1040 Tax Form Information and Instructions
Starting in 1916, tax form 1040 was instituted as an annual requirement for Americans filing an individual income tax return.
It’s typically referred to as the “long form” to distinguish it from other variants.
If you have an uncomplicated tax situation – no itemized deductions, no capital gain or loss, no business expenses etc. – then you may be able to use the simplified form 1040a (the short form), or maybe even the 1040ez.
Tax Form 1040 is made up of two pages, but this does not include the dozen possible attachments. Here’s a brief explanation of the possible attachments you may need:
- Schedule A: is used to itemize allowable deductions against income
- Schedule B: is used to enumerate interest or dividend income and is required if either interest or dividends received for the tax year exceeds $1,500 from all sources
- Schedule C: is used to list incomes and expenses related to self employment, and is used by sole proprietors. There is also the smaller C-ez .
- Schedule D: Is used to describe capital gains and losses incurred during the tax year
- Schedule E: is used to report income and expenses arising from the rental of real property, royalties, or from pass-through entities
- Schedule EIC: is used to document a tax payers eligibility for the earned income credit
- Schedule F: is used to report income and expenses related to farming
- Schedule H: is used to report taxes owed due to the employment of household help
- Schedule J: is used when averaging farm income over a period of several years
- Schedule R: is used to calculate the credit for the elderly or disabled
- Schedule SE: is used to calculate the self employment tax owed on income due to self employment income
Keep in mind that to file a 1040 tax form you can only have income from the following sources:
- Wages, salaries, tips
- Interest and ordinary dividends
- Capital gains distributions
- Taxable scholarships and fellowship grants
- Pensions, annuities, and IRAs
- Unemployment compensation
- Taxable social security and railroad retirement benefits
- Alaska permanent fund dividends
There’s more to this common yet complicated tax form, but thanks to tax services like TurboTax Online you don’t need to retain any of this information. They’ll automatically guide you through the income tax filing process while asking the necessary questions that will determine the best route for you to take.
TurboTax Online will tell you exactly what you can, cannot, and should do with your financial situation. No one else boasts their maximum refund guarantee.