Irs Pub 17 is not for the faint of heart. For young people who are doing their own taxes for the first time, it helps to be a dependent with guidance from parents. Most young people and first-time taxpayers don't use the full IRS pub 17, but rather the walk-through pamphlet that comes with your tax forms (assuming they're done on paper), or they'll do a guided version of their taxes online. There's a lot of information in Pub 17, although most taxpayers will only use a small amount of it. The problem is, they need to know which information and rules apply to them, so all of it has to be sifted through first. Most online tax services bypass this by asking questions which narrow down the information it present to you, which is an advantage it has over a hard copy or .pdf. Pub 17 is user friendly in the way that it presents all information it can, while still leaving more unique tax situations to other publications. It gives readers the choice to use that information to plan their finances for the future. However, there's a ton of information to get through and find to do taxes correctly, so it can be easy, using Pub 17 to lose it in the shuffle.