A person’s gross income is used to determine how much they have to pay toward federal and state income taxes.
What is Form 1040EZ?
Form 1040EZ is the shortest and easiest form that a person or couple can use to file federal income taxes. Anyone who fits the criteria set forth by the IRS is eligible to use it.
The IRS has a list of criteria that one must meet before filing Form 1040EZ. They are:
- You are filing as a single person or married filing jointly.
- You have no dependents.
- You do not claim adjustments to income.
- Your taxable income is $100,000 or less.
- You do not claim credits or itemize deductions beyond earned income credit.
- You meet certain age requirements (typically under age 65), and you are not blind (this includes your spouse, too, if you are married filing jointly).
- Your taxable interest isn’t more than $1,500.
- The only income you claim includes wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, unemployment or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends. (If you did earn tips, they must be listed in boxes 5 and 7 on your W-2.)
- You didn’t pay or don’t owe household employment taxes.
- You did not file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a certain date.
- Neither you nor your spouse had advance premium tax credits paid on your behalf.
Anyone filing income taxes who does not meet the list of criteria much file either a Form 1040 or Form 1040A. For most individuals, Form 1040EZ is what they use the first time they file taxes for a part-time or summer job in high school or college.
As they age, get married, start a career or make investments, they move on to more complicated forms.
Form 1040EZ example
Form 1040EZ is easy to fill out and only has four sections that require information. They are:
- Personal information — This includes the basics, such as your name, address and Social Security number, as well as your spouse’s information.
- Income — This is where you add your wages, tips, salaries, taxable interest under $1,500, unemployment compensation or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends to come to your taxable income total.
- Payments, credits and tax — In this section, you add any tax payments your employer withheld or estimated tax payments you made yourself.
- Refunds and amounts due — In this section, you find out if you paid too much in taxes and receive a refund, or you need to pay more.
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