Replace Your Social Security Card Online

Need to replace your lost or misplaced Social Security card? If you live in a qualifying state, our online application makes getting a replacement card easier than ever. There’s no need to sit in traffic or visit a local office or Card Center.

As long as you’re only requesting a replacement card, and no other changes, you can use our free online service from the comfort of your home or office. All you need to do is create a my Social Security account.

Your identity and personal information matter to us. We protect your information by using strict identity verification and security features. The application process has built-in features to detect fraud and confirm your identity. Once you have a personal account, simply follow the instructions to replace your Social Security card.

In many cases, even if you lost your card, you may not need a replacement. Most of the time, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough. Visit our website to find out whether you can request your replacement Social Security card online or what the requirements are in your area on our website.

Taxpayers have the right to pay no more than what they owe

The IRS has stated that it is committed to ensuring taxpayers pay no more than the correct amount of tax owed. Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly. This is one of 10 basic rights known collectively as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Here are some important things taxpayers should know about their right to pay no more than the correct tax owed. They can:

  • File for a refund if they believe they overpaid their taxes.
  • Contact the IRS if they believe there is an error on a notice or bill.
  • File an amended tax return if an error is discovered after the original return was filed.
  • Request that any amount owed be removed if it exceeds the correct amount due.
  • Request that the IRS remove interest from the account if the agency caused unreasonable errors or delays.
  • Submit an offer in compromise using Form 656-L. Taxpayers use this form to ask the IRS to accept less than the full amount of tax debt. Taxpayers do this if they believe all or part of the debt is not owed.

Educators can claim deduction to get money back for classroom expenses

Educators may be able to deduct unreimbursed expenses on their tax return. This deduction can put money right back in the pockets of eligible teachers and other educators.

Here are some things to know about this deduction:

  • Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed. As teachers prepare for the next school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.
  • The deduction is $500 if both taxpayers are eligible educators and file their return using the status married filing jointly. These taxpayers cannot deduct more than $250 each.
  • Qualified expenses are amounts the taxpayer paid themselves during the tax year.
    • Examples of expenses the educator can deduct include:
    • Professional development course fees
    • Books
    • Supplies
    • Computer equipment, including related software and services
    • Other equipment and materials used in the classroom
  • Taxpayers claim the deduction on Form 1040 or Form 1040NR. The taxpayer should remember to complete and attach Form 1040, Schedule 1 to their return.
  • To be considered an eligible educator, the taxpayer must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

Here’s what taxpayers should know if they get a notice from the IRS

Certain taxpayers might get a letter from the IRS this year. It’s called an IRS Notice CP 2000. It gives detailed information about issues the IRS identified. The IRS sends this notice when information from a third party doesn’t match the information the taxpayer reported on their tax return. The notice also provides steps taxpayers should take to resolve those issues.

Here is some information about these notices to help taxpayers understand why they got one and what to do when it arrives:

  • The IRS sends a notice to the taxpayer when a tax return’s information doesn’t match data reported to the IRS by banks and other third parties.
  • This notice isn’t a formal audit notification. It is simply a notice to see if the taxpayer agrees or disagrees with the proposed tax changes.
  • Taxpayers should respond to the Notice CP2000. The taxpayer usually has 30 days from the date printed on the notice to respond.
  • The IRS provides a phone number on each notice. IRS telephone assistors can explain the notice and what taxpayers need to do to resolve any issues.
  • The IRS will send another notice to the taxpayer if the taxpayer doesn’t respond to the initial Notice CP2000, or if the agency can’t accept the additional information provided. It is called an IRS Notice CP3219A, Statutory Notice of Deficiency.
  • The Notice CP3219A gives detailed information about why the IRS proposes a tax change and how the agency determined the change. The notice tells taxpayers about their right to challenge the decision in Tax Court if they choose to do so. Even if they decide not to go to Tax Court, the IRS will continue to work with the taxpayer to help resolve the issue.

Members of the armed forces are entitled to certain tax benefits

Members of the military and their families often qualify for special tax benefits. For example, members of the armed forces don’t have to pay taxes on some types of income. In addition, special rules could lower the tax they owe or allow them more time to file and pay their federal taxes.

Here are some of these special tax benefits:

  • Combat pay exclusion. If someone serves in a combat zone, part or all of their combat pay is tax-free. This also applies to people working in an area outside a combat zone when the Department of Defense certifies that area is in direct support of military operations in a combat zone. There are limits to this exclusion for commissioned officers.
  • Deadline extensions. Some members of the military – such as those who serve overseas – can postpone most tax deadlines. Those who qualify can get automatic extensions of time to file and pay their taxes.
  • Earned income tax credit. Military members who get nontaxable combat pay may choose to include it in their taxable income. One reason they might do this is to increase the amount of their earned income tax credit. People who qualify for this credit could owe less tax or even get a larger refund.
  • Joint return signatures. Both spouses must normally sign a joint income tax return. However, if military service prevents that from happening, one spouse may be able to sign for the other or get a power of attorney.
  • Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The Armed Forces Tax Council directs the military tax programs offered worldwide. Staff at military VITA sites receive training on military tax issues, like tax benefits for service in a combat zone. Each installation’s legal office may also be a source for more information.
  • Reserve and National Guard travel. Members of a reserve component of the Armed Forces may be able to deduct their unreimbursed travel expenses on their return. In order to do so, they must travel more than 100 miles away from home in connection with their performance of services as a member of the reserves.
  • ROTC allowances. Some amounts paid to ROTC students in advanced training are not taxable. This includes things like allowances for education and subsistence. On the other hand, active duty ROTC pay is taxable. This includes things like pay for summer advanced camp.

