisions (county or city), District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions and political subdivisions.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly

Temporary duty for military service members. (See TAD.)

Temporary Work Location
A work location is considered temporary if the service member’s employment is realistically expected to last (and in fact does last) for one year or less. Service members assigned to temporary work locations can deduct travel expenses.

Third-Party Designee
Person authorized by a taxpayer to discuss the taxpayer’s return with the IRS, give the IRS information missing from the return, request copies of notices or transcripts related to the return, and respond to certain IRS notices. The taxpayer designates third party by checking the Yes box and entering the person’s name, phone number, and personal identification number (PIN) in the “Third party designee” section of the return.

Taxpayer Identification Number, same as Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Tip Income
Money and goods received for services performed by food servers, baggage handlers, hairdressers, and others. Tips go beyond the stated amount of the bill and are given voluntarily.

Traditional IRA
An individual retirement arrangement that is not a Roth IRA or a SIMPLE IRA.

Transportation Expenses
Expenses service members incur when traveling to locations within their city or general area that is their tax home or post of duty (versus travel expenses).

Travel Expenses
Expenses service members incur when traveling away from their tax home or post of duty (versus transportation expenses).

Thrift Savings Account, a retirement savings and investment plan that has been available to civilian employees of the federal government since 1987, and was made available to U.S. service personnel in 2002.

Tuition and fees
Qualified higher education expenses for which taxpayers can deduct up to $4,000 in qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the tax year. The amount of the deduction is determined by filing status, modified AGI (MAGI), and other factors. Form 8917, Tuition and Fees Deduction, will help compute the MAGI for this deduction.


U.S. Citizen or Resident Test
See Citizen or Resident Test

Unaffordable coverage (ACA term)
(For purpose of health coverage exemption) – Health coverage is unaffordable if the individual’s required contribution is more than 8.05% of household income.

Unearned Income
Income other than pay for work performed. Interest and dividends from savings or investments are common types of unearned income. For purpose of Form 8965–coverage is unaffordable if the individual’s required contribution is more than 8% of household income.

Unemployment Compensation
Unemployment compensation generally includes any amount received under an unemployment compensation law of the United States or of a state. In most cases, it is taxable. Unemployment income is not considered earned income for the purposes of calculating EITC.

Unearned Income
Any income produced by investments, such as interest on savings, dividends on stocks, or rental income.


VA Disability Compensation
VA disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled because of injury or disease incurred or aggravated during active military service.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance


Wash sale
A wash sale occurs when a taxpayer sells or otherwise disposes of stock or securities (including a contract or option to acquire or sell stock or securities) at a loss and, within 30 days before or after the sale or disposition, the taxpayer buys, acquires, or enters into a contract or option to acquire substantially identical stock or securities.

Withholding Allowance
Claimed by an employee on Form W-4. An employer uses the number of allowances claimed, together with income earned and marital status, to determine how much income tax to withhold from wages.

Withholding Tax
Income tax is withheld from the pay of most employees. Income tax may also be withheld from gambling winnings, pensions/annuities, unemployment compensation, and certain federal payments, such as social security. In some cases income tax may be withheld on other types of income such as interest or dividend income.

Worldwide Income
U.S. citizens and U.S. resident aliens are required to report worldwide income on a U.S. tax return regardless of where they live and even if the income is taxed by the country in which it was earned. Filing requirements are the same as for U.S. citizens and U.S. resident aliens living in the United States and apply whether income is from within or outside the U.S.




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