Publication 536 - Main Content


NOL Steps

Follow Steps 1 through 5 to figure and use your NOL.

Step 1.   Complete your tax return for the year. You may have an NOL if a negative figure appears on the line below:

Individuals — Form 1040, line 41, or Form 1040NR, line 39.

Estates and trusts — Form 1041, line 22.

  If the amount on that line is not negative, stop here — you do not have an NOL.

Step 2.   Determine whether you have an NOL and its amount. See How To Figure an NOL , later. If you do not have an NOL, stop here.

Step 3.   Decide whether to carry the NOL back to a past year or to waive the carryback period and instead carry the NOL forward to a future year. See When To Use an NOL , later.

Step 4.   Deduct the NOL in the carryback or carryforward year. See How To Claim an NOL Deduction , later. If your NOL deduction is equal to or less than your taxable income without the deduction, stop here — you have used up your NOL.

Step 5.   Determine the amount of your unused NOL. See How To Figure an NOL Carryover , later. Carry over the unused NOL to the next carryback or carryforward year and begin again at Step 4.

Note.   If your NOL deduction includes more than one NOL amount, apply Step 5 separately to each NOL amount, starting with the amount from the earliest year.

How To Figure an NOL

If your deductions for the year are more than your income for the year, you may have an NOL.

There are rules that limit what you can deduct when figuring an NOL. In general, the following items are not allowed when figuring an NOL.

  • Any deduction for personal exemptions.

  • Capital losses in excess of capital gains.

  • The section 1202 exclusion of the gain from the sale or exchange of qualified small business stock.

  • Nonbusiness deductions in excess of nonbusiness income.

  • The net operating loss deduction.

  • The domestic production activities deduction.

Form 1045, Schedule A.   Use Form 1045, Schedule A, to figure an NOL. The following discussion explains Schedule A and includes an illustrated example.

  First, complete Form 1045, Schedule A, line 1, using amounts from your return. If line 1 is a negative amount, you may have an NOL.

  Next, complete the rest of Form 1045, Schedule A, to figure your NOL.

Nonbusiness deductions (line 6).   Enter on line 6 deductions that are not connected to your trade or business or your employment. Examples of deductions not related to your trade or business are:
  • Alimony paid,

  • Deductions for contributions to an IRA or a self-employed retirement plan,

  • Health savings account deduction,

  • Archer medical savings account deduction,

  • Most itemized deductions (except for casualty and theft losses, state income tax on trade and business income, and any employee business expenses), and

  • The standard deduction.

  Do not include on line 6 the deduction for personal exemptions for you, your spouse, or your dependents.

  Do not enter business deductions on line 6. These are deductions that are connected to your trade or business. They include the following.
  • State income tax on income attributable to trade or business (including wages, salary, and unemployment compensation).

  • Moving expenses.

  • Educator expenses.

  • The deduction for the deductible part of self-employed health insurance.

  • Domestic production activities deduction.

  • Rental losses.

  • Loss on the sale or exchange of business real estate or depreciable property.

  • Your share of a business loss from a partnership or an S corporation.

  • Ordinary loss on the sale or exchange of stock in a small business corporation or a small business investment company.

  • If you itemize your deductions, casualty and theft losses (even if they involve nonbusiness property) and employee business expenses (such as union dues, uniforms, tools, education expenses, and travel and transportation expenses).

  • Loss on the sale of accounts receivable (if you use an accrual method of accounting).

  • Interest and litigation expenses on state and federal income taxes related to your business.

  • Unrecovered investment in a pension or annuity claimed on a decedent's final return.

  • Payment by a federal employee to buy back sick leave used in an earlier year.

Nonbusiness income (line 7).   Enter on line 7 only income that is not related to your trade or business or your employment. For example, enter your annuity income, dividends, and interest on investments. Also, include your share of nonbusiness income from partnerships and S corporations.

  Do not include on line 7 the income you receive from your trade or business or your employment. This includes salaries and wages, self-employment income, unemployment compensation included in your gross income, and your share of business income from partnerships and S corporations. Also, do not include rental income or ordinary gain from the sale or other disposition of business real estate or depreciable business property.

Adjustment for section 1202 exclusion (line 17).   Enter on line 17 any gain you excluded under section 1202 on the sale or exchange of qualified small business stock.

Adjustments for capital losses (lines 19–22).   The amount deductible for capital losses is limited based on whether the losses are business capital losses or nonbusiness capital losses.

Nonbusiness capital losses.   You can deduct your nonbusiness capital losses (line 2) only up to the amount of your nonbusiness capital gains without regard to any section 1202 exclusion (line 3). If your nonbusiness capital losses are more than your nonbusiness capital gains without regard to any section 1202 exclusion, you cannot deduct the excess.

Business capital losses.   You can deduct your business capital losses (line 11) only up to the total of:
  • Your nonbusiness capital gains that are more than the total of your nonbusiness capital losses and excess nonbusiness deductions (line 10), and

  • Your total business capital gains without regard to any section 1202 exclusion (line 12).

Domestic production activities deduction (line 23).   You cannot take the domestic production activities deduction when figuring your NOL. Enter on line 23 any domestic production activities deduction claimed on your return.

NOLs from other years (line 24).   You cannot deduct any NOL carryovers or carrybacks from other years. Enter the total amount of your NOL deduction for losses from other years.

Illustrated Form 1045, Schedule A

The following example illustrates how to figure an NOL. It includes filled-in pages 1 and 2 of Form 1040 and Form 1045, Schedule A.

Example.

Glenn Johnson is in the retail record business. He is single and has the following income and deductions on his Form 1040 for 2013. See the illustrated Form 1040 , later.

