How to Fill out Income Tax Return Forms

How to Fill out Income Tax Return Forms. Filling out your own tax forms has many benefits. You may see tax deductions for which you qualify, and you'll have a good idea of what you're paying and why. Doing it yourself can even save you money.

Fill out Printed Income Tax Forms

Step 1

Fill out your tax forms by printing your answers in the blanks using an ink pen, or type your answers in the blanks. Do not use cursive or complete forms with a pencil.

Step 2

Follow the directions provided in the instruction booklet that corresponds with your tax form. This booklet will walk you through the form step by step and provide worksheets for you to perform any necessary calculations.

Step 3

Mail your tax return forms to the address listed for your state. You can find it on the last page of the instruction booklet. The address to which you mail your forms will also depend on whether you are including a check or filing late.

Fill out Your Income Tax Forms Online

Step 1

Decide whether to file online. The IRS recommends filing online because it greatly reduces the risk of calculation errors. However, some states do not have easy-to-use online systems.

Step 2

Use Free File on the IRS website, making sure you qualify first (see Resources below). If you do not qualify, but still want to file online, choose a tax preparer from the list of partners on the IRS website.

Step 3

File your forms online. You will simply fill in online worksheets that will complete all calculations for you.


Filing your federal income tax return online is free if your income was under approximately $52,000 last year. For each federal tax form, the IRS publishes a set of instructions. These instructions contain worksheets and further information for completing the forms. You are responsible for both a federal and a state tax return every year. While federal forms are the same for everyone, state forms may differ in every state.


If you need to file your forms late, file Form 4868 to request an extension and avoid severe penalties. Other forms may be required if you are filing for a business.

Things You'll Need

  • Federal tax return forms

  • State tax return forms