The following is a summary of important tax changes for individuals that took effect in 2011.
Due date of return. File Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ 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 Columbia.
Reporting capital gains and losses on new Form 8949. In most cases, you must report your capital gains and losses on new Form 8949. Then you report certain totals from that form on Schedule D (Form 1040).
Standard mileage rates. The 2011 rate for business use of your car is 51 cents a mile for miles driven before July 1, 2011, and 55 1/2 cents a mile for miles driven after June 30, 2011.
The 2011 rate for use of your car to get medical care is 19 cents a mile for miles driven before July 1, 2011, and 23 1/2 cents a mile for miles driven after June 30, 2011.
The 2011 rate for use of your car to move is 19 cents a mile for miles driven beforeJuly 1, 2011, and 23 1/2 cents a mile for miles driven after June 30, 2011.
Standard deduction increased. The standard deduction for some taxpayers whio do not itemize their deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040) is higher for 2011 than it was for 2010. the amount depends on your filing status.
Exemption amount. The exemption amount you can deduct for each exemption has increased. It was $3,650 for 2010. It is $3,700 for 2011.
Self-employed health insurance deduction.This deduction is no longer allowed on Schedule SE (Form 1040). However, 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. For distributions after 2010, the additional tax on distributions from HSAs and Archer MSAs not used for qualified medical expenses has increased to 20%.
Also beginning in 2011, amounts paid for medicine or a drug are qualified medical expenses only if the medicine or drug is prescribed drug or is insulin.
Roth IRAs. If you converted or rolled over an amount to a Roth IRA 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 return.
Designated Roth accounts. If you rolled over an amount from a 401(k) or 403(b) plan to a designated Roth account in 2010 and did not elect to report the taxable amount on your 2010 return, you generally must must report half of it on your 2011 return and the rest on your 2012 return.
Alternative motor vehicle credit. You cannot claim the alternative motor vehicle credit for a vehicle you bought in 2011, unless the vehicle is a new fuel cell motor vehicle.
First-time homebuyer credit. To claim the first-time homebuyer credit for 2011, you (or your spouse if married) must have been a member of the uniformed services or Foreign Service or an employee of the intelligence community on qualified official extended duty outside the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after Deceber 31, 2008, and ending before May 1, 2010.
Repayment of first-time homebuyer credit. If you have to repay the credit, you may be able to do so without attaching Form 5405.
Nonbusiness energy property credit. This credit is figured differently for 2011 than it was for 2010.
Health coverage tax credit. This credit has been extended, and the amount has changed.
Foreign financial assets. If you had foreign financial assets in 2011, you may have to file new Form 8938 with your return.
Schedule L. Schedule L is no longer in use. You do not need it to figure your 2011 standard deduction.
Making work pay credit. The making work pay credit has expired. You cannot claim it on your 2011 return. Schedule M is no longer in use.
Mailing your return. If you are filing a paper return, you may be mailing it to a different address this year because the IRS has changed the filing location for several areas.