If you have really simple taxes to file this year, you might be able to use Form 1040EZ. As you can probably guess from its name, this is a very easy form to fill out. This is one of the three forms you can use to file your federal income taxes. The other two--1040 and 1040A--are for more complicated scenarios. But if you qualify, you can file your taxes pretty quickly with 1040EZ.
Related: Credit Karma Tax Review
Tax Form 1040EZ is missing a lot of the information that’s present on other 1040 forms, including dependent-related information. For this reason, you can only file this form if you don’t claim any dependents. To qualify, you must also:
- File single or married filing jointly
- Have a total taxable income of less than $100,000
- Take the standard deduction
If that sounds like you, read on to find out what information this form asks for.
Information on Form 1040EZ
As with all 1040 forms, this one starts by asking for your personal information, including your filing status and your Social Security number.
Then, the form asks for your income, which can include:
- Wages, salaries, and tips from form W-2
- Taxable interest of up to $1,500 for the year
- Unemployment compensation
- Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
If you have other types of income, such as capital gains or income you earned as a contractor or sole proprietor, you cant use the 1040EZ. You’ll have to use either 1040A or 1040.
Next, the form asks for your payments, credits, and paid tax information. Again, you can only take the standard deduction with this form. But even then, it allows for a couple of additional forms of deductions or credits. One is the Earned Income Credit (EIC). If you qualify based on your income, you’ll want to take this credit. You can also add nontaxable combat pay election to this form and any taxes you’ve already paid.
Finally, the form will calculate the amount you’re getting in a tax refund or (hopefully not!) the amount you actually owe the government at the end of the year.
How to Use 1040EZ
That’s it! This form is actually not that difficult to fill out even if you’re filing your taxes the old-fashioned way--with printed forms from the public library and a pen in hand.
However, you don’t really need to resort to that. If you qualify to use the 1040EZ, you probably also qualify for a free file program from software like TurboTax or H&R Block. These programs can ask you additional questions about your taxes that might find you qualify for more deductions or credits. This could mean you wind up sending a more complicated form to the IRS. But that’s worth your while if you get more money back in your pocket at tax time!
So if you think you can file your taxes on this form, be sure to check out free tax preparation programs here first.
Should you need help filing your taxes this year, you may want to consider both TurboTax and H&R Block. Their free online tax software can make your tax nightmares disappear.
TurboTax free version is for simple tax returns only. Not all taxpayers qualify.
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