Form 1040


Form 1040 can be used by anyone except non-resident aliens (who use Form 1040NR). However, many taxpayers are eligible to use the easier Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ if their taxable income is less than $100,000 and they use the standard deduction. The 1040EZ and 1040A Instructions list all of the eligibility requirements.

Form 1040 Tax Tips
  1. If you had a baby last year, you need to get a Social Security number for your child before you file your tax return. The IRS will not allow you to claim a dependency exemption, child tax credit, earned income credit, or Head of Household filing status without a valid Social Security number.
  2. Don't file as Single if you qualify to file as Head of Household. You will get a bigger refund if you file as Head of Household. If your ex-spouse claims your child as a dependent on his or her tax return, but the child lives with you, then you probably can still file as Head of Household. Also, if you can claim a parent, grandparent, nephew, niece, brother or sister as a dependent on your tax return, you can probably file as Head of Household.

Avoid Common Mistakes
  1. Enter the correct name and social security number for yourself, spouse, and dependents.
  2. Double check your math.
  3. Use the correct method to figure your tax. For example, if you have capital gains or qualified dividends, you need to calculate your tax using Schedule D or the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains Worksheet instead of the regular tax table.
  4. Remember to sign and date Form 1040 and enter your occupation.
  5. Attach your W-2 form(s) to the left margin of Form 1040 (one or two staples attaching the W-2s to the left margin works well).
  6. If you owe tax and are paying by check or money order, make your check or money order payable to "United States Treasury". Do not attach the payment to the return. Write your Social Security Number on the check or money order. Make sure your name, current address and daytime phone number are also on the check or money order.

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