INCOME  
Wages from part-time job $1,225
Interest on savings 425
Net long-term capital gain on sale of real estate used in business 2,000
Glenn's total income $3,650

DEDUCTIONS  
Net loss from business (gross income of $67,000 minus expenses of $72,000) $5,000
Net short-term capital loss 
on sale of stock
1,000
Standard deduction 6,100
Personal exemption 3,900
Glenn's total deductions $16,000

Glenn's deductions exceed his income by $12,350 ($16,000 − $3,650). However, to figure whether he has an NOL, certain deductions are not allowed. He uses Form 1045, Schedule A, to figure his NOL. See the Illustrated Form 1045, Schedule A , later.

The following items are not allowed on Form 1045, Schedule A.

Nonbusiness net short-term capital loss $1,000
Nonbusiness deductions 
(standard deduction, $6,100) minus 
nonbusiness income (interest, $425)
5,675
Deduction for personal exemption 3,900
Total adjustments to net loss $10,575
   

Therefore, Glenn's NOL for 2013 is figured as follows:

Glenn's total 2013 income $3,650
Less:    
Glenn's original 2013 total deductions $16,000  
Reduced by the disallowed items − 10,575 − 5,425
Glenn's NOL for 2013 $1,775

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Form 1040, page 1

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Form 1040, page 2

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Form 1045, page 2

When To Use an NOL

Generally, if you have an NOL for a tax year ending in 2013, you must carry back the entire amount of the NOL to the 2 tax years before the NOL year (the carryback period), and then carry forward any remaining NOL for up to 20 years after the NOL year (the carryforward period). You can, however, choose not to carry back an NOL and only carry it forward. See Waiving the Carryback Period , later. You cannot deduct any part of the NOL remaining after the 20-year carryforward period.

NOL year.   This is the year in which the NOL occurred.

Exceptions to 2-Year Carryback Rule

Eligible losses, farming losses, qualified disaster losses, and specified liability losses, all defined next, qualify for longer carryback periods.

Eligible loss.   The carryback period for eligible losses is 3 years. Only the eligible loss portion of the NOL can be carried back 3 years. An eligible loss is any part of an NOL that:
  • Is from a casualty or theft, or

  • Is attributable to a federally declared disaster for a qualified small business or certain qualified farming businesses.

Qualified small business.   A qualified small business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership that has average annual gross receipts (reduced by returns and allowances) of $5 million or less during the 3-year period ending with the tax year of the NOL. If the business did not exist for this entire 3-year period, use the period the business was in existence.

  An eligible loss does not include a farming loss or a qualified disaster loss.

Farming loss.   The carryback period for a farming loss is 5 years. Only the farming loss portion of the NOL can be carried back 5 years. A farming loss is the smaller of:
  1. The amount that would be the NOL for the tax year if only income and deductions attributable to farming businesses were taken into account, or

  2. The NOL for the tax year.

Farming business.   A farming business is a trade or business involving cultivation of land or the raising or harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodity. A farming business can include operating a nursery or sod farm or raising or harvesting most ornamental trees or trees bearing fruit, nuts, or other crops. The raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training, and management of animals is also considered a farming business.

  A farming business does not include contract harvesting of an agricultural or horticultural commodity grown or raised by someone else. It also does not include a business in which you merely buy or sell plants or animals grown or raised entirely by someone else.

Waiving the 5-year carryback.   You can choose to figure the carryback period for a farming loss without regard to the special 5-year carryback rule. To make this choice for 2013, attach to your 2013 income tax return filed by the due date (including extensions) a statement that you are choosing to treat any 2013 farming losses without regard to the special 5-year carryback rule. If you filed your original return on time but did not file the statement with it, you can make this choice on an amended return filed within 6 months after the due date of the return (excluding extensions). Attach an election statement to your amended return, and write “Filed pursuant to section 301.9100-2” at the top of the statement. Once made, this choice is irrevocable.

Qualified disaster loss.   The carryback period for a qualified disaster loss is 5 years. Only the qualified disaster loss portion of the NOL can be carried back 5 years. A qualified disaster loss is the smaller of:
  1. The sum of:

    1. Any losses attributable to a federally declared disaster and occurring before January 1, 2010, in the disaster area, plus

    2. Any allowable qualified disaster expenses (even if you did not choose to treat those expenses as deductions in the current year), or

  2. The NOL for the tax year.

Qualified disaster expenses.   A qualified disaster expense is any capital expense paid or incurred in connection with a trade or business or with business-related property which is:
  • For the abatement or control of hazardous substances that were released as a result of a federally declared disaster occurring before January 1, 2010,

  • For the removal of debris from, or the demolition of structures on, real property which is business-related property damaged or destroyed as a result of a federally declared disaster occurring before January 1, 2010, or

  • For the repair of business-related property damaged as a result of a federally declared disaster occurring before January 1, 2010.

Business-related property is property held for use in a trade or business, property held for the production of income, or inventory property.

Note.

Section 198A allows taxpayers to treat certain capital expenses (qualified disaster expenses) as deductions in the year the expenses were paid or incurred.

Excluded losses.   A qualified disaster loss does not include any losses from property used in connection with any private or commercial golf course, country club, massage parlor, hot tub facility, suntan facility, or any store for which the principal business is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises.

  A qualified disaster loss also does not include any losses from any gambling or animal racing property. Gambling or animal racing property is any equipment, furniture, software, or other property used directly in connection with gambling, the racing of animals, or the on-site viewing of such racing, and the portion of any real property (determined by square footage) that is dedicated to gambling, the racing of animals, or the on-site viewing of such racing, unless this portion is less than 100 square feet.

Specified liability loss.   The carryback period for a specified liability loss is 10 years. Only the specified liability loss portion of the NOL can be carried back 10 years. Generally, a specified liability loss is a loss arising from:
  • Product liability and expenses incurred in the investigation or settlement of, or opposition to, product liability claims, or

  • An act (or failure to act) that occurred at least 3 years before the beginning of the loss year and resulted in a liability under a federal or state law requiring:

  1. Reclamation of land,

  2. Dismantling of a drilling platform,

  3. Remediation of environmental contamination, or

  4. Payment under any workers compensation act.

  Any loss from a liability arising from (1) through (4) above can be taken into account as a specified liability loss only if you used an accrual method of accounting throughout the period in which the act (or failure to act) occurred. For details, see section 172(f).

