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Publication 3

Filing Returns(p26)

This section discusses the procedures members of the Armed Forces should follow when filing their federal income tax returns. These same rules apply when the return is filed on behalf of a member of the Armed Forces, for example, by a tax preparer or by a surviving spouse or personal representative. Special rules apply when filing returns for those involved in a combat zone or a contingency operation. See Are There Filing, Tax Payment, and Other Extensions Specifically for Those in a Combat Zone or a Contingency Operation, later.

What is my filing status if I am in a same-sex marriage?(p27)

For federal tax purposes, marriages of couples of the same sex are treated the same as marriages of couples of the opposite sex. The term “spouse” includes an individual married to a person of the same sex. You must select married, or married filing separately, as your filing status.

What is my filing status if I am in a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship?(p27)

If you have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that isn't considered a marriage under state (or foreign) law, you aren't considered married for federal tax purposes. You must select single (or head of household if eligible) as your filing status. For more details, see Pub. 501.

Where To File My Return(p27)


Electronic filing (e-filing) of your tax return.(p27)

You are encouraged to e-file your return. Eight in 10 taxpayers get their refunds faster by using direct deposit and e-file. You can e-file your 2017 federal income tax return free through Free File if your 2017 adjusted gross income was $66,000 or less. Go to and click on the e-file icon for more information on e-filing and Free File.
If you e-file your return, there is no need to mail it.

Paper returns.(p27)

A tax return for Forgiveness of Decedent's Tax Liability, discussed earlier, must be filed on paper. For the address where those returns should be filed, see Where To File a Return Requesting Tax Forgiveness under Forgiveness of Decedent's Tax Liability, earlier.
If you choose to file a federal income tax return on paper and you aren't claiming tax forgiveness on the return, send your federal tax return to the Internal Revenue Service Center for the place where you live. The instructions for Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ give the addresses for the service centers. If you are overseas and have an APO or FPO address, file your return with the Internal Revenue Service Center listed for an APO or FPO address.


Sgt. Kane, who is stationed in Maine but whose permanent home address is in California, should send her federal return to the service center for Maine.

When To File My Return(p27)

Most individuals must file their tax returns by the regular due date. You may be eligible for an extension. Some extensions are automatic, some aren't. See Extensions of Deadlines To File Your Tax Return, To Pay Your Taxes, and for Other Actions, later.

What Is the Regular Due Date of My Return?(p27)

For calendar year taxpayers, the regular due date is April 15 of the following year. If April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, your tax return is considered timely filed if it is filed by the next business day that isn't a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. For 2017 tax returns, the due date is April 17, 2018, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia—even if you don't live in the District of Columbia.