What Every Employee Should Know About Tax Form 1040

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What is an IRS 1040 Form? – TurboTax Tax Tip Video

Who needs to file a 1040 tax form?

You likely need to file Form 1040 if any of these apply to you:

You also might need a 1040 form if:

What is Form 1040?

Form 1040 is the federal tax form that individuals fill out when they file their taxes each year. This form collects information such as your income, tax deductions and tax credits. You use this information to calculate your tax obligation for the year and determine whether you owe additional money or are due a refund.

What is the purpose of the 1040-SR form?

A 1040-SR tax form does the same thing as a standard 1040 tax form, it reports identifiable information, income, tax credit eligibility and tax liability to the IRS. The differences between the 1040-SR and the standard 1040 have to do with the appearance of the form. The 1040-SR has a larger font and different colors for visibility, as well as a standard deduction table for reference.

What is the 1040-SR form?

The 1040-SR form is a version of the 1040 form that is intended for people aged 65 and older. The IRS offers this form to help with accessibility issues, such as challenges with eyesight, and to help this group of people claim the right standard deduction for their age group. This form is now the only alternative to the standard 1040 form, whereas in the past other versions such as the 1040-EZ were also available from the IRS.

How to find a copy of Form 1040

If you choose to use tax filing software, you typically enter your relevant information into their program or website. The tax filing software can then transfer your information directly onto Form 1040. After completing your return, the software electronically files your form with the IRS.

If you are filing your taxes using paper forms, you can get a copy of Form 1040 from the IRS website. Additionally, an accountant or tax professional might have extra copies of these forms. You might also choose to have a tax professional prepare your taxes, in which case they’ll file your Form 1040 for you.

How to fill out Form 1040

While it’s possible to fill out Form1040 yourself, you may want to seek professional assistance if you’re unsure about a particular section. If you complete Form 1040 yourself, here are some basic guidelines:

1. Collect all of the necessary paperwork

The IRS will need information about you, any dependents you are claiming and your spouse, if applicable. Here is what you might need to fill out the 1040 form:

2. Enter your personal information

The top of the form includes your name, tax filing status and how many dependents you have. Your tax filing status depends on a combination of marital status and how many people you support. For example, you might file as head of household if you are unmarried, but you support other dependents. Other filing statuses include single, married filing separately, married filing jointly and qualified widower.

3. Enter your income information

You can use the next sections to help calculate your taxable income for the year and any deductions you might need to claim.

4. Complete each schedule or section

Tax forms often use the term “schedule” to mean a different section of the form. When filing electronically, you might not notice if you are in a different section or schedule because most software can automatically transfer you to the next section you need. If you are filling out the form by hand, each section includes instructions to direct you to the next step. For example, schedule one, part two has subsets on claiming deductions for student loans or self-employment taxes. Once you complete this section, you might skip to schedule three, part three for nonrefundable tax credits if this is the next section that applies to you.

5. Calculate the amount you owe or your refund

A separate but accompanying booklet to Form 1040 contains a Tax Table that will show you the amount of taxes due based on your adjusted gross income. If you have underpaid your taxes, Form 1040 will help you calculate how much you owe. And if you have overpaid your taxes, Form 1040 will help you determine the amount of your refund and collect information on where the IRS should send your refund.

Frequently asked questions about 1040 forms

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about form 1040:

What is the filing deadline for a 1040 form?

The tax filing deadline for the 1040 form is typically April 15 of each year but you should always double-check the IRS website. If you mail your return, the postmark should be no later than April 15. If you discover you need more time filing your taxes, you can request an extension with the IRS on their website.

What other forms do you need?

Partnerships and limited liability companies, or LLCs, might need to file Form 1065 in addition to Form 1040. They can use Schedule K-1 on Form 1065 to report any taxable income from their partnership or business. You might also need the information from Schedule K-1 to complete Form 1040.

S corporations, which are corporations that pass corporate income, loss, deductions and credits to their shareholders, typically file Form 1120S to report their corporate expenses and income. This form also has a Schedule K-1 section for taxable income. The S corporation can use the information from Schedule K-1 to fill out their own Form 1040.

C corporations are corporations that get taxed separately from their owners. Owners of C corporations use Form 1120 to report their business expenses and income. They complete Form 1040 for their personal income. They do not need to report business expenses on their personal 1040 form because Form 1120 handles their business taxes. When in doubt, be sure to ask a professional about your specific tax questions.

What are the 1040EZ and 1040A forms?

Prior to 2019, people with simple tax returns might have used short forms like the 1040EZ or 1040A. However, the IRS stopped making these forms and now only provides Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.

What if you make a mistake on Form1040?

If you’ve already filed Form1040 and realized you made a mistake, you can file an amendment. The IRS provides amendment Form 1040X on their website. The typical deadline for Form 1040X is three years from your original Form 1040 filing date. There are sections on Form 1040X to indicate why you need the correction. However, you cant file the amendment electronically. Once the form is complete, you should send it to the IRS via the post office.


Is a 1040 the same as a W2?

The W-2 is the form your employer sends to you each January reporting your wages & withholding. The form 1040 is your tax return you file.

What is the purpose 1040 form?

Form 1040 is used by U.S. taxpayers to file an annual income tax return.

How do I find my 1040 form?

Almost everyone in the United States needs to file IRS Form 1040. But for business owners, independent contractors, and the self-employed, there are some specific details you should know about.

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