Waiving the 10-year carryback.   You can choose to figure the carryback period for a specified liability loss without regard to the special 10-year carryback rule. To make this choice for 2013 attach to your 2013 income tax return filed by the due date (including extensions) a statement that you are choosing to treat any 2013 specified liability losses without regard to the special 10-year carryback rule. If you filed your original return on time but did not file the statement with it, you can make this choice on an amended return filed within 6 months after the due date of the return (excluding extensions). Attach a statement to your amended return and write “Filed pursuant to section 301.9100-2” at the top of the statement. Once made, this choice is irrevocable.

Waiving the Carryback Period

You can choose not to carry back your NOL. If you make this choice, then you can use your NOL only in the 20-year carryforward period. (This choice means you also choose not to carry back any alternative tax NOL.)

To make this choice, attach a statement to your original return filed by the due date (including extensions) for the NOL year. This statement must show that you are choosing to waive the carryback period under section 172(b)(3).

If you filed your original return on time but did not file the statement with it, you can make this choice on an amended return filed within 6 months of the due date of the return (excluding extensions). Attach a statement to your amended return, and write “Filed pursuant to section 301.9100-2” at the top of the statement.

Once you choose to waive the carryback period, it generally is irrevocable. If you choose to waive the carryback period for more than one NOL, you must make a separate choice and attach a separate statement for each NOL year.

If you do not file this statement on time, you cannot waive the carryback period.

How To Carry an NOL Back or Forward

If you choose to carry back the NOL, you must first carry the entire NOL to the earliest carryback year. If your NOL is not used up, you can carry the rest to the next earliest carryback year, and so on.

If you waive the carryback period or do not use up the NOL in the carryback period, carry forward what remains of the NOL to the 20 tax years following the NOL year. Start by carrying it to the first tax year after the NOL year. If you do not use it up, carry the unused part to the next year. Continue to carry any unused part of the NOL forward until the NOL is used up or you complete the 20-year carryforward period.

Example 1.

You started your business as a sole proprietor in 2013 and had a $42,000 NOL for the year. No part of the NOL qualifies for the 3-year, 5-year, or 10-year carryback. You begin using your NOL in 2011, the second year before the NOL year, as shown in the following chart.

Year   Carryback/ 
Carryover
Unused 
Loss
2011 $42,000 $40,000
2012 40,000 37,000
2013 (NOL year)    
2014 37,000 31,500
2015 31,500 22,500
2016 22,500 12,700
2017 12,700 4,000
2018 4,000 -0-

If your loss were larger, you could carry it forward until the year 2033. If you still had an unused 2013 carryforward after the year 2033, you would not be allowed to deduct it.

Example 2.

Assume the same facts as in Example 1 , except that $4,000 of the NOL is attributable to a casualty loss and this loss qualifies for a 3-year carryback period. You begin using the $4,000 in 2010. As shown in the following chart, $3,000 of this NOL is used in 2010. The remaining $1,000 is carried to 2011 with the $38,000 NOL that you must begin using in 2011.

Year   Carryback/ 
Carryover
Unused 
Loss
2010 $4,000 $1,000
2011 39,000 37,000
2012 37,000 34,000
2013 (NOL year)    
2014 34,000 28,500
2015 28,500 19,500
2016 19,500 9,700
2017 9,700 1,000
2018 1,000 -0-

How To Claim an NOL Deduction

If you have not already carried the NOL to an earlier year, your NOL deduction is the total NOL. If you carried the NOL to an earlier year, your NOL deduction is the carried over NOL minus the NOL amount you used in the earlier year or years.

If you carry more than one NOL to the same year, your NOL deduction is the total of these carrybacks and carryovers.

NOL resulting in no taxable income.   If your NOL is more than the taxable income of the year you carry it to (figured before deducting the NOL), you generally will have an NOL carryover to the next year. See How To Figure an NOL Carryover , later, to determine how much NOL you have used and how much you carry to the next year.

Deducting a Carryback

If you carry back your NOL, you can use either Form 1045 or Form 1040X. You can get your refund faster by using Form 1045, but you have a shorter time to file it. You can use Form 1045 to apply an NOL to all carryback years. If you use Form 1040X, you must use a separate Form 1040X for each carryback year to which you apply the NOL.

Estates and trusts that do not file Form 1045 must file an amended Form 1041 (instead of Form 1040X) for each carryback year to which NOLs are applied. Use a copy of the appropriate year's Form 1041, check the “Amended return” box, and follow the Form 1041 instructions for amended returns. Include the NOL deduction with other deductions not subject to the 2% limit (line 15a). Also, see the special procedures for filing an amended return due to an NOL carryback, explained under Form 1040X , later.

Form 1045.   You can apply for a quick refund by filing Form 1045. This form results in a tentative adjustment of tax in the carryback year. See the Illustrated Form 1045 . at the end of this discussion.

  If the IRS refunds or credits an amount to you from Form 1045 and later determines that the refund or credit is too much, the IRS may assess and collect the excess immediately.

  Generally, you must file Form 1045 on or after the date you file your tax return for the NOL year, but not later than one year after the end of the NOL year. If the last day of the NOL year falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the form will be considered timely if postmarked on the next business day. For example, if you are a calendar year taxpayer with a carryback from 2013 to 2011, you must file Form 1045 on or after the date you file your tax return for 2013, but no later than December 31, 2014.

Form 1040X.   If you do not file Form 1045, you can file Form 1040X to get a refund of tax because of an NOL carryback. File Form 1040X within 3 years after the due date, including extensions, for filing the return for the NOL year. For example, if you are a calendar year taxpayer and filed your 2011 return by the April 15, 2012, due date, you must file a claim for refund of 2008 tax because of an NOL carryback from 2011 by April 15, 2015.

