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1040 / 1040EZ / 1040A

U.S. Individual Income Tax

Form 1040EZ is the simplest form to fill out. You may use Form 1040EZ if you meet all the following conditions:
1. Your filing status is single or married filing jointly
2. You claim no dependents
3. You, and your spouse if filing a joint return, were under age 65 on January 1, 2014, and not blind at the end of 2013
4. You have only wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, unemployment compensation, or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, and your taxable interest was not over $1,500
5. Your taxable income is less than $100,000
6. Your earned tips, if any, are included in boxes 5 and 7 of your Form W-2
7. You do not owe any household employment taxes on wages you paid to a household employee
8. You are not a debtor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005
9. You do not claim any adjustments to income, such as a deduction for IRA contributions, a student loan interest deduction, an educator expenses deduction, or a tuition and fees deduction
10. You do not claim any credits other than the earned income credit

If you file Form 1040EZ, you cannot itemize deductions or claim any adjustments to income or tax credits (other than the earned income credit).

If you cannot use Form 1040EZ, you may be able to use Form 1040A if:
1. Your income is only from wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarships and fellowship grants, interest, or ordinary dividends, capital gain distributions, pensions, annuities, IRAs, unemployment compensation, taxable social security or railroad retirement benefits, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
2. Your taxable income is less than $100,000
3. You do not itemize deductions
4. You did not have an alternative minimum tax adjustment on stock you acquired from the exercise of an incentive stock option
5. Your taxes are only from the Tax Table, the alternative minimum tax, recapture of an education credit, Form 8615 (PDF) or the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet
6. Your only adjustments to income are the IRA deduction, the student loan interest deduction, the educator expenses deduction, the tuition and fees deduction, and
7. The only credits you are claiming are the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the earned income credit, the credit for the elderly or the disabled, education credits, the child tax credit, the additional child tax credit, or the retirement savings contribution credit

You can also use Form 1040A if you received dependent care benefits.

Finally, you must use Form 1040 under certain circumstances, such as:
1. Your taxable income is $100,000 or more
2. You have certain types of income such as unreported tips; certain nontaxable distributions; self-employment earnings; or income received as a partner, a shareholder in an "S" Corporation, or a beneficiary of an estate or trust
3. You itemize deductions or claim certain tax credits or adjustments to income, or
4. You owe household employment taxes