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Personal Tax Returns

What is an 'Individual Tax Return'

An individual tax return is a form the individual submits to a federal, state or local taxing agency to report income, calculate and pay taxes. The disclosure of pertinent information assists in assessing the tax due.

The Internal Revenue Service is the taxing authority in the U.S. The United States has a voluntary reporting system that permits the electronic or hard-copy filing of individual tax returns. Countries around the world have taxing agencies who oversee tax collection. Some tax agencies provide individual taxpayers with pre-filled individual tax returns, while others require the taxpayer fill and file the returns on their own. Also, some countries permit electronic filing of online returns, while others insist on a documentary, hard-copy submission.

The individual tax return is a type of income tax return filed by an individual. Both single and married taxpayers, with and without dependents, file a return. Individual filers always file their returns on a version of Form 1040. Every individual filer who earns a certain amount of income must file this type of tax return.

Individual taxpayers complete Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040-EZ. Once complete, the taxpayer will submit the form by the day which falls on or near April 15th of each year. The selection of the individual tax return form to complete depends on the individual's filing status, their income, the deduction they wish to claim, and any credits that are due to their specific situation.

Every U.S. state, even those without a state income tax, has a state taxing authority. This agency oversees the annual collection of state tax. Taxpayers file individual state tax returns unique to the state. Most state tax returns assess and calculate tax concerning line items from the federal tax return.

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