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TAX 2018

Prepared by the


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How To Use Your Income Tax 2018

Tax alert symbols. Throughout the text of Your Income Tax, these special symbols alert you to advisory tips about filing your federal tax return and tax planning opportunities:

filing.png Filing Instruction

A Filing Tip or Filing Instruction helps you prepare your 2017 return.

watch.png Planning Reminder

A Planning Reminder highlights year-end tax strategies for 2017 or planning opportunities for 2018 and later years.

caution.png Caution

A Caution points out potential pitfalls to avoid and areas where IRS opposition may be expected.

law.png Law Alert

A Law Alert indicates recent changes in the tax law and pending legislation before Congress.

court.png Court Decision

A Court Decision highlights key rulings from the Tax Court and other federal courts.

alert.png IRS Alert

An IRS Alert highlights key rulings and announcements from the IRS.

for FREE download of e-Supplement

You can download a free e-Supplement to Your Income Tax 2018 at The e-Supplement will provide an update on tax developments from the IRS and Congress, including a look ahead to 2018.

On the homepage at, you will find free tax news, tax tips and tax planning articles.

The federal income tax law, despite efforts at simplification, remains a maze of statutes, regulations, rulings, and court decisions written in technical language covering thousands and thousands of pages. For 81 years, J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax has aided and guided millions of taxpayers through this complex law. Every effort has been made to provide a direct and easy-to-understand explanation that shows how to comply with the law and at the same time take advantage of tax-saving options and plans.

The 2018 edition of Your Income Tax—our 81st edition—continues this tradition. To make maximum use of this tax guide, we suggest that you use these aids:

Contents Chapter by Chapter. The contents, on pages v–xxiv, lists the chapters in Your Income Tax. References direct you to sections within a particular chapter. Thus a reference to 21.1 directs you to Chapter 21 and then to section 1 within that chapter. Section and page references are provided in the index at the back of the book.

What’s New for 2017. Pages xxv–xxviii alert you to tax developments that may affect your 2017 tax return.

Key Tax Numbers for 2017. Pages xxix–xxx.

Tax-Saving Opportunities. Page xxxi.

Filing tax basics. Pages 1–8 alert you to filing requirements, filing addresses for IRS Service Centers, and a calendar with 2018 filing deadlines.