Are you a notoriously late tax filer? Have you fallen behind on your taxes for more than a few years? If so, then you’re in good company. Experts suggest that about 7 million American taxpayers fail to file their income tax returns every year.
If it’s been a while since you filed, then you might be wondering what IRS forms you need to file. So, what is a 1040-EZ form? Do you need to file one?
On top of knowing what forms to fill out, you also need to understand how tax laws have changed in recent years. Learn everything you need to know about the 1040-EZ form, whether you need to file one, and how to go about doing your taxes this year below.
What Is a 1040-EZ Form?
So, what exactly is a 1040-EZ tax form? The best form 1040-EZ definition describes the document as a simple and short version of a 1040. The form is streamlined, which makes both tax preparation and filling out a 1040-EZ online form quick and seamless.
A 1040-EZ form is used to complete your annual taxes. On it, you’ll provide all your personal identification information and describe your tax situation.
Who Can File a 1040-EZ Form?
This tax form is the easiest to fill out, but you won’t want to use it if you have a complicated tax situation. This tax form is reserved for individuals who have very basic tax situations and only need to provide minimal information to the IRS. These taxpayers also fall into the following categories:
- They’re single or married filing jointly
- They’re under 65 years old
- They don’t have dependents
- No visual impairments
- Not going through bankruptcy
- Their income comes from wages, salaries, unemployment, or tips
- Their taxable income is less than $1,500
- They don’t owe money as a result of hiring a household employee
In general, first-time taxpayers fill out federal tax forms 1040-EZ since they often don’t claim deductions or many credits at all. That makes a 1040-EZ a good option for younger individuals, students, or people who only work part-time jobs.
This type of tax form isn’t good for you if you have important credits and deductions that you need to file. The 1040-EZ form is dubbed easy for a reason: it doesn’t contain the appropriate sections for you to file those deductions and credits, which are important to reduce your overall tax burden. If you have real estate assets, foreign income, tax shelters, or receive retirement contributions, then it’s not a good idea to use this simplified form.
How Do I File a 1040-EZ?
Do you believe you fall into the categories outlined above? If so, then we know what you’re thinking—how do I file a 1040-EZ? If you’re hoping to use this form, then follow the following 1040-EZ instructions:
- Confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements listed above
- Wait to receive your W-2 from your employer
- Get a blank 1040EZ form for the year you’re filing for
- Input your personal information
- Send the form to the IRS or file the form electronically
Keep in mind that the IRS no longer uses 1040-EZ forms now that it’s 2022. If you’re filling out a 1040-EZ, then you’re likely doing so for a year that you failed to file. If you have more questions about how to file the appropriate forms, then consider consulting with tax attorneys who can help.
Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR?
If 1040-EZ forms are no longer applicable in 2022, what forms do you fill out instead? Rather than using a simplified 1040-EZ, you’ll need to fill out either a regular 1040 or a 1040-SR. Let’s break down the differences below.
A 1040-SR form is appropriate for taxpayers who receive Social Security benefits or are older than 65. This form has a color scheme with greater contrast, which could help seniors file their paperwork with ease. The form also has a larger font. This form allows space to document distributions from retirement plans, income you receive from annuities, your Social Security benefits, other deferred-payment arrangements and more. While you don’t have to be retired to use this form, it’s a great option for taxpayers who have retired.
A standard 1040 form is what you’ll want to use if you’re reporting a significant amount of income, plan to use deductions, or want to claim tax credits. This standard form gets used by the IRS to determine how much of your income is subject to tax. It also alerts the IRS to any refunds they may owe to you. Here are the schedules you’ll want to fill out:
- Schedule 1: Additional income and deductions
- Schedule 2: Owe additional taxes (self-employment, household employment, etc.).
- Schedule 3: Claiming certain credits
Answering Your Tax Questions
While you may understand which forms to fill out now, the process is still pretty complicated. You may have more questions. If that’s the case, then there are tax help resources you can use to continue learning more. You could also consult with a tax professional to ensure you fill out all your returns correctly.
Getting Tax Help For a Brighter Future
Have you found yourself asking questions like, What is a 1040-EZ? What tax forms do I need to fill out this year? If so, then we hope this article has helped inform you about the proper tax forms you need to fill out going forward.
Of course, tax laws do change from time to time, so you may need to check back on our website each year to remain compliant. If you have questions or concerns about past, present, or future taxes, then it’s far better to consult with a tax expert about your situation.
Leave your tax worries behind with expert guidance from a team that has 30 years of experience working with the IRS. Contact us today to get started on your brighter future.