Help Center

Welcome to our Help Center. Here you will find answers to many common questions we receive from taxpayers such as yourself.

    Tax Law Changes for 2016 Tax Returns

  • Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline

    This year, the IRS's deadline to file your taxes is April 18th instead of April 15th, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia (DC). This applies to you even if you do not live in the District of Columbia.

    If you file your tax return early and owe the IRS money, you will still have to send your payment in to the IRS by this date to avoid any penalties.

  • Delayed refunds for returns claiming certain credits

    Due to changes in the law, the IRS can't issue refunds before February 15, 2017, for returns that claim the earned income credit and/or the additional child tax credit. This applies to the entire refund, not just the portion associated with these credits.

  • IRS Electronic Filing PIN

    Electronic Filing PIN, an IRS-generated PIN used to verify your signature on your self-prepared, electronic tax return, is no longer available. To validate your signature, you must use your prior-year adjusted gross income or prior-year self-select PIN.

  • Standard Deductions

    In 2016, there was a change to the standard deduction amounts for those filing as Head of Household:

    • Single:  $6,300
    • Married Filing Separately:  $6,300
    • Head of Household:  $9,300, an increase of $50
    • Married Taxpayers Filing Jointly and Qualifying Widow(er)s:  $12,600
  • Exemptions

    The amount you can deduct for each exemption claimed on a federal income tax return in 2016 also went up from the 2015 value.  The 2016 exemption of $4,050 represents a $50 increase from the 2015 amount.

  • Earned Income Credit

    The earned income credit applies to working taxpayers that have earned income falling below certain thresholds.  The qualification threshold depends on the number of persons in each family.  The thresholds in 2016 to qualify for this credit include:

    • No Children:  earnings must be less than $14,880 or $20,430 if married filing jointly.
    • One Child:  earnings must be less than $39,296 or $44,846 if married filing jointly.
    • Two Children:  earnings must be less than $44,648 or $50,198 if married filing jointly.
    • Three or More Children:  earnings must be less than $47,955 or $53,505 if married filing jointly.

    The tax credits themselves have also increased in 2016, with the maximum credits that can be received as indicated below:

    • No Children:  $506
    • One Child:  $3,373
    • Two Children:  $5,572
    • Three or More Children:  $6,269
  • Marriage Penalty Relief

    This provision increases the standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly, and expands the 15% tax bracket.

  • Alternative Minimum Tax

    The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption amount rises in 2016 to $53,900 ($83,800, for married couples filing jointly).

  • Mileage Deduction Rates
    Category Rate (January to December)
    Business Miles 54 cents per mile (down from 57.5 cents)
    Charitable Services 14.0 cents per mile
    Medical Travel 19 cents per mile (down from 23 cents)
  • Health Care: Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit

    If individuals or families purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, they may qualify for the new Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit. To qualify for the credit, your household income must fall between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty line, you may not be claimed as a dependent on any other taxpayer's return, and (if married), you must file jointly. In the case of spousal abuse or abandonment, this requirement may be waived.

  • Health Care: Individual Shared Responsibility Provision

    In 2016, each individual taxpayer must carry the required "minimum essential coverage" each month, qualify for an exemption, or pay mandatory taxes. For those facing this new penalty, relief provisions have been written into the tax laws to help taxpayers transition into these new requirements. The minimum amount of insurance coverage you must carry is calculated per family member and then added together.

  • High Income Idividuals: Phase-Out of Itemized Deductions and Personal Exemptions

    In 2016, the taxpayer's itemized deductions and personal exemptions will begin to be reduced when their adjusted gross income (AGI) reaches the following threshold amounts:

    • $259,400 - Single
    • $311,300 - Married Filing Jointly
    • $285,350 - Head of Household
    • $155,650 - Married Filing Separately

    The reduction in Itemized Deductions will be calculated as the lesser of:
    • 3% of the amount over the taxpayer's threshold amount; or
    • 80% of the total itemized deductions

    Personal exemptions will be reduced by 2% for each $2,500 (or fraction thereof) by which the taxpayer's AGI exceeds the applicable threshold amount.

  • Using

  • Can I use to file a tax return for a previous year?
    No. You can only prepare and file tax returns for the current filing season.
  • How can I download a copy of a prior year's tax return?
    If you filed your tax return with, you may retrieve copies simply by signing into your account. Copies of your tax return filed with are available for 3 years.

    If you did not file with and would like to request a transcript or a copy of your tax return from the IRS, you have the following options:

    • Request a free transcript of your federal return from the IRS. A transcript is used to verify income and some financial institutions accept it as a substitute for your original tax return. Visit IRS Tax Tip 2010-13 for more details.

    • Order an exact copy of your tax return, including all attachments, from the IRS for $57.00. See IRS Tax Topic 156 for complete instructions.
  • I am having trouble downloading & printing PDF documents. uses Adobe Acrobat PDF files as a means to distribute tax documents, forms, publications and other information. To download and print a PDF file, you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed. You can download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader FREE from the Adobe Reader download page on Adobe's Web site.

    To download a file, click on the hyperlink.

    When saving a file, be sure to use Save function of Adobe Reader rather than the web browser's save.

    To download the file without viewing it first:

    • Right click on the title link.
    • Select "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As" (Firefox / Mozilla / Netscape) when presented with a menu (if your mouse is configured for left handed operation use the left mouse button).

    Use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the file directly after downloading.

    When printing Adobe Acrobat PDF files from within your web browser, use the print button at the left end of the special Adobe Acrobat tool bar, which appears immediately above the viewing window.

    All of our files are verified prior to posting on If you have difficulty downloading or printing a PDF file, it may be due to software settings, configuration problems, or other issues. Troubleshooting information can be found within Adobe's support center when PDF pages don't appear in the web browser window.

    Most printing problems can be resolved by obtaining and installing the most recent print driver available for your particular make and model printer. Most printer manufacturers provide free printer driver updates from their web sites. Additional troubleshooting information can be found within Adobe's support center (Document 316508 for Windows) or (Document 315727 for Mac OS).