Types of 1040 Forms and How to Fill Out These 1040 Forms

Types of 1040 Forms and How to Fill Out These 1040 Forms

Commonly referred to as the mother of all tax forms, 1040 is the primary IRS tax form utilized by any United States resident for filing personal federal income tax returns. In this piece, we will explain the 1040 form and how to fill it out for individuals.

What is a 1040 form? 


Officially known as the “U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” form 1040 is the standard federal tax income form for the people in the United States to file their taxes with the IRS. The 1040 form serves not only to report one’s income but to claim tax deductions/credits and to calculate tax bills or tax refunds for the financial year.

The 1040 form comprises two pages which contain 23 lines (without attachments.) The first page is where one can record personal identification information. The second page contains spaces for you to report income and calculate applicable deductions, credits, figures, and payments made from withheld wages towards the tax liability.

How to Fill Out a 1040 Form?


There are two ways of doing this; you can use tax software like TurboTax, TaxACT, or TaxSlayer, in which case, you can input your information sequentially and print out a complete 1040 form from your computer. The other way is to fill out the form by hand, in which case you can download it from the IRS website

If you’re looking to learn how to fill out the 1040 form, well, here is a short walkthrough to help you understand the form.

Personal Identification: The first part of the form gathers information about your identity, which tax-filing status you are going for, and the number of tax dependents you have (if applicable.)

Calculate Your Income Taxes: In this section, you may have to sum up all of your income made during the financial year and tally it against any deductions (if applicable.) Undertake this step only if you are confident about your tax bracket; else, seek help from a tax advisor like AOTAX to figure out the details.

Evaluate Your Tax Liability: At the bottom of the form, you will need to fill up the exact amount of income tax you owe the IRS. This stage is where you should deduct any tax credits or prepaid withholdings from your paycheck.

Notify of Any Tax Rebates to the IRS: If you are eligible for a tax rebate using credits or if you have overpaid your taxes, you can fill up your bank details to get a tax refund on your payment.

Pro-tip: If you are an eligible individual who hasn’t received the stimulus check (also known as the Economic Impact Payment), you can get a rebate on your taxes by filling up line 30 on the form 1040. Also, the EIP is not taxable.

What Do You Need to Fill Out the Form 1040?

Okay, here is a list of personal details you should have before filling out the form 1040.

  • Social security number for yourself and your dependents (If any).
  • Date of birth for yourself and your dependents (If any).
  • Statement of wages from your employer and statements of interest or 1099-DIV forms for dividends from banks or brokerages (If applicable.)
  • Proof of any tax credits or tax deductions.
  • A copy of your previous year’s taxes.
  • Your bank account number and routing number (for tax rebates.)

Check out the most effective ways to overcome the problems of filing as a sole proprietor here.

Form 1040 Schedules, What Are They?

There are various schedules for the form 1040 for individuals from varied financial backgrounds. If your financials meet any requirements mentioned below, you may have to add these schedules to your form 1040.

Schedule-1: For individuals with additional income or adjustments to income

Add this schedule if you have any of the following sources or adjustments to your income.

  • Business income (you also need to file Schedule C).
  • Farm income.
  • Rental income (you also need to file Schedule E).
  • Deductible health insurance expenses.
  • Alimony income or payments.
  • Educator expenses.
  • Student loan interest.
  • Unemployment income.
  • Deductible retirement contributions.
  • Deductible moving expenses.
  • The health savings account deduction.

Schedule-2: Added taxes

You are required to add this schedule if you incur any of the following.

  • Household employment taxes.
  • Alternative minimum tax.
  • Self-employment tax.
  • Net investment income tax.
  • Repayment of the first-time homebuyer credit.
  • Individuals with excess premium tax credit repayments.
  • Additional Medicare tax.
  • Additional taxes on retirement plans, IRAs, or other tax-favored accounts.

Schedule-3: Additional payments and credits

Most business owners and other individuals with unique financial backgrounds would need to add this to their form 1040.

  • General business credit.
  • Credit for child and dependent care expenses.
  • Foreign tax credit.
  • Education credits.
  • Retirement savings contributions credit (Also known as the saver’s credit.)

Here Are Some Other Types of Form 1040s You Should Know

While the standard 1040 form is suitable for most individuals, it’s a good idea to learn a few other forms that can come in handy. 

Form 1040-V

Form 1040-V is for those who wish to pay the IRS through the mail rather than electronically. It is also commonly known as the payment voucher.

Form 1040-X

The 1040-X is known as the amendment tax return; this form is helpful if you have missed out on reporting any additional income or made a mistake with your first filing. 

