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1040EZ - Introductory Material


About These Instructions

We have designed the instructions to make it as simple and clear as possible to file your tax return. We did this by arranging the instructions for Form 1040EZ preparation in the most helpful order.

  • Section 2—Filing Requirements” helps you decide if you even have to file.

  • Section 3—Line Instructions for Form 1040EZ” follows the main sections of the form, starting with “Top of the Form” and ending with “Signing Your Return.” Cut-outs from the form connect the instructions visually to the form.

  • Section 4—After You Have Finished” gives you a checklist for completing a return. It also gives you information about filing the return.

  • Section 6—How To Get Tax Help” has topics such as how to get tax help, forms, instructions, and publications. It also gives you other useful information, such as how to check the status of a refund.

Helpful Hints

Future developments.   For the latest information about developments related to Form 1040EZ and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to

Filing status.   We want you to use the proper filing status as you go through the instructions and tables. You can use Form 1040EZ to file as “Single” or “Married filing jointly.

  If you qualify for another filing status, such as “Head of household” or “Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child,” you may be able to lower your taxes by using Form 1040A or 1040 instead. See Pub. 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, for more information.

Icons.    We use icons throughout the booklet to draw your attention to special information. Here are some key icons:
IRS e-file. This alerts you to many online benefits, particularly electronic tax filing, available to you at
Tip. This lets you know about possible tax benefits, helpful actions to take, or sources for additional information.
Caution. This tells you about special rules, possible consequences to actions, and areas where you need to take special care to make correct entries.

Writing in information.   Sometimes we will ask you to make an entry “in the space to the left of line . . .” The following example (using line 1) will help you make the proper entry:  



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