A tax return is a document filed with the tax authority that reports income, expenses, and other relevant tax information. The purpose of a tax return is to calculate a taxpayer's tax liability, schedule tax payments, or request a refund for tax overpayments. For individuals and businesses with reportable income, tax returns must be filed annually.
In the United States, tax returns containing information used to calculate taxes are filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the state or local tax collection agencies. IRS forms or other relevant forms are generally used to prepare tax returns.
There are two types of tax returns: those for individuals (which might also be called a personal tax return, income tax return, or self-assessment tax return) and those for organizations, such as a partnership (partnership tax return) or company (Corporation Tax Return).
Almost all personal tax returns have a main section containing common types of income such as interest and dividends, as well as common tax reliefs such as donations to charities. Separate sections are used to report other types of income, such as self-employment profits or salary.