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When to File Your Income Tax Return

April is generally the last month of each tax year for filing a return in the U.S.

In January of each year, your employer will send you a "W-2 form," showing the amount you have earned during the preceding year and the amount of federal and state income tax that was withheld. The W-2 form is used to prepare your income tax return. The amount withheld often exceeds the amount you would be required to pay, so failure to file a tax return may result in a financial loss for you. You must file a return to receive a refund.

Even if you leave the U.S. permanently, you must file a tax return form from the nearest U.S. consulate in January, or you can download the form from the IRS website. Be sure your employer has your home address so your W-2 Form can be sent to you.