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IRS TAX TIP 2001-22

WHICH FORM –1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ?

If you are filing a tax return on paper, you should use the simplest form for which you qualify. The simpler the form, the less chance for an error that may cost you money or delay the processing of your return. The simplest IRS form is the Form 1040EZ. The 1040A covers several additional items not addressed by the EZ. And finally, the IRS Form 1040 should be used when itemizing deductions and reporting more complex investments and other income. Here are a few general guidelines on which form to use.


Single or Married Filing Joint
Under age 65
No dependents
Interest income is below $400
Income or combined incomes below $50,000


Income or combined incomes below $50,000
Capital gain distributions, but no other capital gains or losses Only IRA or student loan adjustments to your income
You do NOT itemize deductions


Income or combined incomes over $50,000
Itemized Deductions
Self-employment income
Income from sale of property

If you cannot use form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, you probably need a Form 1040. You can use the 1040 to report all types of income, deductions, and credits. You may have received a Form 1040A or 1040EZ in the mail because of the return you filed last year. If your situation has changed this year, it may be to your advantage to file a Form 1040 instead.

For example, you may pay less tax by filing a Form 1040 because you have enough deductions to itemize this year.

Remember, choosing the correct tax form could mean money in your pocket.

Which Form – IRS TAX TIP 2001-22