Individual or married taxpayers filing their federal income taxes with the IRS need the appropriate 2010 tax forms. For the majority of taxpayers, the 1040 tax forms series is what they will pick up. This series includes the 1040, the 1040A, and the tax forms 1040EZ.
Before starting the 1040, you should make sure you do not qualify to use the simpler 2010 tax forms 1040A and 1040EZ. Using these can save you time, energy and headache. They come with some restrictions, however.
The 1040EZ is the simplest of 2010 tax forms but comes with the most restrictions. Answer these questions to find out if you can still use it.
- Are you filing as single or married filing jointly?
- Do you claim zero dependents?
- Do you have zero adjustments to income?
- Are you under the age of 65?
- Are you blind? (If you are, you can't use this form.)
- Was your income less than $100,000?
- Did you earn only simple income like wages, tips, and unemployment compensation?
- Did you receive no advance Earned Income Credit payments?
- Did you have zero household employees?
- If you answered “yes” to all those questions, you can use the 1040EZ. If not, you may be able to use the 1040A tax forms instead.
- Do you have simple income like wages, tips, and unemployment compensation?
- Do you have basic adjustments to income?
- Do you have limited exemptions like dependents?
- Do you not owe self employment taxes?
- Do you have credits that don’t include the Foreign Tax Credit?
Again, if you answered “yes” to these questions, you can use the 1040A! If you answered “no” to any of them, you must use the 1040 tax forms.
Also, if you want to itemize your deductions at all, you must use the 1040. Neither the 1040A nor the 2010 tax forms 1040EZ allow for itemized deductions. You can only use the 1040 for that process.