Form 1040-SR

Designed for people above 60, the 1040-SR is functionally the same while being different aesthetically to help seniors process it comfortably. 

Form 1040-ES

The 1040-ES form is best suited for freelance and contract workers who calculate estimated quarterly taxes. It also is helpful for individuals who earn dividends and interest which are not subjected to traditional withholding.

Form 1040-NR

The 1040-NR is suitable for non-residential aliens who engage in business/invest in the US.

With that, we hope that you now have a better idea of the types of 1040s and how to fill out the 1040 form for the IRS. You can relinquish all these complicated steps with just a few clicks to AOTAX! Visit us today by clicking here and get your free tax draft in just 24 hours.
While you are here, learn more about the 12 tax credits and deductions you could be eligible for here.

How to File an IRS Form 1040: A Step-Wise Guide

How to File an IRS Form 1040: A Step-Wise Guide

March has arrived, and you have more than 40 days to file your income tax forms. After that, it’s time to pay the IRS and claim certain tax credits/refunds. If you are an Indian citizen in the United States or a US resident, we can show you how to fill out the 1040 form in simple steps.

Recommended: New to the US – Here’s what you need to know about filing your taxes as an NRI in the US –

What Exactly is a 1040 Form?

1040 is a tax form used by United States residents to file their federal income taxes annually. Hence, it’s essential to know how to fill out 1040. The form aids in calculating annual income and the claim on deductions and tax credits. 

There were multiple variations of 1040 before 2017. However, since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017, most Americans have been filling out 1040 forms.

Senior citizens can file Form 1040-SE, while non-residents must file Form 1040-NR.

To complete your 1040 form, you have two options:

  1. You can either file electronically, known as e-filing. 
  2. Alternatively, you may print the form, fill it out, and mail it to the IRS (Internal Revenue Services). 

Compared to manual filing, e-filing is simple, convenient, and quick. In addition, when you e-file your tax returns, you can receive your refund faster. Physical or paper filing takes longer to reach the IRS and delays the refund process.

How to Fill Out a 1040 Form?

Don’t be intimidated looking at the form. Trust us; it’s not that challenging. We provide a step-by-step guide (on the same flow as it is on the form) on how to fill out 1040:

Filing status: It’s essential to specify whether you’re filing your 1040 as a single person, a married couple, filing jointly, or filing separately with your spouse. You can also mention if you are the head of the household or a widower. This will help you take advantage of certain standard deductions based on your status.

Personal information: Fill in your full name, address, and social security number in this field. Whether filing jointly or individually, you must also include additional input about your spouse and dependents.

Election contribution: There’s a neat box in the form that now allows you or your spouse to contribute $3 to the presidential election fund. The money will be equally split between Democrats and Republicans. It would not affect your tax refund or liability.


Cryptocurrency: There is a rise in digital or cryptocurrency as a preferred investment mode. For instance, 46 million Americans are among 300 million cryptocurrency users across the globe. As a result, this feature enables you to declare if you have exchanged cryptocurrency in the previous financial year.

Standard deduction: Your standard deduction eligibility is based on your age, filing status, and whether or not you are blind. Fill in the boxes as applicable. Those who are married and filing jointly with their spouse should also mention if they are financially dependent on another. And if you’re a dual-status alien, you should also mention this in the form.

Dependents: In this section, you may fill in the details about your dependents and seek a tax credit. In this section, you should list your dependents, age, and their relationship with you. You should also mention if you are entitled to a child tax credit or a credit for other dependents.


Calculate taxable income: This section is crucial, and you must fill it in properly. Here is where you list the fruits of your labor from the previous year. This column is where you disclose your earnings from your job. If you are a salaried employee, provide a W-2 form. 

Next, simply tick boxes that show your non-employment income, like earned dividends and interest, annuities, pension, IRA tax rebates, social security benefits, and so on. You can find a list of many other deductions on the IRS website.

Calculate your tax liability: Now is the time to count your blessings in the form of tax credits. These are the taxes withheld by your employer. Subtract the tax credits from the total amount you must pay. 

The tax bill is the final number. If your tax bill exceeds your tax credits, pay the IRS whenever you file your tax returns. You will receive a refund from the IRS if you have overpaid. If you e-filed, your refund will be directly deposited in your bank account. Otherwise, the IRS will mail you a check.


To file your income tax returns, you need a simple 1040 Form. There are separate schedules you attach with 1040 in case of additional income, or if you owe the IRS more money, or you would like to claim extra credit. 

