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What's the Right Form 1040 for Me?

Which Form to choose: 1040EZ? 1040A? or 1040?

Use Form 1040EZ (Quick & Easy) if:

  • Your taxable income is less than $100,000
  • You only received a W2.
  • Your filing status is single or married filing jointly
  • You and your spouse are under 65 years old at the end of 2015
  • You don’t claim dependents
  • Your interest income is $1,500 or less
  • You are claiming the standard deduction only (Can't itemize using Schedule A)
  • You do not have any adjustments to income
  • You are not claiming any tax credits other than the Earned Income Credit   
  • Other Tips:
    • Don’t forget to enter your Tax amount on line 10
    • Check the box, Full-year coverage, on line 11 if you have qualifying health care coverage for all of 2015
    • If you elect direct deposit for getting your refund, then enter and check your bank account information on lines 13b, Routing Number, 13c, type of account, and 13d Account Number  (See instructions under Direct Deposit to view a sample check)

Form 1040A may be best for you if:

  • Your taxable income is less than $100,000
  • You have capital gain distributions
  • You claim certain tax credits; and
  • You claim adjustments to income for IRA contributions and student loan interest
  • Other Tips:
    • Don’t forget to enter your Tax amount on line 28
    • Check the box, Full-year coverage, on line 38 if you have qualifying health care coverage for all of 2015
    • If you elect direct deposit for getting your refund, then enter and check your bank account information on lines 48b, Routing Number, 48c type of account, and 48d, Account Number (See instructions under Direct Deposit to view a sample check)

You must use Form 1040 if:

  • Your taxable income is $100,000 or more
  • You claim Schedule A itemized deductions
  • You report self-employment income (Schedule C) or
  • You report income from sale of a property or you need to report stock sales (Schedule D & Form 8949).
  • Don’t forget:
    • To enter your Tax amount on line 44
    • To add up your itemized deduction amount on line 29 of the Schedule A and transfer that total amount from line 29 to line 40 of the Form 1040
    • Check the box, Full-year coverage, on line 61 if you have qualifying health care coverage for all of 2015
    • If you elect direct deposit for getting your refund, then enter and check your bank account information on lines 76b, Routing Number, 76c, type of account, and 76d, Account Number (See instructions under Direct Deposit to view a sample check)

Important:  If you have a question about a form while preparing your Free File Fillable Forms return, always refer to the "Instructions For This Form" which is displayed as a button for all the forms at lower part of the screen. That's the beauty of Free File Fillable Forms!   Free Federal return tax preparation and e-file.  It's All Free!  

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 06-Feb-2017