Day 4: Find your form
Today we find the tax form that's right for you.
The IRS offers three: 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040. It may be tempting to use the simplest form, the 1040EZ, if you can, but look at the other two anyway. They offer many more tax break opportunities.
Once you've made your choice, check it out to see exactly where you'll put the information you gathered. (But don't enter anything yet. We have to have something to look forward to!) This also will give you an idea of any additional forms you may need. Where an attachment is required, it will be noted on the individual tax return you file.
For example, if you opted for the long 1040 return, you'll likely need Schedule A to itemize your deductions. You also might need Schedule B if you have a lot of interest or dividend income to report. Self-employed taxpayers will see mention of Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ, along with the accompanying Schedule SE to pay self-employment taxes.
Even if you use tax software to fill out your return, it's a good idea to know what will be expected. By examining the forms beforehand, you'll have a heads-up when it comes time to start filling them out.