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Where Do I File My Taxes?

After you complete your return, the next step is to send it to the IRS. You can do so by mailing it in the old-fashioned way or filing it online. Below, you'll find more information about your filing options.

Filing Your Return Electronically

If you have access to the Internet and an email address, you can file a tax return electronically using the IRS's "e-file" system. The IRS offers four ways to e-file your return:

  • If your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is less than $57,000, you can use "Free File," the free tax preparation software from the IRS;
  • You can do the math yourself and simply fill in the forms on the IRS website;
  • You can use tax preparation software, follow the prompts, and press "send" once your forms are complete; or
  • You can hire an accountant to prepare your taxes and file them for you.

The IRS also allows you to pay your taxes electronically using its online system. You can specify whether you would like your refund deposited directly into your bank account or mailed to you by check.

E-filing has several benefits over filing by mail. For one, most tax preparation software will do the math for you and help you catch careless errors. Electronically filed tax returns also tend to be processed faster than paper returns, which means you'll get your refund faster if you're owed one.

Mailing Your Return

Alternatively, you could mail in your tax return. Before you do, it's worth double checking your forms to make sure they're accurate and the calculations are correct. Be sure to include a check or indicate when you'll pay your taxes if necessary. Just like e-filing, you can choose to receive your refund by check or by direct deposit.

Finally, make sure you're sending your tax returns to the correct address. If an addressed envelope came with your tax forms package, you should use it to mail your return. If you don't have an addressed envelope, check the IRS's site for the specific addresses for each state and each type of tax return.

For more information, see FindLaw's sections on Income Tax Basics or Paying your Taxes.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified tax attorney to help you navigate
your federal and/or state tax issues.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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