File Form 1040—U.S. Individual Individual Income Tax Return in 2021 for the 2020 taxes. If you’ve earned more income during the course of 2020 than the minimum income to file a tax return, you must file this tax form by April 15.
Among all tax forms, 1040 is the one that sees the least developments. Frankly, you can take a look at Form 1040 from 10 years ago and will see a minimal difference in the current version.
Before you file a Form 1040 in the 2021 tax season, make sure that you have all your tax forms and schedules ready. Oftentimes, when filing a Form 1040, taxpayers attach multiple tax forms and schedules. The most commonly used tax form is Form W2—Wage and Tax Statement and Schedule A—Itemized Deductions.
Regardless of what goes into your tax return, make sure to attach supporting forms and schedules to it.
As for how and where to file Form 1040 in 2021, you will have two main options. You can either file electronically or submit a paper Form 1040. Either way works just fine but we suggest filing taxes electronically.
Compared to filing Form 1040 on paper, filing electronically has many benefits. It usually takes about 21 days for the IRS to process an electronically filed tax return. On the other hand, it can take up to six weeks for the IRS to process a paper Form 1040, and even longer at times. The duration of the IRS processing your tax return is important. If you’re expecting a tax refund, this will determine how soon you’re going to get it.
Having all this said, it is suggested that you file Form 1040 electronically rather than filing a paper tax return. As for filing Form 1040, here is how you can get it done in under an hour.
Filing Form 1040 Electronically
To file Form 1040 electronically, you need to purchase tax software. You aren’t always required to pay to file Form 1040 though. In 2021, if your income is less than $69,000, you will have plenty of options to file taxes for free. If your income is above this limit though, you can file the tax forms you need with your 1040 for free.
You should also check the free filing eligibility requirements of different tax software companies. For example, TurboTax—one of the popular tax software allows taxpayers with income less than $36,000 with income from a W2 and standard deduction to file taxes for free.
To see the full list of eligibility requirements for filing Form 1040 electronically through Free File, click here.
Paper Form 1040 (Fillable PDF)
Filing taxes electronically isn’t appealing to everyone even if you don’t need to pay for it. The way you file a tax return doesn’t determine your taxes altogether. If you want to file a paper Form 1040 in the 2021 tax season, there are ways to get it done quickly.
First and foremost, since you’re reading this on your computer or smartphone, you should be able to fill out 1040 online. Form 1040 you’re going to file in 2021 allows you to enter everything on your computer with the exception of your signature and the date of completion. You can enter the signature and date once you print it out.
To start filling out Form 1040 you’ll be using in the 2021 tax season, click on the boxes on it. Once you’re done filling out every part, you can then use the buttons on the upper right corner to save, download as PDF or print out.
Update: The IRS hasn’t released the 2021 Form 1040 at the time of writing. It is expected that the IRS will release Form 1040 in the upcoming months before the 2021 tax season begins.