What Is the Difference Between a 1041, 1040A & 1040EZ?

Form 1040 takes longer to complete but allows for more deductions.

While filing your income taxes may seem complicated, you may find it even more complicated trying to figure out which form to file. The Internal Revenue Service provides three options for personal income tax filing: Form 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040. Form 1041 is the income tax return for estates and trusts. While you'll be required to file form 1041 if you are filing for a trust, what form you choose for your personal taxes will depend on your eligibility to file each form, how beneficial it will be and how much time to you want to spend on your taxes.

Form 1040EZ is the shortest version of the income tax return and, as the name implies, the easiest to complete. However, it is also the most restrictive as to who can file it. You can only file as single or married -- no single, head of household -- and you can't claim dependents. You must have made less than $100,000 and that money can only come from wages, tips, grants, scholarships or unemployment. You can only take the standard deduction and can't claim any other deductions or credits such as for student loan interest, education credits, retirement savings or health care.

In order of filing ease and restrictions, Form 1040A is more comprehensive than the 1040EZ but still a shorter form than the full Form 1040. In addition to the options for 1040EZ, you can file as married filing separately, single head of household or as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. You still can't have income greater than $100,000, but that income may be from IRA and pension distributions and capital gains and investment income in addition to the income covered on 1040EZ. While you can't itemize deductions, the form does allow you to claim deductions for IRA contributions and student loan interest and education, child and retirement savings credits.

Form 1040 is the full personal income tax return that anyone can file regardless of the amount of their income. This is the form used for itemizing deductions, claiming first time home buyer credit or if your income exceeds $100,000. Also if you are self employed you are required to complete the full Form 1040. While the form is more complicated, it may also allow you to pay the lowest amount of taxes, depending on the deductions you qualify for.

The 1041 is the income tax return for estates and trusts. An estate or trust is treated as its own entity as far as taxes are concerned. The 1041 includes all income and deductions that are allowed per the IRS guidelines. However any distributions that are made to beneficiaries of the estate or trust are filed on a schedule K-1. The estate or trust does not pay taxes on the distributions to beneficiaries. The tax liability for distributions is reported on the beneficiary's personal income tax return.

Rebecca Burdick began her freelance writing career in 2007 and currently writes for several online publications. She specializes in small business bookkeeping and financial management. Burdick studied accounting and economics at Boise State University and University of California at Riverside.


What is the 1040EZ - 1040EZ Form Explained

Who files a 1040ez

What is the 1040EZ? The 1040EZ form (aka the EZ form) is the simplest and shortest form you can use to file your federal income taxes. Each year over 20 million people file this form, around 1 in every 6.5 federal tax returns filed. This article explains who can use it, the information required to fill it out, and options for filing it with the IRS.

If you make less than $100K per year, don’t have any dependents, and don’t have a mortgage, then you’re probably eligible to file the 1040EZ. It covers salary and wages from your job (W-2), interest from your bank account (1099-INT), and unemployment income (1099-G). If you're an independent contractor (1099-MISC), have dividend income (1099-DIV), or investment income (1099-B), then you're not eligible to file a 1040EZ.

There are four main sections of the form. Personal information, income you made, taxes you already paid, and your tax refund or balance due.

Just the facts, ma'am. Name, address, date of birth and social security number. Easy breezy. If you're married, you enter the same information for your spouse. Since you can't claim dependents with the 1040EZ, there is no place to record their information. If you're over age 65, you can't file the EZ form unfortunately.

As noted earlier, the 1040EZ covers the most common types of income - wages, salaries, and tips from your employer (reported on Form W-2), interest income from banks and other financial institutions (reported on Form 1099-INT), and unemployment income (reported on Form 1099-G). If you received any of these types of income, these forms will be sent to you by the end of January. For more information about the timing of Tax Year 2014 (filed in 2015), read this article.

