Form 1040

What Is Form 1040?

Form 1040 is the standard Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that individual taxpayers use to file their annual income tax returns. The form contains sections that require taxpayers to disclose their taxable income for the year to determine whether additional taxes are owed or whether the filer will receive a tax refund.


Who Need Form 1040?

Form 1040 needs to be filed with the IRS by April 15 in most years. Everyone who earns income over a certain threshold must file an income tax return with the IRS (businesses have different forms to report their profits).

What Does Form 1040 Include?

The 1040 form for the tax year 2019, which will be filed in 2020, includes two pages to fill out. All pages of Form 1040 are available on the IRS website. Form 1040 can be mailed in or e-filed. Form 1040 prompts tax filers for information on their filing status, such as name, address, Social Security number (some information on one's spouse may also be needed), and the number of dependents. The form also asks about full-year health coverage and whether the taxpayer wishes to contribute $3 to presidential campaign funds. The 1040 income section asks the filer to report wages, salary, taxable interest, capital gains, pensions, Social Security benefits, and other types of income. It also allows filers to claim the new higher standard deduction introduced with the Tax and Job Cuts Act. For 2019, these deductions are as follows: - Single or married filing separately, $12,200 - Married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er), $24,400 - Head of household, $18,350 For the tax year 2020, which will be filed in 2021, the numbers have increased and are as follows: - Single or married filing separately, $12,400 - Married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er), $24,800 - Head of household, $18,650 An additional deduction may be taken by those who are age 65 or older or blind (see "Age/Blindness" on the first page of Form 1040): - Single or head of household filers, $1,650 - Married filing jointly, $1,300 for each spouse who is 65 or older or blind. The new tax legislation eliminated many deductions, including for unreimbursed employee expenses, tax-preparation fees, and moving for a job (except for military on active duty). The new 1040 uses what the IRS terms a "building block" approach and allows taxpayers to add only the schedules they need to their tax return. Some individuals may now need to file one or more of six new supplemental schedules with their 1040 in addition to long-standing schedules for such items as business income or loss, depending on whether they're claiming tax credits or owe additional taxes. Many individual taxpayers, however, only need to file a 1040 and no schedules. Taxpayers who receive dividends that total more than $1,500, for example, must file Schedule B, which is the section for reporting taxable interest and ordinary dividends. Similarly, those who want to claim itemized deductions on their 1040 have to complete Schedule A. The IRS also has several worksheets to help taxpayers calculate the value of certain credits or deductions.

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