June 17 is next deadline for those who pay estimated taxes

Taxpayers who pay estimated taxes have the next due date on June 15, 2019, but because that is a Saturday, the date is shifted to Monday, June 17 as the deadline for the second estimated tax payment for 2019.

Examples of those who often need to pay quarterly estimated taxes are self-employed individuals, retirees, investors, and some individuals involved in the sharing economy, among others.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), enacted in December 2017, changed the way tax is calculated for most taxpayers, including those with substantial income not subject to withholding. Most TCJA changes took effect in 2018. As a result, many taxpayers ended up receiving 2018 refunds that were larger or smaller than expected, while others unexpectedly owed additional tax when they filed earlier this year. Because of this, taxpayers should consider whether they need to adjust the amount of tax they pay each quarter through estimated tax payments.

Form 1040-ES, available on IRS.gov, is designed to help taxpayers figure these payments simply and accurately. The estimated tax package includes a quick rundown of key tax changes, income tax rate schedules for 2019 and a useful worksheet for figuring the right amount to pay.

A companion publication, Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, has additional details, including worksheets and examples, which can help taxpayers determine whether they should pay estimated tax. This includes those who have dividend or capital gain income, owe alternative minimum tax or have other special situations.

Who needs to pay quarterly?
Most often, self-employed people, including some individuals involved in the sharing economy, need to pay quarterly installments of estimated tax. Similarly, investors, retirees and others – a substantial portion of whose income is not subject to withholding – often need to make these payments as well. Other income generally not subject to withholding includes interest, dividends, capital gains, rental income and alimony in some cases.

Because the U.S. tax system operates on a pay-as-you-go basis, taxpayers are required by law to pay most of their tax liability during the year. For 2019, this means that an estimated tax penalty will normally apply to any party that pays too little tax, usually less than 90 percent, during the year through withholding, estimated tax payments or a combination of the two.

Exceptions to the penalty and special rules apply to some groups of taxpayers, such as farmers, fishermen, casualty and disaster victims, those who recently became disabled, recent retirees, and those who receive income unevenly during the year. In addition, there’s an exception to the penalty for those who base their payments of estimated tax on last year’s tax. Generally, taxpayers won’t have an estimated tax penalty if they make payments equal to the lesser of 90 percent of the tax to be shown on their 2019 return or 100 percent of the tax shown on their 2018 return (110 percent if their income was more than $150,000). See Form 2210 and its instructions for more information.

Employees have a choice

Many employees who also receive income from other sources may be able to forgo making estimated tax payments and instead increase the amount of income tax withheld from their pay. One way they can do this is by first completing the Deductions, Adjustments, and Additional Income Worksheet in the W-4 instructions and then claiming fewer withholding allowances on the Form W-4 they give to their employer. Alternatively, they can ask their employer to withhold an additional flat-dollar amount each pay period on their Form W-4.

Perform a Paycheck Checkup

With many key tax changes now in their second year, the IRS urges all employees, including those with other sources of income, to perform a Paycheck Checkup now. Doing so now will help avoid an unexpected year-end tax bill and possibly a penalty. The easiest way to do this is to use the Withholding Calculator available on IRS.gov. 

To use the Withholding Calculator most effectively, users should have a copy of last year’s tax return and recent paystub. After filling out the Withholding Calculator, the tool will recommend the number of allowances the employee should claim on their Form W-4.

Though primarily designed for employees who receive wages, the Withholding Calculator can also be helpful to some recipients of pension and annuity income.

If the Withholding Calculator suggests a change, the employee should fill out a new Form W-4 and submit it to their employer as soon as possible. Similarly, recipients of pensions and annuities can make a change by filling out Form W-4P and giving it to their payer.

Employees who expect to receive long term capital gains or qualified dividends, or employees who owe self-employment tax, alternative minimum tax, or tax on unearned income of minors should use the instructions in Publication 505 to check whether they should change their withholding or pay estimated tax.

How and when to pay

The IRS provides two free electronic payment options, where taxpayers can schedule their estimated and other federal tax payments up to 30 days in advance, with Direct Pay (bank account) or up to 365 days in advance, with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). They can also visit IRS.gov/payments to explore options to pay online, by phone or with their mobile device and the IRS2go app. Taxpayers paying by check or money order must make it payable to the “United States Treasury.”

Taxpayers can pay their 2019 estimated tax payments any time before the end of the tax year. Most taxpayers make estimated tax payments in equal amounts by the four established due dates. The three remaining due dates for tax year 2019 estimated taxes are June 17, September 16, and the final payment is due Jan. 15, 2020.

Taxpayers who are due a refund on their 2018 federal income tax return may be able to reduce or even skip one or more of these payments by choosing to apply their 2018 refund to their 2019 estimated tax. See Form 1040 and its instructions for more information.

Taxpayers in presidentially-declared disaster areas may have more time to make these payments without penalty. Visit the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page for details.