Tax guide

Which Form to File

What Are the Tax Forms I Need to File My Taxes?

When you file your taxes online with 1040.com, our tax-filing walkthrough will guide you through your information instead of compiling various tax forms to fill out. We’ll use the info you provide in the walkthrough to populate the official forms behind the scenes, and you can you can view your completed tax return for free before you officially file.

Here are the tax forms that make up the backbone of your tax return.

How does Form 1040 work?

Form 1040 is the foundation of your tax return—most of your information will be included there, and anything extra will be reported on one of three other forms called schedules and attached to your Form 1040.

Form 1040 was simplified and shortened beginning with 2018 returns, and will be used by most taxpayers. Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ were eliminated.

Taxpayers over age 65 who want to file on paper can opt for a new Form 1040-SR. The most obvious differences are that this version uses slightly larger text, and provides a standard deduction chart to show how the deduction increases when a taxpayer is over age 65 and/or blind.

Note: If you file with 1040.com, our walkthrough is the same smart, simple process for seniors as all our other filers, so you won’t have to worry about whether you should file a Form 1040-SR or a regular Form 1040.

How do schedules work when you file your taxes?

Certain tax situations are handled by these additional schedules which serve as building blocks for the 1040:

  • Schedule 1 is for additional income (like business or farm income, unemployment benefits, prize or award money, gambling winnings) and adjustments to income (above-the-line deductions, like student loan interest, educator expenses or self-employment tax).
  • Schedule 2 is for additional taxes, namely if you owe alternative minimum tax or need to repay excess advance premium tax credit, as well as self-employment taxes or repayment of the first-time homebuyer credit.
  • Schedule 3 is for payments and credits. Handled here are estimated tax payments, as well as credits like the Child and Dependent Care Credit, education credits, the net premium tax credit, and the foreign tax credit.

These schedules are mostly the lines that were removed from Form 1040 when it was redesigned. There were six schedules on 2018 returns, but the IRS has made some combinations.

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