Each of the forms you receive will report the taxes you've already paid, or had withheld. Typically taxes are withheld from each paycheck you receive, so your W-2 will list the total amount of tax you've already paid via your job in box 2. It is unusual to have taxes withheld from bank interest or unemployment income, but if they were they will be reported on the 1099-INT or 1099-G you receive.

This is the best part! Most people get a refund, and this is especially true for 1040EZ filers. Your refund or balance due is the calculated by comparing the amount of tax you've already paid vs. what you actually owe. If you're eligible for the earned income credit, it will increase your refund.

You have 3 options for filing your taxes.

The old school way to do your taxes is with pencil and paper. It takes a while and a little math, but you can’t beat the price (it’s free). Download the form from the IRS, grab a calculator, and read the 42 pages of instructions. Wait, never mind. Research shows it takes over 3 and half hours on average to do it by hand.

Pay someone else to do it for you

You can hire a CPA or go to a tax store and pay someone to do it for you. It’s certainly less effort on your part, but you have to pay for it. Around $100, if not more.

Do It Yourself With Your Phone or Computer

There are lots of mobile, online, and software options, many of them quite good. We believe Common Form is the best option for 1040EZ filers and hope you'll give us the chance to earn your business. If you know you're not eligible to file a 1040EZ, we recommend TaxAct. They handle just about any tax situation you can think of.


Using the IRS “1040EZ” Form. Do You Know… 1. Who pays taxes? 2. Why do we need to pay taxes? 3. What is a tax liability? 4. What form do most teens use.

Published by Modified over 2 years ago

Presentation on theme: "Using the IRS “1040EZ” Form. Do You Know… 1. Who pays taxes? 2. Why do we need to pay taxes? 3. What is a tax liability? 4. What form do most teens use."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using the IRS “1040EZ” Form

2 Do You Know… 1. Who pays taxes? 2. Why do we need to pay taxes? 3. What is a tax liability? 4. What form do most teens use to pay their tax liability?

3 1040EZ Form The 1040 EZ form offers quick and easy tax filing to some Americans. The 1040 EZ form offers quick and easy tax filing to some Americans. Click on the link below to see the 1040EZ form. Click on the link below to see the 1040EZ form. 1040ez.pdf 1040ez.pdf 1040ez.pdf

4 Who should use the 1040 EZ? Young people (not claiming education credits if in college) Young people (not claiming education credits if in college) Singles Singles Married couples who do not own a home or claim children as dependents. Married couples who do not own a home or claim children as dependents. You do not claim any adjustments to income You do not claim any adjustments to income Your taxable income is less than $100,000. Your taxable income is less than $100,000.

5 What paperwork do you need to use the 1040EZ? W-2 forms from your employer W-2 forms from your employer Personal information such as social security number and address, but no other paperwork. Personal information such as social security number and address, but no other paperwork. You can obtain your 1040EZ from your local library. U.S. Post Offices and some banks. You can also file online if you choose. You can obtain your 1040EZ from your local library. U.S. Post Offices and some banks. You can also file online if you choose.

6 Sample W-2 Form Contains your tax information for one job in one year Contains your tax information for one job in one year You’ll receive one for each job you worked at during the year You’ll receive one for each job you worked at during the year Real World Business Chicago, IL 60640 Irma Money 2301 South Jackson Chicago, IL 60640 000-00-000 16,680.24 1034.16 1,728.00 241.9216,680.24 IL12-222222216,680.24440.40 12-2222222 D2000.00

7 Next we’ll take a look at how to complete the form Next we’ll take a look at how to complete the form Then you’ll get to fill out your own Then you’ll get to fill out your own Click the link to see a completed sample 1040EZ.pdfsample 1040EZ.pdf Samples and Practice

8 1040EZ Instructions Ironically, when printed out, the IRS’s instruction book for this 1 page “EZ” form is about a 3/8 inch thick 35 page document. Ironically, when printed out, the IRS’s instruction book for this 1 page “EZ” form is about a 3/8 inch thick 35 page document. You should have a blank 1040EZ You should have a blank 1040EZ Sample W-2 Sample W-2 Sample completed 1040EZ Sample completed 1040EZ

9 Do You Know… 1. Who pays taxes? 2. Why do we need to pay taxes? 3. What is a tax liability? 4. What form do most teens use to pay their tax liability?

