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Use the Tax Form That’s Right for You

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IRS Tax Tip 2015-04, January 23, 2015

This tax filing season, get things off to a good start. Make it easy on yourself and let the software you use to e-file select the right form for you. Filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate return. The software asks questions that guide you, minimizes errors and helps you get the tax credits and deductions that you are entitled to claim. Brand-name software’s also free when you use IRS Free File on IRS.gov.

If you do file a paper return, here are some tips to help you use the right forms.

You can generally use the 1040EZ if: 

  • Your taxable income is below $100,000;
  • Your filing status is single or married filing jointly;
  • You don’t claim dependents; and
  • Your interest income is $1,500 or less.

    Note: You can’t use Form 1040EZ to claim the new Premium Tax Credit. You also can’t use this form if you received advance payments of this credit in 2014. 

The 1040A may be best for you if:

  • Your taxable income is below $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.

You must use the 1040 if: 

  • Your taxable income is $100,000 or more;
  • You claim itemized deductions;
  • You report self-employment income; or
  • You report income from sale of a property.

Remember, if you e-file your tax return you don't need any paper forms to mail to the IRS. Go to IRS.gov and click on the ‘IRS e-file’ icon to review your options. If you still need a paper form you can visit IRS.gov/Forms to view, download or print what you need right away.

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IRS YouTube Videos:

  • Welcome to Free File – English
  • First Time Filing a Tax Return? – English

IRS Podcast:

  • First Time Filing a Tax Return? – Spanish

 

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 15-Oct-2015