Do you know the differences between 1040, 1040EZ, 1040A?

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Tax season is officially here, and in order for you to get those refund checks, you'll need to figure out which 1040 tax form you'll need to file.

Everyone who files an individual federal income tax return must use the Internal Revenue Service tax Form 1040, or one of its shorter versions, 1040EZ or 1040A.

All forms have the same purpose: reporting your income, applying for tax exemptions, determining whether you owe additional taxes, and determining whether you are entitled to a tax refund.

But figuring out the right form for your situation, starts with your income. Different income levels require you to use different tax forms.

Key differences 

The 1040 tax form is one of the more complex forms.

According to Investopedia, form 1040 is the standard Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that taxpayers use to file their annual income tax returns.

If you are self-employed, itemize your deductions, owe household employment tax or have $100,000 or more in taxable income, and claim dependents, you must use form 1040.

According to Investopedia, taxpayers may also need to fill out extra sections called schedules. For example, taxpayers who receive dividends that total more than $1,500 must file Schedule B, which is the section for reporting taxable interest and ordinary dividends.

Similarly, those who want to claim itemized deductions on their 1040 have to complete Schedule A.

1040EZ and 1040A both require you to make less than $100,000 but there are distinctions between the two.


You must be filing as single or married filing jointly.

You don't claim any dependents.

All taxable interest income must be less than $1,500

First-time tax filers, college students, this will likely be the form you fill out.


1040A is a more simplified version of the 1040 and allows you to claim deductions not available using the 1040EZ.

It can be used to file as head of household, which is more advantages than filing a single status.

You can also claim dependents and take tax credits for child and dependent care, retirement savings, earned income, premium tax and education using Form 1040A.

The most significant limiting factor with Form 1040A is that you cannot itemize your deductions, so you must take the standard deduction.

In other words, you can't write off charitable contributions, mortgage interest, medical expenses or business expenses.

If you're still unsure which 1040 form to use, click here to find out the simplest form to use to file your taxes.

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