10 Now its your turn to try! Print your name, address and Social Security Number in the section titled “Label” Print your name, address and Social Security Number in the section titled “Label” We will use the sample W-2 form for the Income section and complete as indicated calculating your taxable income. We will use the sample W-2 form for the Income section and complete as indicated calculating your taxable income. Complete the payments and tax section and then go to the booklet (sheet) provided in the handouts to calculate your tax. Complete the payments and tax section and then go to the booklet (sheet) provided in the handouts to calculate your tax.

11 Continued Subtract line 11 from line 10 and place that amount on line 12a. This is your refund. Subtract line 11 from line 10 and place that amount on line 12a. This is your refund. Otherwise you may owe money and have to write a check. Otherwise you may owe money and have to write a check. Be sure to sign your return and add in additional information as required. You should not need a paid preparer for this form. Be sure to sign your return and add in additional information as required. You should not need a paid preparer for this form. Good Luck!! Good Luck!!


Requirements for Filing 1040A Tax Form

To be eligible for filing a 1040A, a taxpayer must meet certain requirements:

  1. Only have income only from wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarships, fellowship grants, pensions or annuities, taxable Social Security benefits, withdrawals from your individual retirement account (IRA), unemployment compensation, jury duty pay, interest, and dividends.
  2. Taxable income after deductions (line 27, page 2) is less than $100,000.
  3. No Itemizing of any deductions.

If all these requirements are met, a taxpayer can file a 1040A. It would be in the taxpayers best interest to also check if they can file a 1040EZ. It is possible to file form 1040 and still claim the earned income tax credit.The only adjustments to income you can claim are the IRA deduction and the student-loan interest deduction — and you can also claim educator expenses and the tuition and fees deduction.

The only credits you can claim on the Form 1040A are:

  • Child tax credit
  • Additional child tax credit
  • Education credits
  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)
  • Credit for child and dependent-care expenses
  • Credit for the elderly or the disabled
  • Retirement savings contributions credit

You can also use a 1040A if you receive dependent-care benefits or owe tax from the recapture of an education credit or the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

Form 1040EZ and Form 1040A Filers

For 1040EZ and 1040A filers who dod not compute their tax liability, you can let the IRS compute your tax after you enter your basic information on the tax forms. If after entering your information, you’re entitled to a refund, the IRS will send you a check. If you owe money on taxes for any reason, the IRS will send you a bill.

For the earned income tax credit, whether a taxpayer is filing a Form 1040A or a Form 1040, they need to complete Schedule EIC and attach it form to the tax return in order to get the credit. Remember to accurately compute the EITC because the IRS has lots of audit focus on this area and the penalties for mis-filing an EIC can have consequences for up to 10 years for a a taxpayer.

The process to file a 1040A electronically is exactly the same as for a 1040EZ. You can mail or e-file this return by using the appropriate. Here is IRS Information about Form 1040A and more filing instructions.

Form 1040 is the most complex of the 3 major individual tax forms — and it offers tax breaks that aren’t available on the simpler Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A. You can report all types of income, expenses, and credits on a 1040. If you were a nonresident alien during the tax year and you were married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien, you may use any one of these three forms, based on your circumstances, only if you elect to file a joint return with your spouse. Other nonresident aliens may have to file Form 1040NR (PDF) or Form 1040NR-EZ (PDF). For more information on resident and nonresident aliens, refer to Topic 851 and Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

More Information about 2015 and 2016 Earned Income Tax credit (2015 EIC)


How to efile Form 1040 - IRS Federal Income Taxes

Who files a 1040ez

The 1040 Form is the federal income tax form. It is used to file income tax returns for a particular Tax Year. There are several main types of 1040 Forms:

Learn more about Form 1040 by visiting the sections below:

Start the "FORMucator9quot;

Are you a U.S. citizen or resident (have a green card OR satisfy the substantial residence requirements)?