  Attach a computation of your NOL using Form 1045, Schedule A, and, if it applies, your NOL carryover using Form 1045, Schedule B, discussed later .

Refiguring your tax.   To refigure your total tax liability for a carryback year, first refigure your adjusted gross income for that year. (On Form 1045, use lines 10 and 11 and the “After carryback” column for the applicable carryback year.) Use your adjusted gross income after applying the NOL deduction to refigure income or deduction items that are based on, or limited to, a percentage of your adjusted gross income. Refigure the following items.
  1. The special allowance for passive activity losses from rental real estate activities.

  2. Taxable social security and tier 1 railroad retirement benefits.

  3. IRA deductions.

  4. Excludable savings bond interest.

  5. Excludable employer-provided adoption benefits.

  6. The student loan interest deduction.

  7. The tuition and fees deduction.

  If more than one of these items apply, refigure them in the order listed above, using your adjusted gross income after applying the NOL deduction and any previous item. (Enter your NOL deduction on Form 1045, line 10. On line 11, using the “After carryback” column, enter your adjusted gross income refigured after applying the NOL deduction and after refiguring any above items.)

  Next, refigure your taxable income. (On Form 1045, use lines 12 through 15 and the “After carryback” column.) Use your refigured adjusted gross income (Form 1045, line 11, using the “After carryback” column) to refigure certain deductions and other items that are based on or limited to a percentage of your adjusted gross income. Refigure the following items.
  • The itemized deduction for medical expenses.

  • The itemized deduction for qualified mortgage insurance premiums.

  • The itemized deduction for casualty losses.

  • Miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% limit.

  • The overall limit on itemized deductions (do not apply to carryback years beginning after December 31, 2009).

  • The phaseout of the deduction for exemptions (do not apply to carryback years beginning after December 31, 2009).

  • Qualified motor vehicle tax (do not apply to carryback years beginning after December 31, 2009).

  
Do not refigure the itemized deduction for charitable contributions.

  Finally, use your refigured taxable income (Form 1045, line 15, using the “After carryback” column) to refigure your total tax liability. Refigure your income tax, your alternative minimum tax, and any credits that are based on or limited by your adjusted gross income (AGI), modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), or tax liability. (On Form 1045, use lines 16 through 25, and the “After carryback” column.) The earned income credit, for example, may be affected by changes to adjusted gross income or the amount of tax (or both) and, therefore, must be recomputed. If you become eligible for a credit because of the carryback, complete the form for that specific credit (such as the EIC Worksheet) for that year.

  While it is necessary to refigure your income tax, alternative minimum tax, and credits, do not refigure your self-employment tax.

Deducting a Carryforward

If you carry forward your NOL to a tax year after the NOL year, list your NOL deduction as a negative figure on the “Other income” line of Form 1040 or Form 1040NR (line 21 for 2013). Estates and trusts include an NOL deduction on Form 1041 with other deductions not subject to the 2% limit (line 15a for 2013).

You must attach a statement that shows all the important facts about the NOL. Your statement should include a computation showing how you figured the NOL deduction. If you deduct more than one NOL in the same year, your statement must cover each of them.

Change in Marital Status

If you and your spouse were not married to each other in all years involved in figuring NOL carrybacks and carryovers, only the spouse who had the loss can take the NOL deduction. If you file a joint return, the NOL deduction is limited to the income of that spouse.

For example, if your marital status changes because of death or divorce, and in a later year you have an NOL, you can carry back that loss only to the part of the income reported on the joint return (filed with your former spouse) that was related to your taxable income. After you deduct the NOL in the carryback year, the joint rates apply to the resulting taxable income.

Refund limit.   If you are not married in the NOL year (or are married to a different spouse), and in the carryback year you were married and filed a joint return, your refund for the overpaid joint tax may be limited. You can claim a refund for the difference between your share of the refigured tax and your contribution toward the tax paid on the joint return. The refund cannot be more than the joint overpayment. Attach a statement showing how you figured your refund.

Figuring your share of a joint tax liability.   There are five steps for figuring your share of the refigured joint tax liability.
  1. Figure your total tax as though you had filed as married filing separately.

  2. Figure your spouse's total tax as though your spouse had also filed as married filing separately.

  3. Add the amounts in (1) and (2).

  4. Divide the amount in (1) by the amount in (3).

  5. Multiply the refigured tax on your joint return by the amount figured in (4). This is your share of the joint tax liability.

Figuring your contribution toward tax paid.   Unless you have an agreement or clear evidence of each spouse's contributions toward the payment of the joint tax liability, figure your contribution by adding the tax withheld on your wages and your share of joint estimated tax payments or tax paid with the return. If the original return for the carryback year resulted in an overpayment, reduce your contribution by your share of the tax refund. Figure your share of a joint payment or refund by the same method used in figuring your share of the joint tax liability. Use your taxable income as originally reported on the joint return in steps (1) and (2) above, and substitute the joint payment or refund for the refigured joint tax in step (5).

Change in Filing Status

If you and your spouse were married and filed a joint return for each year involved in figuring NOL carrybacks and carryovers, figure the NOL deduction on a joint return as you would for an individual. However, treat the NOL deduction as a joint NOL.

If you and your spouse were married and filed separate returns for each year involved in figuring NOL carrybacks and carryovers, the spouse who sustained the loss may take the NOL deduction on a separate return.

Special rules apply for figuring the NOL carrybacks and carryovers of married people whose filing status changes for any tax year involved in figuring an NOL carryback or carryover.

Separate to joint return.   If you and your spouse file a joint return for a carryback or carryforward year, and were married but filed separate returns for any of the tax years involved in figuring the NOL carryback or carryover, treat the separate carryback or carryover as a joint carryback or carryover.