These schedules are as follows:

Schedule 1– Fill this schedule if you have earnings from:

  • A business (also file form C) 
  • Alimony payments 
  • Agricultural income
  • Educator expenditures
  • Rental income (file form E)
  • Health savings account
  • Health insurance, 
  • Retirement contribution deductions 
  • Student loan or other sources

Schedule 2 – Fill this if you owe the IRS:

  • Self-employment tax
  • Alternative minimum tax (AMT)
  • Household employment tax
  • Net investment income tax
  • Additional Medicare tax
  • Recovery rebate credit because you did not receive a coronavirus stimulus check, an economic impact payment. 

Schedule 3 – Use this schedule to claim IRS credits and payments. This includes: 

  • Foreign tax credits
  • Child and dependent care credits
  • Education
  • General business incentives
  • Home energy credits, etc.

Those who cannot file federal tax returns by April 18, 2022, can request an extension and file by October 15, 2022. If you must make payments, do this before the April deadline.

Back taxes: If you owe the IRS money for previous years’ taxes, you must send 1040 to the IRS. In this scenario, e-filing is not possible.

Refunds: After the IRS processes your returns, you will receive your refund in 21 days.

If you follow the instructions given above, you will be able to file your taxes in no time. If you have all of your receipts and supporting documentation, you should be OK.

Recommended: The Ultimate Documents Checklist to File US Income Tax Returns – AOTAX.COM

If you are an Indian resident in the United States and are unsure how to fill out 1040, contact AOTAX. Our team of capable tax advisers and preparers at AOTAX can assist you in meeting your deadlines smoothly. 

1040, 1040A, 1040EZ Which Tax Form Should You File?

1040, 1040A, 1040EZ Which Tax Form Should You File?

1040, 1040A, 1040EZ Which Tax Form Should You File?

When it comes to federal income tax filing, there are three forms available for filing the returns IRS Form 1040, IRS Form 1040A and IRS Form 1040EZ. And this is the part that confuses most Americans, which form to choose. Each form has a different purpose and different set of requirements as well.

The easiest of them all is 1040EZ, as it is the shortest and the simplest. The 1040A follows it with bit more details and the 1040 tops the list with complexity and length of the form as well. Anyone can go ahead and use the form 1040. But to use 1040A and 1040EZ you need to meet certain criteria.

If you are still filling out forms on paper, it is advisable to use the simplest as it calls for fewer errors and subsequently faster processing.


This is the simplest translation of Form 1040, but it has some minor drawbacks as well. For an instance, you cannot make adjustments to income (apart from Earned Income Tax Credit) or itemize your deductions. 1040EZ also does not have any provisions for alimony, dividends, capital gains or money from self-employment.

To use 1040EZ, you should be ticking off all of the following check points:

  • A taxable income that is less than $100,000.
  • You have a single or married filing jointly as your filing status.
  • You do not have any dependents.
  • Your (and your spouse’s if married filing jointly) age is below 65 years on 1 January for the year for which you are filing taxes.
  • You should not be blind for the year you are filing your taxes.
  • A taxable interest of $1500 or lower.
  • Boxes 5 and 7 of the W-2 form contains all the tips received (if any).
  • Your source of income is one of the following:
    • Salary
    • Wage
    • Tips
    • Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
    • Scholarship or university grants
    • Compensation for unemployment
  • There are no pending household employment taxes against your name, for the household wages you paid to an employee.


Form 1040A sits right between 1040 and 1040EZ when it comes to the length of the form as well as its complexity. It also opens up avenues for certain deductions, which 1040EZ does not allow you. You can use Form 1040A if you fulfill all of the following criteria.

  • A taxable income that is less than $100,000.
  • There are no itemized deductions. (You can’t utilize mortgage interest or charity donations)
  • Your source of income is one of the following:
    • Wage
    • Salary
    • Scholarship or university grants
    • Tips
    • Interests
    • Dividends
    • Pension
    • IRAs
    • Annuity
    • Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
    • Compensation for unemployment
    • Social Security that is taxable
    • Capital gain
  • You are claiming only the following tax credits:
    • Education credits
    • Child tax credit
    • Earned Income Credit
    • Credit for child and dependent care expenses
    • Retirement savings
  • The following are the only adjustments against your income.
    • Education loan interest
    • IRA
    • Educator expenses
    • Tuition and Fees deductions
  • Taxes applicable for you are any one of the following:
    • Capital gains
    • Dividends
    • Form 8615
    • Tax applicable as per the Tax Table

Filing taxes can be a daunting task if you do not know where to start from or do not pick up the right form. If you are eligible for 1040EZ or 1040A make use of it and go for 1040 only as last resort.