What is tax form 1040A?

Elizabeth Rosen
by Elizabeth Rosen, Contributor

 

IRS Tax Form 1040A is a simplified federal income tax form used to report an individual’s income and calculate their taxes. It is also known as “the short form” because it is a two-page form that is less complex than IRS Tax Form 1040. Tax Form 1040A covers more than Form 1040EZ, and it allows taxpayers to report common types of income, credits, and deductions.

If you qualify to use Form 1040A, it will take you less time to prepare (than Form 1040) and it will likely be processed faster by the IRS. The 1040A Form is available to taxpayers of any age and any filing status, and it is due by April 15th. While most qualify to use this form, it is not as extensive as IRS Tax Form 1040, so it’s a good idea to look over what Form 1040 offers first.

A taxpayer may use IRS Tax Form 1040A if all of the following are true:

  • He or she has taxable income less than $100,000
  • He or she has income from only the following sources: wages, salaries, tips, interest and dividends, capital gains distributions, taxable scholarship or fellowship grants, pensions, annuities, IRAs, unemployment compensation, taxable social security or railroad retirement benefits, or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.
  • He or she claims only the following adjustments to income: educator or classroom expenses, IRA deduction, student loan interest tax deduction, and tuition/fees tax deduction
  • He or she does not itemize deductions
  • He or she claims only the following tax credits: child tax credit, additional child tax credit, earned income tax credit, retirement savings contributions credit, education tax credits, tax credit for child and dependent care expenses, and credits for the elderly or disabled
  • He or she does not have an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) adjustment from incentive stock options

Taxpayers may also use Form 1040A if they received advance Earned Income Credit (EITC) payments, dependent care benefits, or if they owe tax from the recapture of an education credit or the AMT.

Before you begin filing IRS Tax Form 1040A, make sure you have the following information ready:

  • Proof of identification
  • Filing status and residency status
  • Social Security Numbers for you, your spouse, and any dependents
  • Dates of birth for you, your spouse, and any dependents
  • A copy of your past tax return
  • Statements of wages earned (e.g., W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, etc.)
  • Statements of interest/dividends from banks, brokerages, etc.
  • Proof of any tax credits, tax deductions, or exclusions
  • Your bank account number and routing number (for Direct Deposit)

There are many different ways to obtain an IRS 1040A Tax Form. The fastest and most convenient option is to download the tax form on your computer. Most post offices and local libraries carry forms around tax time, and forms can also be picked up from a tax center or an IRS office. In addition, you may request a tax form to be sent to you by U.S. Mail.