Joint to separate returns.   If you and your spouse file separate returns for a carryback or carryforward year, but filed a joint return for any or all of the tax years involved in figuring the NOL carryover, figure each of your carryovers separately.

Joint return in NOL year.   Figure each spouse's share of the joint NOL through the following steps.
  1. Figure each spouse's NOL as if he or she filed a separate return. See How To Figure an NOL , earlier. If only one spouse has an NOL, stop here. All of the joint NOL is that spouse's NOL.

  2. If both spouses have an NOL, multiply the joint NOL by a fraction, the numerator of which is spouse A's NOL figured in (1) and the denominator of which is the total of the spouses' NOLs figured in (1). The result is spouse A's share of the joint NOL. The rest of the joint NOL is spouse B's share.

Example 1.

Mark and Nancy are married and file a joint return for 2013. They have an NOL of $5,000. They carry the NOL back to 2011, a year in which Mark and Nancy filed separate returns. Figured separately, Nancy's 2013 deductions were more than her income, and Mark's income was more than his deductions. Mark does not have any NOL to carry back. Nancy can carry back the entire $5,000 NOL to her 2011 separate return.

Example 2.

Assume the same facts as in Example 1 , except that both Mark and Nancy had deductions in 2013 that were more than their income. Figured separately, his NOL is $1,800 and her NOL is $3,000. The sum of their separate NOLs ($4,800) is less than their $5,000 joint NOL because his deductions included a $200 net capital loss that is not allowed in figuring his separate NOL. The loss is allowed in figuring their joint NOL because it was offset by Nancy's capital gains. Mark's share of their $5,000 joint NOL is $1,875 ($5,000 × $1,800/$4,800) and Nancy's is $3,125 ($5,000 − $1,875).

Joint return in previous carryback or carryforward year.   If only one spouse had an NOL deduction on the previous year's joint return, all of the joint carryover is that spouse's carryover. If both spouses had an NOL deduction (including separate carryovers of a joint NOL, figured as explained in the previous discussion ), figure each spouse's share of the joint carryover through the following steps.
  1. Figure each spouse's modified taxable income as if he or she filed a separate return. See Modified taxable income under How To Figure an NOL Carryover , later.

  2. Multiply the joint modified taxable income you used to figure the joint carryover by a fraction, the numerator of which is spouse A's modified taxable income figured in (1) and the denominator of which is the total of the spouses' modified taxable incomes figured in (1). This is spouse A's share of the joint modified taxable income.

  3. Subtract the amount figured in (2) from the joint modified taxable income. This is spouse B's share of the joint modified taxable income.

  4. Reduce the amount figured in (3), but not below zero, by spouse B's NOL deduction.

  5. Add the amounts figured in (2) and (4).

  6. Subtract the amount figured in (5) from spouse A's NOL deduction. This is spouse A's share of the joint carryover. The rest of the joint carryover is spouse B's share.

Example.

Sam and Wanda filed a joint return for 2011 and separate returns for 2012 and 2013. In 2013, Sam had an NOL of $18,000 and Wanda had an NOL of $2,000. They choose to carry back both NOLs 2 years to their 2011 joint return and claim a $20,000 NOL deduction.

Their joint modified taxable income (MTI) for 2011 is $15,000, and their joint NOL carryover to 2012 is $5,000 ($20,000 – $15,000). Sam and Wanda each figure their separate MTI for 2011 as if they had filed separate returns. Then they figure their shares of the $5,000 carryover as follows.

Step 1.  
Sam's separate MTI $9,000
Wanda's separate MTI + 3,000
Total MTI $12,000
Step 2.  
Joint MTI $15,000
Sam's MTI ÷ total MTI 
($9,000 ÷ $12,000)
× .75
Sam's share of joint MTI $11,250
Step 3.  
Joint MTI $15,000
Sam's share of joint MTI − 11,250
Wanda's share of joint MTI $3,750
Step 4.  
Wanda's share of joint MTI $3,750
Wanda's NOL deduction − 2,000
Wanda's remaining share $1,750
Step 5.  
Sam's share of joint MTI $11,250
Wanda's remaining share + 1,750
Joint MTI to be offset $13,000
Step 6.  
Sam's NOL deduction $18,000
Joint MTI to be offset − 13,000
Sam's carryover to 2012 $5,000
Joint carryover to 2012 $5,000
Sam's carryover − 5,000
Wanda's carryover to 2012 $-0-

Wanda's $2,000 NOL deduction offsets $2,000 of her $3,750 share of the joint modified taxable income and is completely used up. She has no carryover to 2012. Sam's $18,000 NOL deduction offsets all of his $11,250 share of joint modified taxable income and the remaining $1,750 of Wanda's share. His carryover to 2012 is $5,000.

Illustrated Form 1045

The following example illustrates how to use Form 1045 to claim an NOL deduction in a carryback year. It includes a filled-in page 1 of Form 1045.

Example.

Martha Sanders is a self-employed contractor. Martha's 2013 deductions are more than her 2013 income because of a business loss. She uses Form 1045 to carry back her NOL 2 years and claim an NOL deduction in 2011. Her filing status in both years was single. See the filled-in Form 1045 later.

Martha figures her 2013 NOL on Form 1045, Schedule A (not shown). (For an example using Form 1045, Schedule A, see Illustrated Form 1045, Schedule A under How To Figure an NOL , earlier.) She enters the $10,000 NOL from Form 1045, Schedule A, line 25, on Form 1045, line 1a.

Martha completes lines 10 through 25, using the “Before carryback” column under the column for the second preceding tax year ended 12/31/11 on page 1 of Form 1045 using the following amounts from her 2011 return.

