Essential Things to Know about IRS Form 1040

Essential Things to Know about IRS Form 1040

It is safe to call form 1040, the mother of all tax forms, as it is the standard tax form that people will need to report their income to Uncle Sam. In addition, it also comes handy in claiming tax credits and deductions, estimating tax refunds and the year's tax bill. 

The form is available in three different variants – Form 1040EZ, 1040A and Form 1040 tax form, which takes care of taxpayers with exceptional tax cases.


Uses of Form 1040

  • Information about the taxpayer: The upper part of the form will access basic information about you, your tax filing status, and the number of tax dependents you have. 

  • Estimate Taxable income: Also, your entire payment for the year and the deductions you want to claim will be tallied. The idea is to deduce your taxable income – your income amount that will be taxed. 

  • Estimate your tax liability: you will enter the income amount you are responsible for towards the bottom part of the form. 

  • Know if you have paid some of your entire tax bills: this form also helps you determine if the tax credit alongside the withholding tax takes care of the bill. In case they do not, you will pay the outstanding bill on filing Form 1040. You will qualify for a refund if you overpaid, and there is a portion on the form where you can inform Uncle Sam of where to send the money.

How to get Form 1040

For people that will fill their tax return with a tax software, the answers will be converted and translated to entries in the form 1040. There is also provision for filing the 1040 form electronically with Uncle Sam, where you should be able to download and print a copy for yourself

Form 1040 is available with the IRS, where you can fill the return yourself here. 

Claiming Your Stimulus Check with the IRS

For people eligible for the stimulus check, also known as the economic impact payment, and they didn't get it or didn't get the total amount, they can get the full amount by claiming the RRC (Recovery Rebate Credit) on Form 1040 line 30. 

You also have instructions on page 58 of the form on how to estimate what you will claim. You will not have to pay taxes on stimulus check money you already got.

Understanding Form 1040-SR

Form 1040-SR is an updated version of 1040 designed for people 65 years and above. Here are some quick facts about it:

  • The form is for people 65 years and above.

  • One can either go through itemizing or standard deduction route

  • Form 1040 and 1040-SR differ in appearance. For instance, 1040-SR has a different color, a bigger font with a standard deduction table embedded.


Which of the 1040S Schedule will you use?

Almost everyone uses the common 1040 form or the 1040-SR form, even though there are three variants. You might not need to use them depending on your tax situation or your desire to claim some credits and deductions.

Schedule 1: Extra Income and Income adjustment 

You will fill this if you have had any of them:

  • Alimony payments

  • Business income 

  • Rental income

  • Unemployment income

  • Farm income

  • HSA deductions  (Health Savings Account)

  • Student loan interest

Schedule 2: Additional Taxes 

People that owe any of the following will have to file this 

  • Self-employment tax

  • Alternative minimum tax

  • Employment tax for household

  • Additional Medicare tax

  • Extra taxes on retirement plans, IRAs and other tax-favored accounts 

Schedule 3: Payments and Additional Credits 

If you desire to claim any of the following, you will file this 

  • Education credits 

  • Foreign tax credits

  • General business credit

  • Residential energy credits

  • Saver’s credit 



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