Form 1040

Form 1040 is used to file federal income taxes. Known as the US Individual Tax Return Form, it is used by single or married filers to report their income and deductions. The deadline to complete this form and provide it to the IRS is April 15th of every year. Extensions are available. Although the 1040 isn't particularly complicated to complete, make sure that you read and follow the instructions to minimize the likelihood of making a mistake. 

What is a 1040 Form?

The Form 1040 is used for tax filing purposes. The form is known as a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and it will be used by people who need to file their yearly income tax return. The form will be received and recorded by the United States Internal Revenue Service. The Form 1040 is one of the simplest forms available to accurately and completely file income taxes.

A Form 1040 will require a lot of personal information. Information to prove your identity will be needed, including full name, social security number, and address. Financial information is also required. This is how the IRS will ensure you are paying the appropriate amount of income tax. You will need to include your total earnings for the year from your job. Certain expenses and deductions can also be included in order to reduce the amount of taxes you owe.

The income tax return will determine whether you owe more taxes to the IRS or if you are owed a refund. If you have complicated finances, a tax professional can be helpful.

How to complete a 1040 Form (Step by Step)

To complete a Form 1040, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Personal Information
    • Name
    • Spouse’s name
    • Social security number
    • Spouse’s social security number
    • Address
    • Presidential Election Campaign contribution
    • Acknowledgement of whether you participated in a virtual currency transaction 
  • Filing Status
    • Single
    • Married filing jointly
    • Married filing separately
    • Head of household
    • Qualifying widow(er)
  • Exemptions
    • Yourself
    • Spouse
    • Other dependents
  • Income
    • Wages, salaries, tips (attach W-2)
    • Taxable interest
    • Tax-exempt interest
    • Ordinary dividends
    • Qualified dividends
    • Taxable refunds, credits, or offsets of state and local income taxes
    • Alimony received
    • Business income or loss (attach Schedule C or C-EZ)
    • Capital gain or loss (attach Schedule D)
    • Other gains or losses (attach Form 4797)
    • IRA distributions
    • Pensions and annuities
    • Rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, trusts, etc (attach Schedule E)
    • Farm income or loss (attach Schedule F)
    • Unemployment compensation
    • Social security benefits
    • Other income
    • Total income
  • Payments
    • Federal income tax withheld from Forms W-2 and 1099
    • Estimated tax payments and amount applied from last year’s return
    • Earned income credit (EIC)
    • Nontaxable combat pay election
    • Additional child tax credit
    • American opportunity credit from Form 8863, line 8
    • Net premium tax credit (attach Form 8962)
    • Amount paid with request for extension to file
    • Excess social security and tier 1 RRTA tax withheld
    • Credit for federal tax on fuels (attach Form 4136)
    • Credits from Form 2439, 8885
    • Total payments
  • Refund
    • Amount overpaid
    • Amount you want refunded to you (Form 8888)
    • Routing number
    • Account type
    • Account number
    • Amount you want applied to next year’s taxes
  • Amount You Owe
    • Amount you owe
    • Estimated tax penalty
  • Third Party Designee
    • Designee’s name
    • Phone number
    • Personal identification number
  • Signature
    • Signature
    • Date
    • Occupation
    • Phone number
    • Spouse’s signature
    • Spouse’s occupation
    • Identity protection PIN
  • Paid Preparer Information
    • Name
    • Signature
    • Date
    • PTIN
    • Firm’s name
    • Firm’s EIN
    • Firm’s address
    • Phone

Sample Form 1040


Sample Form 1040

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