Tax Return

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Tax Return'

1. The tax form or forms used to file income taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Tax returns often are set up in a worksheet format, where the income figures used to calculate the tax liability are written into the documents themselves. Tax returns must be filed every year for an individual or business that received income during the year, whether through regular income (wages), interest, dividends, capital gains, or other profits.

2. A return of excess taxes paid during a given tax year; this is more accurately known as a "tax refund".

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Tax Return'

Individuals use Form 1040, corporations use Form 1120 and partnerships use Form 1065. Investment income is recorded on Form 1099. Most large corporations and sole proprietors file tax returns quarterly, rather than just once per year. This keeps the tax balance running as close to $0 as possible and avoids oversized tax bills at the end of the year.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Form 4506

    A tax form distributed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ...
  2. Income Tax

    A tax that governments impose on financial income generated by ...
  3. Return

    The gain or loss of a security in a particular period. The return ...
  4. Internal Revenue Service - IRS

    A United States government agency that is responsible for the ...
  5. 1040 Form

    The standard Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that individuals ...
  6. Revenue Agent

    An accountant who works for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is a family Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

    A family limited liability company (LLC) is formed by family members to conduct business in a state that permits such form ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is an IRS letter audit / audit by correspondence?

    Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends numerous notices to taxpayers. Letter audit, or audit by correspondence, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do I need to file an income tax return every year?

    Contrary to popular belief, there are indeed situations where a person does not need to file a tax return every year. For ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between gross income and taxable income?

    There are numerous tax terms that are beneficial to know and understand when you are preparing and filing your tax returns. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can I easily get ready for next year's tax season?

    You may one of the lucky ones to come out on top this tax season, but as you will likely agree, it does not mean that you ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When am I not required to submit a social security number on my tax return?

    When filing your tax return, you are generally required to include the social security numbers of yourself and the individuals ... Read Full Answer >>
  7. Does everyone have to file a federal tax return?

    This may come as a surprise to many individuals, but not everyone needs to file a federal tax return. According to the IRS, ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Before You Visit Your Tax Preparer: Do This

    The earlier you start preparing your tax records and documents, the more likely you are to have a smooth tax return experience – and all the tax benefits you're due.
  2. Taxes

    5 Smart Ways To Use Your Tax Return

    This year, find out how to stretch your tax refund further to strengthen your future.
  3. Taxes

    Should You File An Early Tax Return?

    When it comes to filing your taxes, it can often pay to wait until the deadline.
  4. Taxes

    Get A 6-Month Tax Extension

    Discover how to get some extra time from the IRS, without paying for the privilege.
  5. Taxes

    Simple Last-Minute Tax Tips

    A little preparation and organization can take the stress out of last-minute tax filing.
  6. Taxes

    10 Money-Saving Year-End Tax Tips

    Getting organized well before the deadline will curb your frustration and your tax liability.
  7. Taxes

    3 Common Tax Questions Answered

    We clarify some rules that often puzzle taxpayers.
  8. Taxes

    6 Sources For Free Tax Help

    From community-based services to free software, there are many free resources to help with your taxes.
  9. Investing Basics

    Got Dividends? Here's How to Reinvest Them

    Reinvesting dividends is almost always a good idea if you intend to hold your shares for the long term, and there are several ways to do it.
  10. Investing

    Acorns: The Perfect Investing Tool For Millennials

    We look at how the Acorns app works, how it makes money, and why is it innovative.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dog And Pony Show

    A colloquial term that generally refers to a presentation or seminar to market new products or services to potential buyers.
  2. Topless Meeting

    A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, ...
  3. Hedging Transaction

    A type of transaction that limits investment risk with the use of derivatives, such as options and futures contracts. Hedging ...
  4. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  5. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
  6. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!