Tax Return

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Definition of 'Tax Return'

A tax return is a document that taxpayers file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report their income, deductions, and credits. The IRS uses the information on tax returns to calculate taxpayers' taxes and determine whether they owe any money or are due a refund.

There are two types of tax returns: individual and business. Individual tax returns are filed by individuals, sole proprietors, and partners. Business tax returns are filed by corporations, partnerships, and S corporations.

The information that taxpayers need to provide on their tax returns varies depending on their filing status and the type of income they have. For example, individuals who are married filing jointly must provide their Social Security numbers, their spouse's Social Security number, and the amount of their combined income. Individuals who are single must provide their Social Security number and the amount of their individual income.

Taxpayers can file their tax returns electronically or by mail. The IRS recommends that taxpayers file their tax returns electronically, as this is the fastest and most accurate way to file. Taxpayers who file their tax returns electronically can receive their refunds within 21 days. Taxpayers who file their tax returns by mail can expect to receive their refunds within six weeks.

The IRS has a number of resources available to help taxpayers file their tax returns. These resources include the IRS website, the IRS's toll-free help line, and the IRS's free tax preparation software.

Tax returns are an important part of the U.S. tax system. They help the IRS collect the revenue it needs to fund the government and provide essential services to the public. By filing their tax returns accurately and on time, taxpayers are helping to ensure that the U.S. tax system is fair and efficient.

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