2011 Adjusted gross income $50,000
Itemized deductions:    
Medical expenses 
[$6,000 − ($50,000 × 7.5%)]
$2,250  
State income tax + 2,000  
Real estate tax + 4,000  
Home mortgage interest + 5,000  
Total itemized deductions $13,250
Exemption $3,700
Income tax $4,550
Self-employment tax $6,120

 

Martha refigures her taxable income for 2011 after carrying back her 2013 NOL as follows:

2011 Adjusted gross income $50,000
Less:    
NOL from 2013 −10,000
2011 Adjusted gross income after carryback $40,000
Less:    
Itemized deductions:    
Medical expenses 
[$6,000 − ($40,000 × 7.5%)]
$3,000  
State income tax + 2,000  
Real estate tax + 4,000  
Home mortgage interest + 5,000  
Total itemized deductions −14,000
Less:    
Exemption − 3,700
2011 Taxable income after carryback $22,300

Martha then completes lines 10 through 25, using the “After carryback” column under the column for the second preceding tax year ended 12/31/11. On line 10, Martha enters her $10,000 NOL deduction. Her new adjusted gross income on line 11 is $40,000 ($50,000 − $10,000). To complete line 12, she must refigure her medical expense deduction using her new adjusted gross income. Her refigured medical expense deduction is $3,000 [$6,000 − ($40,000 × 7.5%)]. This increases her total itemized deductions to $14,000 [$13,250 + ($3,000 − $2,250)].

Martha uses her refigured taxable income ($22,300) from line 15, and the tax tables in her 2011 Form 1040 instructions to find her income tax. She enters the new amount, $2,924, on line 16, and her new total tax liability, $9,044, on line 25.

Martha used up her $10,000 NOL in 2011 so she does not complete a column for the first preceding tax year ended 12/31/2012. The decrease in tax because of her NOL deduction (line 27) is $1,612.

Martha files Form 1045 after filing her 2013 return, but no later than December 31, 2014. She mails it to the Internal Revenue Service Center for the place where she lives as shown in the 2013 instructions for Form 1040 and attaches a copy of her 2013 return (including the applicable forms and schedules).

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Form 1045, page 1

How To Figure an NOL Carryover

If your NOL is more than your taxable income for the year to which you carry it (figured before deducting the NOL), you may have an NOL carryover. You must make certain modifications to your taxable income to determine how much NOL you will use up in that year and how much you can carry over to the next tax year. Your carryover is the excess of your NOL deduction over your modified taxable income for the carryback or carryforward year. If your NOL deduction includes more than one NOL, apply the NOLs against your modified taxable income in the same order in which you incurred them, starting with the earliest.

Modified taxable income.   Your modified taxable income is your taxable income figured with the following changes.
  1. You cannot claim an NOL deduction for the NOL carryover you are figuring or for any later NOL.

  2. You cannot claim a deduction for capital losses in excess of your capital gains. Also, you must increase your taxable income by the amount of any section 1202 exclusion.

  3. You cannot claim the domestic production activities deduction.

  4. You cannot claim a deduction for your exemptions for yourself, your spouse, or dependents.

  5. You must figure any item affected by the amount of your adjusted gross income after making the changes in (1), (2), and (3), above, and certain other changes to your adjusted gross income that result from (1), (2), and (3). This includes income and deduction items used to figure adjusted gross income (for example, IRA deductions), as well as certain itemized deductions. To figure a charitable contribution deduction, do not include deductions for NOL carrybacks in the change in (1) but do include deductions for NOL carryforwards from tax years before the NOL year.

  Your taxable income as modified cannot be less than zero.

Form 1045, Schedule B.   You can use Form 1045, Schedule B, to figure your modified taxable income for carryback years and your carryover from each of those years. Do not use Form 1045, Schedule B, for a carryforward year. If your 2013 return includes an NOL deduction from an NOL year before 2013 that reduced your taxable income to zero (to less than zero, if an estate or trust), see NOL Carryover From 2013 to 2014 , later.

Illustrated Form 1045, Schedule B

The following example illustrates how to figure an NOL carryover from a carryback year. It includes a filled-in Form 1045, Schedule B.

Example.

Ida Brown runs a small clothing shop. In 2013, she has an NOL of $36,000 that she carries back to 2011. She has no other carrybacks or carryforwards to 2011.

Ida's adjusted gross income in 2011 was $35,000, consisting of her salary of $36,000 minus a $1,000 capital loss deduction. She is single and claimed only one personal exemption of $3,700. During that year, she gave $1,450 in charitable contributions. Her medical expenses were $3,000. She also deducted $1,650 in taxes and $3,125 in home mortgage interest.

Her deduction for charitable contributions was not limited because her contributions, $1,450, were less than 50% of her adjusted gross income. The deduction for medical expenses was limited to expenses over 7.5% of adjusted gross income (.075 × $35,000 = $2,625; $3,000 − $2,625 = $375). The deductions for taxes and home mortgage interest were not subject to any limits. She was able to claim $6,600 ($1,450 + $375 + $1,650 + $3,125) in itemized deductions and a personal exemption deduction of $3,700 for 2011. She had no other deductions in 2011 (except the NOL deduction). Her taxable income (figured without the NOL deduction) for the year was $24,700.

Ida's adjusted gross income in 2012 was $9,325, consisting of net business income from the clothing shop of $12,325 and a net capital loss of $3,000. She did not itemize her deductions in 2012. She deducted the standard deduction of $5,950 and the personal exemption deduction of $3,800. She had no other deductions in 2012 (other than the NOL deduction). Her taxable income, therefore, was ($425).

Ida's $36,000 carryback will result in her having 2011 taxable income of zero. She then completes the column for the second preceding tax year ended 12/31/11 on Form 1045, Schedule B, to figure how much of her NOL she uses up in 2011 and how much she can carry over to 2012. She completes the column for the first preceding tax year ended 12/31/12. See the illustrated Form 1045, Schedule B , shown later.

Column 1, line 1. Ida enters $36,000, her 2013 net operating loss, on line 1.

