Under federal law, everyone who’s making over the standard deduction amount for single filers which is $12,400 must file a Form 1040. Even though there is a lot that goes into filing a tax return, Form 1040 is the one that you’re going to be using when filing a federal income tax return. However, there isn’t just a single Form 1040. There are different variations of the federal income tax return form.
But the overall use and purpose of Form 1040 is the same. There is Form 1040, Form 1040-EZ, Form 1040-A, and Form 1040-SR.
All Forms 1040
The plain Form 1040 is the one that most taxpayers are going to use. With a Form 1040, you can report your income, claim the deductions and tax credits available to you. It is the most detailed out of all, more on the other ones are below.
Form 1040A is a simplified version of the Form 1040 but not as simple as the Form 1040-EZ. It limits the deductions and credits you can claim on the plain Form 1040. The use of this form is to make filing a tax return easier. However, you can just go ahead and file a Form 1040-A instead of Form 1040.
Your taxable income must be less than $100,000 and not be self-employed. So you can still report your income from wages, interest and dividends, capital gain distributions, government payments, scholarship grants, and retirement benefits.
There is also a limit on the deductions you can claim. On Form 1040-A you can only claim deductions for retirement account contributions, educator expenses, student loan interests, allowable fees, and tuition and the standard deduction. Not finished with that though, you can also only claim the following tax credits. the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, child and dependent care credit, and saver’s credit.
The EZ stands for easy, thus, it is the easy version of Form 1040. Same as the Form 1040-A, you must qualify to file a tax return with this tax form. To file your federal tax return with Form 1040-EZ, you must fit the following.
You (and your spouse) must be under 65 and not blind with a taxable income under $100,000 and the same eligibility requirements apply as Form 1040-A. You cannot file taxes as head of household, meaning you must file as single or jointly with your spouse. On your tax return, you cannot claim any dependents and deductions from your income. The only tax credit you can claim on Form 1040-EZ is the earned income tax credit.
The Form 1040-SR is for seniors who have trouble with reading and writing on Form 1040. The Form 1040-SR has bigger text and boxes so that seniors have an easier time with. It is the same as Form 1040 but with bigger text and boxes.