Is the Form 1040EZ right for me?

The Form 1040EZ is the simplest of the three IRS forms for individual income tax returns, but not everyone qualifies to use it. Here’s what you need to know.

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About the Form 1040EZ

It’s the shortest of the three IRS 1040 forms (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ), making it especially helpful for first-time filers. When you use it, you may qualify for free filing through the IRS.

1040EZ

14 Number of lines on the Form 1040EZ

vs

1040

79 Number of lines on the Form 1040

Who qualifies …

You likely CAN use it if …

You earn less than $100,000 in taxable income

You aren’t claiming any credits (other than the Earned Income Credit)

You’re under 65, your filing status is married filing jointly or single, and you don’t claim any dependents

You CANNOT use it if …

You have more than $1,500 in earnings from interest

You plan to claim income adjustments from student loan payments or retirement plan contributions

You plan to claim itemized deductions, like the mortgage interest deduction, instead of the standard deduction

Do I qualify?

This isn’t a complete list, and there may be exceptions. For a full checklist of who qualifies to use the Form 1040EZ, check the IRS website (https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc352.html).

Understanding the Form 1040EZ

The form (https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-form-1040ez) is broken into 4 main sections.

Knowing what they are can help you gather information before you get started. 

Personal information:

Name

Address

Social Security number

Filing status

Income:

Wages, salaries and tips, taxable interest, unemployment compensation

Payments, taxes and EIC:

Federal taxes withheld, Earned Income Credit, health care coverage

Refund or amount owed:

You will arrive at this number by completing the rest of the form

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