Column 1, line 2. She enters $24,700, her 2011 taxable income (figured without the NOL deduction), on line 2.

Column 1, line 3. Ida enters her net capital loss deduction of $1,000 on line 3.

Column 1, lines 4 and 5. Ida had no section 1202 exclusion or domestic production activities deduction in 2011. She enters zero on lines 4 and 5.

Column 1, line 6. Although Ida's entry on line 3 modifies her adjusted gross income, that does not affect any other items included in her adjusted gross income. Ida enters zero on line 6.

Column 1, line 7. Ida had itemized deductions and entered $1,000 on line 3, so she completes lines 11 through 38 to figure her adjustment to itemized deductions. On line 7, she enters the total adjustment from line 38.

Column 1, line 8. Ida enters the deduction for her personal exemption of $3,700 for 2011.

Column 1, line 9. After combining lines 2 through 8, Ida's modified taxable income is $29,475.

Column 1, line 10. Ida figures her carryover to 2012 by subtracting her modified taxable income (line 9) from her NOL deduction (line 1). She enters the $6,525 carryover on line 10. She also enters the $6,525 as her NOL deduction for 2012 on Form 1045, page 1, line 10, in the “After carryback” column under the column for the first preceding tax year ended 12/31/12. (For an illustrated example of page 1 of Form 1045, see Illustrated Form 1045 under How To Claim an NOL Deduction , earlier.)

Next, Ida completes column 2 for the first preceding tax year ended 12/31/12.

Column 1, line 11. Ida's adjusted gross income for 2011 was $35,000.

Column 1, line 12. She adds lines 3 through 6 and enters $1,000 on line 12. (This is her net capital loss deduction added back, which modifies her adjusted gross income.)

Column 1, line 13. Her modified adjusted gross income for 2011 is now $36,000.

Column 1, line 14. On her 2011 tax return, she deducted $375 as medical expenses.

Column 1, line 15. Her actual medical expenses were $3,000.

Column 1, line 16. She multiplies her modified adjusted gross income, $36,000, by .075. She enters $2,700 on line 16.

Column 1, line 17. She substracts $2,700 from her actual medical expenses, $3,000. She enters $300 on line 17. This is her modified medical deduction.

Column 1, line 18. The difference between her medical deduction and her modified medical deduction is $75. She enters this on line 18.

Column 1, lines 19 through 21. Ida had no deduction for qualified mortgage insurance premiums in 2011. She skips lines 19 and 20 and enters zero on line 21.

Column 1, line 22. She enters her modified adjusted gross income of $36,000 on line 22.

Column 1, line 23. She had no other carrybacks to 2011 and enters zero on line 23.

Column 1, line 24. Her modified adjusted gross income remains $36,000.

Column 1, line 25. Her actual contributions for 2011 were $1,450, which she enters on line 25.

Column 1, line 26. She now refigures her charitable contributions based on her modified adjusted gross income. Her contributions are well below the 50% limit, so she enters $1,450 on line 26.

Column 1, line 27. The difference is zero.

Column 1, lines 28 through 37. Ida had no casualty losses or deductions for miscellaneous items in 2011. She skips lines 28 through 31 and lines 33 through 36. Ida enters zero on lines 32 and 37.

Column 1, line 38. She combines lines 18, 21, 27, 32, and 37 and enters $75 on line 38. She carries this figure to line 7.

Column 2, line 1. Ida enters $6,525, the carryback of her 2013 NOL to 2012, from column 1, line 10, on line 1.

Column 2, line 2. She enters ($425), her 2012 taxable income, on line 2.

Column 2, line 3. Ida enters her net capital loss deduction of $3,000 on line 3.

Column 2, lines 4 and 5. Ida had no section 1202 exclusion or domestic production activities deduction in 2012. She enters zero on lines 4 and 5.

Column 2, line 6. Although Ida's entry on line 3 modifies her adjusted gross income, that does not affect any other items included in her adjusted gross income. Ida enters zero on line 6.

Column 2, line 7. Because Ida did not itemize deductions on her 2012 tax return, she enters zero on line 7.

Column 2, line 8. Ida enters the deduction for her personal exemption of $3,800 for 2012.

Column 2, line 9. After combining lines 2 through 8, Ida's modified taxable income is $6,375.

Column 2, line 10. Ida figures her carryforward to 2014 by subtracting her modified taxable income (line 9) from her NOL deduction (line 1). She enters the $150 carryover on line 10.

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Form 1045, page 3

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Form 1045, page 4

NOL Carryover From 2013 to 2014

If you had an NOL deduction carried forward from a year prior to 2013 that resulted in your having taxable income on your 2013 return of zero (of less than zero, if an estate or trust), complete Table 1 , Worksheet for NOL Carryover From 2013 to 2014, on the following pages. It will help you figure your NOL to carry to 2014. Keep the worksheet for your records.

Worksheet Instructions

At the top of the worksheet, enter the NOL year for which you are figuring the carryover.

More than one NOL.   If your 2013 NOL deduction includes amounts for more than one loss year, complete this worksheet only for one loss year. To determine which year, start with your earliest NOL and subtract each NOL separately from your taxable income figured without the NOL deduction. Complete this worksheet for the earliest NOL that results in your having taxable income below zero. Your NOL carryover to 2014 is the total of the amount on line 10 of the worksheet and all later NOL amounts.

Example.

Your taxable income for 2013 is $5,000 without your $9,000 NOL deduction. Your NOL deduction includes a $2,000 carryover from 2011 and a $7,000 carryover from 2012. Subtract your 2011 NOL of $2,000 from $5,000. This gives you taxable income of $3,000. Your 2011 NOL is now completely used up. Subtract your $7,000 2012 NOL from $3,000. This gives you taxable income of ($4,000). You now complete the worksheet for your 2012 NOL. Your NOL carryover to 2014 is the unused part of your 2012 NOL from line 10 of the worksheet.

