you file your 2011 federal income tax return in
2012, you should be aware of a few important tax
changes that took effect in 2011. Check www.IRS.gov
before you file for updates on any new
legislation that may affect your tax return.
Due date of return. File your
federal tax return by April 17, 2012. The due
date is April 17, instead of April 15, because
April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is the
Emancipation Day holiday in the District of
New forms. In most cases, you
must report your capital gains and losses on the
new Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of
Capital Assets. Then, you report certain totals
from that form on Schedule D (Form 1040). If you
had foreign financial assets in 2011, you may
have to file the new Form 8938, Statement of
Foreign Financial Assets, with your return.
Standard mileage rates.
The 2011 rates for mileage are different for
January 1 through June 30 than for July 1
through December 31. For business use of your
car, you can deduct 51 cents a mile for miles
driven the first half of the year and 55 ½
cents for the second half. Medical and moving
mileage are both 19 cents per mile for the early
half of the year and 23 ½ cents in the latter
Standard deduction and
- The standard deduction
increased for some taxpayers who do not
itemize deductions on IRS Schedule A (Form
1040). The amount depends on your filing
- The amount you can deduct
for each exemption has increased $50 to
$3,700 for 2011.
Self-employed health insurance
deduction. This deduction is no longer
allowed on Schedule SE (Form 1040), but you can
still take it on Form 1040, line 29.
Alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption
amount increased. The AMT exemption
amount has increased to $48,450 ($74,450 if
married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er);
$37,225 if married filing separately).
Health savings accounts (HSAs) and
Archer MSAs. The additional tax on
distributions from HSAs and Archer MSAs not used
for qualified medical expenses increased to 20
percent. In addition, for tax years beginning
after December 31, 2010, the cost of an
over-the-counter medicine or drug is not a
qualified medical expense unless a prescription
Roth IRAs. If you converted or
rolled over an amount from a traditional IRA to
a Roth IRA or designated Roth in 2010 and did
not elect to report the taxable amount on your
2010 return, you generally must report half of
it on your 2011 return and the rest on your 2012
Alternative motor vehicle credit.
You can claim the alternative motor vehicle
credit for a 2011 purchase only if the vehicle
is a new fuel cell motor vehicle.
credit expired for most taxpayers for 2011. Some
military personnel and members of the
intelligence community can still claim the
credit in 2011 for qualified purchases.
Health coverage tax credit.
Recent legislation changed the amount of this
credit, which pays qualified health insurance
premiums for eligible individuals and their
families. Participants who received the 65
percent tax credit in any month from March to
December 2011 may claim an additional 7.5
percent retroactive credit when they file their
2011 tax return.
Mailing a return.
The IRS changed the filing location for several
areas. If you're mailing a paper return, see the
Form 1040 instructions for the correct address.
Detailed information on these
changes can be found on the IRS website – www.irs.gov.