Do I Qualify for Form 1040EZ?

Figuring out whether or not you are eligible to file Form 1040EZ with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can seem like a long and arduous process, but it can actually be made very simple if you follow the proper steps. Take the time to figure out if you qualify for this and how to file it accurately.

One of the easiest ways to determine if you qualify for form 1040EZ is to file electronically. If you do this, the software will automatically select the most efficient and simple form that you are entitled to use. However, it’s still a good idea to have a preparer or someone who is knowledgable about tax forms look over your 1040ez to make sure it is prepared correctly, and if there are other tax deductions or credits that will benefit you by filing a more complex 1040 “long form” . This is just a precautionary method that can prevent errors. If you do not choose to file electronically, you can still complete a “paper copy” form in order to ensure a fair and accurate refund.   However, some states require that you must file electronically if you do not have a legitimate reason not to.  New York is one of these states for example, and they will charge you are penalty if they deem your return could and should have been filed electronically.  Please be sure to do your research or ask your R&G Brenner preparer as they are aware of these state laws.

Generally you are able to use the 1040EZ form if you have a taxable income that is below $100,000. Also plan on using this form your filing status is “Single” or “Married Filing Jointly” and you don’t have a lot of personal investments or itemized deductions. The 1040EZ form may also be used if the individual and his/her spouse are under the age of 65 and are not blind. On the other hand, one cannot claim any dependents if you use this form, or have any interest income above $1,500.  Furthermore,  1040EZ filers  may not claim the additonal standard deduction for real estate taxes, taxes on the purchase of a new automobile or motor vehicle, or money for disaster losses.

If one does not qualify for the 1040 EZ form, he or she can still find a simple, reliable form to use. The 1040A is the next step up, and may be filed if you: a) have taxable income that is below $100,000, b) have capital gain distributions c) claim certain tax credits or deductions for IRA contributions d) have student loan interest, educator expenses, or spend fees and tuition that go along with obtaining higher education.

If you are not eligible for that form, then you may need to file a 1040 “long form”. One is required to use the 1040 if they have: a) taxable income of $100,000 or more b) itemized deductions c) reported self-employment income, or d) reported income from the sale of any kind of property.

Though this may seem overwhelming or confusing, with a little bit of work, one can easily find the best tax form for him or herself. Spend some time and research the forms and information that can be found on IRS.gov, the Internal Revenue Service’s official website, or ask your tax professional.

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