The many shades of IRS Form 1040

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There are a few different versions of IRS form 1040, and each one holds unique reasons as to why they exist. Do you know which version of form 1040 is right for you? Say Bookkeeping has put together a list explaining the different versions of IRS Tax Form 1040 so you can easily understand the differences, and pick the correct form.

IRS Tax Form 1040 (US Individual Income Tax Return)….Form 1040 is the standard Federal income tax form used to report an individual’s gross income. It is also known as “the long form” because it is more extensive than the shorter 1040A and 1040EZ Tax Forms. Also unlike the other tax forms, IRS Form 1040 allows taxpayers to claim numerous expenses and tax credits, itemize deductions and adjust income. While the 1040 may be longer to complete, it benefits taxpayers by giving them more opportunities to lower their tax bills.

IRS Tax Form 1040A (US Individual Income Tax Return)….The 1040A is a simplified federal income tax form used to report an individual’s income and calculate their taxes. It is also known as “the short form” because it is a two page form that is less complex than the 1040. Tax Form 1040A covers more than Form 1040EZ and it allows taxpayers to report common types of income, tax credits and deductions. Remember, you cannot itemize your deductions using this form, and the tax credits you can claim are limited. If you qualify to use a Form 1040A it will take you less time to prepare and will likely be processed faster by the IRS. However, if you qualify to use this form, you should always take a look at “the long form” first to see what it can offer you.

IRS Tax Form 1040EZ (Individual Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers with No Dependents)…..This form is “E” “Z” because it is “E_Z” #easy, get it? This is the shortest federal income tax form, and is designed for taxpayers whose filing status is single or married filing jointly with no dependents. The 1040EZ is less complex than the 1040 and 1040A, so it takes less time to fill out and process. However, depending on your situation, it may be more beneficial for you to use one of the other two forms which can end up allowing you to claim more credits and deductions.

IRS Tax Form 1040NR (US Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens)….This is the Federal individual income tax return for non-resident aliens. This tax form is similar to the regular 1040 form used by US citizens. The form 1040NR must be filed if you were a nonresident alien during the past tax year who engaged in business in the US. You are required to file even if you have no income from the business, or your income is exempt from tax under a treaty with your country. You must also file this form if you were a nonresident alien who did not engage in US business, but received income from US sources that are reportable on Schedule NEC.

So there you have it, the many shades of the 1040. Which shade are you?

For more information regarding instructions for filing these forms please refer to the About Form 1040 page on the IRS website.

If you need advice or tax preparation assistance, please contact us. Your success is our business, so remember that!

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