What are IRS Tax Forms?

Taxes 101

It’s crunch time for your taxes if you haven’t filed already. While you still have until April 18th to get it done, you’ll want to take care of it sooner than later. What do you need to be prepared for your taxes this year? What tax forms are some big ones to look out for? I’ll share the typical tax forms that you can expect to see this year.

The Most Important Tax Form – 1040s

When you submit your taxes to the IRS, you’ll have completed a 1040 form. There are three different types of 1040s, depending on your financial situation.

  • 1040 – This is the standard income tax return and if you have itemized deductions, then is the form you’ll be filing .
  • 1040A – This form is for those who are taking the standard deduction and meet other guidelines.
  • 1040EZ – A 1040EZ is the simplest to fill out and is for the most straight forward of returns.

Software like TurboTax an automatically file the correct form for you as you go through the process.

Informational Forms – W2s and 1099s

The benefits of having uniform tax forms is that it standardizes how the IRS gets its information and improves its efficiency. The two big forms that you should’ve already received to help you fill out your 1040 form are W2s and 1099s. Your employ sends out W2s for all your income last year with them which goes into line 7 of your 1040. It also records the federal income, social security, and Medicare tax withheld from your pay which has a tremendous effect in calculating your tax obligations. If you’ve also elected to participate in your company’s 401(k), your contributions are recorded on your W2 as well, lowering your income that can be taxed. 1099 forms are for other sources of income such as  independent contractors income, unearned income like dividends and interest over the course of the year, and HSA distributions. The 1099s most taxpayers are familiar with are 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, and 1099-MISC. Since I’m self-employed, I keep track of what 1099s to expect from my contracts. You may also be required to fill out scheduled forms. These forms are meant to gather more information to determine your tax obligations for the past year.

Being as accurate as possible is for your own benefit and will make the process much easier.

Thoughts on Tax Forms

While there are certainly more forms that you may encounter when filing your income taxes, those 3 are the most commonly seen. I’ve used turboTax for the last few years and found it extremely helpful with handling all of our tax forms. How about you? When you filed your taxes last year, what forms did you have to fill out?

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  1. What form do I use for the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit, and how do I submit it? I installed four new windows in 2010

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