Filing The 1040Ez Federal Tax Form

Filing federal income taxes can be daunting. For those who qualify, federal tax form 1040ez makes income tax filing easier. Learn the qualifications and how to file form 1040ez.

As many of us know only too well, earning income in the United States means participating in the annual ritual of filing a federal income tax return. This event ranges from relatively painless to excruciating. If you are one of those who qualify to file form 1040EZ, you have the good fortune of being on the painless end of that scale.

Individual taxpayers file one of three federal income tax forms: 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. Anyone can file a tax form 1040. Restrictions apply to the others. Tax form 1040A is limited to taxpayers with taxable income below $50,000 who do not itemize their deductions. Additionally, income sources, adjustments, tax sources, and credits are limited to a short list. The qualifications for filing tax form 1040EZ are even more limiting. You may file tax form 1040EZ if all of the following apply:

1. Your filing status is single or married filing jointly.

2. You have no dependents or other exemptions aside from you and your spouse.

3. Your taxable income is below $50,000 and your taxable interest income is $400 or less.

4. You do not itemize your deductions.

5. There are no adjustments to your income (such as an IRA deduction or alimony).

6. You have no taxes other than the tax from the IRS tax tables AND

7. You have no tax credits or only the earned income tax credit.

If you scored a "yes" on each of these seven points, the IRS allows you to file tax form 1040EZ. This form is a straightforward (for the IRS anyway) six section form. If you have not gotten the form in the mail, you can pick one up from your local post office or library. You can also download a form from the IRS web site.



Heading

The heading is where you stick your IRS mailing label if you received your form in the mail or fill in your name and address if you did not receive your form in the mail. You must also fill in you and your spouse's social security numbers to the left of your name(s) and address. Under the address and social security numbers, you and your spouse have the option of contributing $3 each to the Presidential Election Campaign. Check "yes" or "no" according to your inclinations.

Income

Lines one through six are used to figure your taxable income. Round each number to the nearest whole dollar throughout the form. Round amounts containing 49¢ or less down and those with 50¢ and higher up (For example $12.40 becomes $12.00 and $25,872.79 becomes $25,873). Going down 1040EZ, write in your income from forms W-2 (line 1), taxable interest from forms 1099-Int (line 2), and any unemployment compensation (line 3). Lines 1 through 3 added together are your adjusted gross income (line 4). To find your taxable income (line 6), you subtract your standard deduction (line 5) from adjusted gross income (line 4). The standard deduction amount is printed on 1040EZ.

Payments and Tax

In this section you will record the taxes you have already paid throughout the year as well as the tax you owe based on your taxable income. Write in line 7 the amount of the federal income tax withheld during the year from box 2 of your W-2(s). Line 8 is a tax credit (considered a payment by the IRS) you get if you have adjusted gross income of less than $10,200 as well as some other qualifications. If you think you may qualify, research the Earned Income Credit (EIC) to determine your eligibility and the amount to include on line 8. Lines 7 and 8 together make-up your total tax payments (line 9). To complete line 10, you must look up a number in the IRS tax tables. If you did not receive a mailing from the IRS you can pick up a copy of the tax table where you obtained the form 1040EZ. In the tax tables find the row in the left-hand columns that includes your taxable income from line 6. Carefully follow that row over to the appropriate Single or Married Filing Jointly column. The figure printed there in the table is your tax. Write this figure on line 10 of the 1040EZ.

Lines 9 and 10 together determine if you will receive a refund or if you owe more taxes to the IRS.

Refund

If line 9 is more than line 10 you paid too many taxes and are entitled to a refund. Fill in line 11a with the amount of your refund (line 9 minus line 10). Complete lines 11b and 11c if you want your refund deposited directly into your banking account.

Amount You Owe

If line 9 is less than line 10 you did not pay enough taxes and must send a check in with your income tax return. Fill in ine 12 with the amount of your payment (line 10 minus line 9).

Signature

The IRS will reject your return if it is not signed. Remember to sign, date, and indicate your occupation in the appropriate spaces at the bottom of 1040EZ.

Once your form 1040EZ is completed and you have checked over your work, make a copy for you records and keep it in a safe place. The IRS requires that you then file your form by April 15 or the next business day if the 15th falls on a weekend. You can file by mailing your return to the appropriate IRS address (the address varies, depending upon where you live) or by filing electronically (for an extra fee).

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