Line 2.   Treat your NOL deduction for the NOL year entered at the top of the worksheet and later years as a positive amount. Add it to your negative taxable income (figured without the NOL deduction). Enter the result on line 2.

Line 6.   You must refigure the following income and deductions based on adjusted gross income.
  1. The special allowance for passive activity losses from rental real estate activities.

  2. Taxable social security and tier 1 railroad retirement benefits.

  3. IRA deductions.

  4. Excludable savings bond interest.

  5. Excludable employer-provided adoption benefits.

  6. The student loan interest deduction.

  7. The tuition and fees deduction.

  If none of these items apply to you, enter zero on line 6. Otherwise, increase your adjusted gross income by the total of lines 3 through 5 and your NOL deduction for the NOL year entered at the top of the worksheet and later years. Using this increased adjusted gross income, refigure the items that apply, in the order listed above. Your adjustment for each item is the difference between the refigured amount and the amount included on your return. Combine the adjustments for previous items with your adjusted gross income before refiguring the next item. Keep a record of your computations.

  Enter your total adjustments for the above items on line 6.

Line 7.   Enter zero if you claimed the standard deduction or the amounts on lines 3 through 5 are zero. Otherwise, use lines 11 through 33 of the worksheet to figure the amount to enter on this line. Complete only those sections that apply to you.

Estates and trusts.   Enter zero on line 7 if you did not claim any miscellaneous deductions on Form 1041, line 15c, or a casualty or theft loss. Otherwise, refigure these deductions by substituting modified adjusted gross income (see below ) for adjusted gross income. Subtract the recomputed deductions from those claimed on the return. Enter the result on line 7.

Modified adjusted gross income.   To refigure miscellaneous itemized deductions of an estate or trust (Form 1041, line 15c), modified adjusted gross income is the total of the following amounts.
  • The adjusted gross income on the return.

  • The amounts from lines 3 through 5 of the worksheet.

  • The exemption amount from Form 1041, line 20.

  • The NOL deduction for the NOL year entered at the top of the worksheet and for later years.

  To refigure the casualty and theft loss deduction of an estate or trust, modified adjusted gross income is the total of the following amounts.
  • The adjusted gross income amount you used to figure the deduction claimed on the return.

  • The amounts from lines 3 through 5 of the worksheet.

  • The NOL deduction for the NOL year entered at the top of the worksheet and for later years.

Line 11.   Treat your NOL deduction for the NOL year entered at the top of the worksheet and for later years as a positive amount. Add it to your adjusted gross income. Enter the result on line 11.

Line 20.   Is your modified adjusted gross income from line 13 of this worksheet more than $100,000 ($50,000 if married filing separately)?

  □ Yes. Your deduction is limited. Refigure your deduction using the Mortgage Insurance Premiums Deduction Worksheet in the 2013 Instructions for Form 1045. On line 2 of the Mortgage Insurance Premiums Deduction Worksheet, enter the amount from line 13 of this worksheet.

  □ No. Your deduction is not limited. Enter the amount from line 19 on line 20 and enter -0- on line 21.

Line 23.   If you had a contributions carryover from 2012 to 2013 and your NOL deduction includes an amount from an NOL year before 2012, you may have to reduce your contributions carryover. Reduce the contributions carryover by the amount of any adjustment you made to your 2012 charitable contributions deduction when figuring your NOL carryover to 2013. Use the reduced contributions carryover to figure the amount to enter on line 23.

Worksheet for NOL Carryover (Continued)

How To Get Tax Help

Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you.

Free help with your tax return.   You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS.gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887.

  As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www.aarp.org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. For more information on these programs, go to IRS.gov and enter “VITA” in the search box.

Internet.    IRS.gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs.

  • Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS.gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day.

  • Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to research your tax questions. No need to wait on the phone or stand in line. The ITA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides you with a variety of tax information related to general filing topics, deductions, credits, and income. When you reach the response screen, you can print the entire interview and the final response for your records. New subject areas are added on a regular basis. 
    Answers not provided through ITA may be found in Tax Trails, one of the Tax Topics on IRS.gov which contain general individual and business tax information or by searching the IRS Tax Map, which includes an international subject index. You can use the IRS Tax Map to search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics.

  • Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years.

  • Determine if you are eligible for the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant.

  • Visit Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter to get answers to questions about a notice or letter you received from the IRS.

  • If you received the First Time Homebuyer Credit, you can use the First Time Homebuyer Credit Account Look-up tool for information on your repayments and account balance.

  • Check the status of your amended return using Where's My Amended Return? Go to IRS.gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box. You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system.

  • Make a payment using one of several safe and convenient electronic payment options available on IRS.gov. Select the Payment tab on the front page of IRS.gov for more information.

  • Determine if you are eligible and apply for an online payment agreement, if you owe more tax than you can pay today.

  • Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov. Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld.

  • Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS.gov.

  • Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS.gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box.

  • Download forms, instructions and publications, including accessible versions for people with disabilities.

  • Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS.gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS.gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.

  • Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Go to IRS.gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box.

  • Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance.

  • Read Internal Revenue Bulletins.

  • Sign up to receive local and national tax news and more by email. Just click on “subscriptions” above the search box on IRS.gov and choose from a variety of options.

Phone.    You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play.
  • Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887 or you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS.gov, or download the IRS2Go app. Low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location.

  • Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return.

  • Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system.

  • Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). You should receive your order within 10 business days.

  • Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040.

  • Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service.

Walk-in.   You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in person.
  • Products. You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs.

  • Services. You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS.gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided.

Mail.   You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

 
 
The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights.  
 
What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and:
  • Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business.

  • You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action.

  • You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised.

 
 
If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. Here's why we can help:
  • TAS is an independent organization within the IRS.

  • Our advocates know how to work with the IRS.

  • Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs.

  • We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

 
 
How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. 
 
How else does TAS help taxpayers? 
 
TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Visit Taxpayer Advocate or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.


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