IRS Publication 17

DEFINITION of 'IRS Publication 17 '

A document published by the Internal Revenue Service that outlines the rules governing the filing of federal income tax returns. IRS Publication 17 identifies who must file a tax return, the tax forms to use when filling out the return, how many exemptions a taxpayer can take, when the return is due and how to file the return itself. The publication helps taxpayers identify their filing status, whether they can claim dependents, what type of deductions are available and what credits are available to reduce tax obligations.

BREAKING DOWN 'IRS Publication 17 '

The document covers a broad set of topics, most of which are explained in further detail in other IRS publications. It does not cover business taxes for the self-employed, as those are covered in Publication 334 (Tax Guide for Small Business), Publication 535 (Business Expenses) and Publication 587 (Business Use of Your Home).