This interview will help you determine which form you should use to file your taxes. This manual will help you decipher the alphabetical order of IRS forms and understand your tax return. If you previously filed Form 1040EZ but purchased health insurance through a state or federal Affordable Care Act exchange, known as a marketplace, you can no longer file this simple form. Why? Form 1040EZ doesn't offer Joe some of the valuable tax breaks listed in the other two returns.
The simplest IRS form is Form 1040EZ. And since the IRS doubled the income limit for taxpayers who use it, EZ has been available to more taxpayers. Form 1040A is the next step in the tax form scale. As with Form 1040EZ, the income limit for filers who want to use the 1040A has increased, so more taxpayers should be able to use it.
People use Form 1040 to file their annual income tax returns. This form helps you calculate your taxable income and how much you owe the IRS. It asks you for personal information, your marital status, the amount of taxes you have paid through withholding (as detailed on your Form 1099 or W-2, or in your quarterly estimated tax payments), the amount of income you earned and from what sources (such as wages, salaries, tips, or retirement benefits). It's also where you can apply for your dependents and tax benefits, such as the standard deduction and earned income tax credit.
If you use tax software or a website, the software will fill out this form for you and calculate your taxes based on the information you enter. Most free and paid tax preparation services will tell you which forms to file, but if you're still in doubt, see below for a list of the most commonly used tax forms. Fortunately, learning just a few key tax forms can give you much of the information you need to understand your tax return. You should also review those other two individual tax returns to take advantage of additional income adjustments and tax credits.
The ProPublica guide is not personalized tax advice, and you should talk to a tax professional about your specific tax situation. The TurboTax governor will ask you simple questions and will automatically fill out all the appropriate tax forms you need to file your tax return. However, the only tax credit that appears in the 1040EZ is the earned income tax credit, available only to low-income taxpayers. Specifically, we've looked at the ways in which companies in the for-profit tax preparation industry, such as Intuit (TurboTax), H&R Block and Tax Slayer, have lobbied for the Free File program and then systematically undermined it with evasive search tactics and a confusing design.
Here's an introduction to some of the documents you'll want to familiarize yourself with when using TurboTax to prepare your tax return. To help you prepare for your tax appointment or to file your own taxes, we've created a checklist to help you know what forms you should file.