Do I need to file a 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ?

jscalona
by jscalona

 

The 1040 series of federal income tax forms are the starting point for personal federal income tax returns. There are three different versions of these federal income tax forms: the original 1040s, the slightly more complicated 1040As, or the simplest – tax forms 1040EZ. Which version should you use?

Tax Forms – 1040EZ
Tax forms 1040EZ, are the “easy” forms in the 1040 series. You can use tax forms 1040EZ if you:

  • Are filing as “single” or “married, filing jointly”
  • Have no dependents, other than yourself
  • Are under 65
  • Are not blind by the end of the tax year
  • Have no adjustments to your income
  • Can claim no credits except the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Only earned wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarship or fellowship grants, unemployment compensation, or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
  • Are claiming taxable interest not over $1,500
  • Did not receive advanced Earned Income Credit payments

If you meet these criteria, then you can use tax forms 1040 EZ. If not, maybe you can use the next simplest federal income tax forms – 1040A.

Tax Forms – 1040A
This shortened version of the regular 1040 is used for taxpayers who made below $100,000 during the tax year and meet certain other requirements.

The federal income tax forms classified as 1040A also comes with restrictions. On top of the items listed on tax forms 1040EZ, you’re limited to:

  • Interest and ordinary dividends
  • Captain gains distributions
  • Pensions, annuities, and IRAs
  • Social security and railroad retirement benefits

If you made any taxable funds other than these or if you want to itemize your deductions, you will have to use one of the 1040 federal income tax forms, as well.

Tax Forms – 1040
These are the final federal income tax forms in the series, the original “long form” 1040. All those who are full time residents of the United States who managed to eliminate themselves from using 1040EZ or 1040A file their federal income taxes with this old standard.

All three federal sets of federal income tax forms can easily be found in libraries and post offices around your town or even now online. Happy filing!