Which 1040 Tax Form Should You File?

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Are you unsure which form you should be using to file your federal taxes? Many people use their computers to e-file tax forms because it’s easy and the software will automatically select the best tax form for your tax situation. However, if you are filing via paper, you have to select the best form to use yourself.

Before deciding which form is best for you to use, we recommend going to IRS Free File, which is available on IRS.gov. This is a free tax 1040 tax formsoftware that also allows you to utilize Fillable Forms, so you can fill out your forms via your computer. Once done, you can also submit your forms via e-file for free.

However, if you are stuck in your ways and want to paper file, we are sharing some tips today that will help you choose the ideal form for your tax situation.

When to Use 1040EZ

  • Your taxable income doesn’t exceed $100,000
  • You file single or married filing jointly
  • You don’t have any dependents
  • Your interest income doesn’t exceed $1,500.

When to Use 1040A

  • Your taxable income doesn’t exceed $100,000
  • You have capital gain distributions
  • You only have certain tax credits to claim
  • You need to make adjustments to your income for IRA contributions and student loan interest.

When to Use 1040

  • Your taxable income exceeds $100,000
  • You itemize your deductions
  • You have self-employment income to claim
  • You have to report income from sale of a property.

You can find additional help for selecting the proper form to use via IRS Publication 17. The fastest way to access tax forms and get instructions is to go to IRS.gov and visit the “Forms & Pubs” section. You will also find the newest tax forms online before they are available in the printed version.

You can have forms mailed to you by calling the IRS at 800-TAX-FORM, or you can pick them up at your local IRS office, local library, or post office.

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