Is your taxable income under $100,000?

What will be your filing status on your return?

Are you younger than 65 and not blind?

Are you and your spouse younger than 65 and not blind?

Are you claiming any dependents?

Are you claiming any tax credits OTHER than the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Is your income ONLY from wages, salaries, tips, unemployment compensation, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, $1,500 or less in interest income, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends?

Is your income ONLY from wages, salary, tips, interest and ordinary dividends, capital gain distributions, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, pensions, annuities and IRA's, unemployment compensation, taxable Social Security and railroad retirement benefits, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends?

Are your adjustments to income only from educator expenses, IRA deductions, and/or education expenses?

Do you itemize deductions?

Did you have an Alternative Minimum Tax adjustment on stock acquired from the exercise of an incentive stock option?

Do you only claim one or more of the following tax credits?:

  • Child Dependent Care Credit
  • Elderly or Disabled Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Additional Child Tax Credit
  • Educational Tax Credits
  • Retirement Savings Contribution Credit
  • Premium Tax Credit
  • Earned Income Tax Credit

You must file Form 1040NR.

Go here to start preparing/filing Form 1040NR via mail: Form 1040NR

Remember that this is an estimate. When you prepare your return on efile.com the addition or deletion of any forms or schedules may cause you to need a different Form 1040. Efile.com will automatically determine the correct IRS tax 1040 form given your situation - so you don't have to choose or select any tax forms.

ONLY efile.com will downgrade you to a less expensive option during the tax preparation process. For example, if you start with PREMIUM (Form 1040) but you end up qualifying for FREE (1040EZ) or DELUXE (1040A), we will downgrade you to the least expensive form that still meets your filing needs. Furthermore, we will only upgrade you to a more expensive form if you are legally required to use that form to report the tax information you have entered. No other tax sites offer this! See more about this here: http://www.efile.com/compare-online-tax-preparation-software-and-tax-services/

It looks like you will need IRS FORM 1040.

Remember that this is an estimate. When you prepare your return on efile.com the addition or deletion of any forms or schedules may cause you to need a different Form 1040. Efile.com will automatically determine the correct IRS tax 1040 form given your situation - so you don't have to choose or select any tax forms.

ONLY efile.com will downgrade you to a less expensive option during the tax preparation process. For example, if you start with PREMIUM (Form 1040) but you end up qualifying for FREE (1040EZ) or DELUXE (1040A), we will downgrade you to the least expensive form that still meets your filing needs. Furthermore, we will only upgrade you to a more expensive form if you are legally required to use that form to report the tax information you have entered. No other tax sites offer this! See more about this here: http://www.efile.com/compare-online-tax-preparation-software-and-tax-services/

It looks like you can file IRS FORM 1040EZ and take advantage of efile.com's Free Federal Edition!

Remember that this is an estimate. When you prepare your return on efile.com the addition or deletion of any forms or schedules may cause you to need a different Form 1040. Efile.com will automatically determine the correct IRS tax 1040 form given your situation - so you don't have to choose or select any tax forms.

ONLY efile.com will downgrade you to a less expensive option during the tax preparation process. For example, if you start with PREMIUM (Form 1040) but you end up qualifying for FREE (1040EZ) or DELUXE (1040A), we will downgrade you to the least expensive form that still meets your filing needs. Furthermore, we will only upgrade you to a more expensive form if you are legally required to use that form to report the tax information you have entered. No other tax sites offer this! See more about this here: http://www.efile.com/compare-online-tax-preparation-software-and-tax-services/

It looks like you can file IRS FORM 1040-A.