Below is a list of the most common customer questions.
If you can’t find an answer to your question, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
What is the purpose of Form 1040?
The purpose of Form 1040 is simple enough: It helps you get paid! What are the benefits of a Form 1040? If it was just to get you paid, you wouldn't have any money, and would become so destitute as to be unable to move any closer to the “work” end of the spectrum. The IRS says, quite simply:
“Your Form 1040 is a return by which your employer calculates the amount of taxes you owe and then sends you a check to send to the IRS. It can be important for you to know what taxes you owe, so that the amount of taxes you owe for 2018 can be adjusted or adjusted by your employer during the year if you receive an incorrect tax return or information from the IRS, or if you have a change in your circumstances that affects your tax liability.”
As a Form 1040 recipient, your employer is required to withhold, deposit, deposit, or report the following taxes: Social Security and Medicare taxes; Self-Employment Taxes; Employer and employee share of FICA taxes, and Railroad Retirement Tax; Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FTA); Alaska Petroleum Revenue Commission (ARC); and a small amount of Social Security earnings tax (SSI). On the plus side, some of these taxes may be withheld from your paycheck at the end of each month.
Is the Form 1040 tax return required?
No. Withholding and filing is voluntary. It is important to let your employer know that you will pay your taxes on the timely date that you choose because withholding taxes and filing taxes can take up to 7 days. Additionally, as an employer, you will be responsible for any income taxes that you owe on these taxes that you haven't yet given to your employee.
If you don't agree with your employer withholding taxes and filing your tax forms, you can ask for a refund of tax you owe to the IRS without submitting a Form 1040 (or Form 5039) with your request. This will probably be a bad idea.
Will I have to answer questions on the 1040 if I file?
Generally, yes. Employers will ask you to “confirm” that you filled out the 1040 (even if you didn't actually fill the form out), and to state the tax year you filed your return. For example, many employers ask you for the tax year 2017 and to indicate any change from the filing year.
Who should complete Form 1040?
Do you feel that a qualified individual should complete a Form 1040? If you feel that an individual should use a Form 1040, but know who it is appropriate for, this article would be helpful.
How to complete Form 1040
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When do I need to complete Form 1040?
A. To determine the due date for filing a return, use Form 1040X. Do not complete its instructions. Instead, use Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ is a separate form from Form 1040. On Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ, indicate the due date on the first page, and the due date on the second page. On Form 1040 and Form 1040NR, the due date is the date that the return was received by the IRS. On both forms, if you are making election or change-of-control election and elect to receive Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ along with Form 1040 or Form 1040A, the notice must be received by the due date for filing the return unless an additional deadline applies. See Rev. Pro. 2016-20, 2016-20 I.R.B. 991, available at IRS.gov/irb/2016-20_IRB/ar15.html. However, if you are electing or changing a control subject position, see Form 2555 or Form 8345, and you elect to file a change-of-control election, and then later make an election to receive Form 1040 or Form 1040NR, see Rev. Pro. 2016-20. See the instructions for Form 8345. What is the due date of Form 1040C, Form 1040NR, or Form 1040NR-EZ? A. Form 1040C and Form 1040NR must be filed by the due date of the return; Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ must be filed by the due date of the notice; and Form 1040 must be filed no later than the 4th day after the last day of the calendar year for which that form is required. See Rev. Pro. 2016-20, 2016-20 I.R.B. 991. How do I determine whether to enter the appropriate filing deadline in the box that will appear on Form 1040C, Form 1040NR, or Form 1040NR-EZ? A.
Can I create my own Form 1040?
Yes. You are free to create a Form 1040, Schedule C and a Schedule SE. These should have your name and address and tax identification number. If the Form 1040 is not a CASH, it is not a good example to use.
Form 1040A, Schedule K: This is an example of a “K” form that uses the income from employment. You include “employment income” each year on this form, whether you actually earned this money or not.
Form 1040EZ, Schedule WE: This is an example of a “WE” form that uses the total pay to employees and your expenses. You may have paid income taxes (in addition to payroll tax) to the U.S. government. In this case you also include the employer share of payroll taxes in addition to the employee share.
Form 1040EZN, Schedule K/N/K: In this example the Form 1040 includes “K” and “N” forms to provide the IRS a sample of what you paid the IRS. You may have paid income taxes (plus payroll taxes) to the U.S. government. The IRS will then add these amounts to your Form 1040 for a total of what you paid.
Example: Bob receives a 1,500 monthly jobs with a salary of 500. (You pay taxes.) You also receive an income. You must then file 1040EZ. That amounts to 2,000 in employment income. You will have to include 500 in your gross income. You will have to deduct 1,100 in employment taxes, plus 500 in payroll taxes, plus your expenses. This amounts to a total of 3,050. That is the “N” form for Bob.
Can I create my own Form 941?
No. Form 941 and 942 are for businesses or households.
Can I create my own Schedule SE?
Yes. You are free to create a Schedule SE. This is a good example for employers. This form is based on a single taxpayer. It has a single return that must follow the regulations for a single taxpayer. If you have partners, you can keep them all on the same Schedule SE.
The Schedule SE form must have your name and address and income information. It must cover one tax year. It may also have a blank for the partnership or corporation that filed your return.
What should I do with Form 1040 when it’s complete?
All forms must be completed within five years of the date of the return. In most cases, that is now the 20th of the month after the due date. Generally, a tax extension will not be granted upon completion of a Form 1040 even if it is filed before the 5-year time limit. However, some businesses, such as small businesses and partnerships have special rules for filing extensions. For more information, see Extensions for Businesses.
My late-filed Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ was supposed to add up to a total of 7,350 but this 8,500 figures has not changed (see “Is the Exclusion from Income Tax Applied to Expenses?” under What Tax Benefits are Available If You Don't Get Any of Your Estimated Exemption Amount?). Does the exclusion expire?
If you have taken an exclusion for an amount that was not included in income, it will expire in 5 years if it has not been included. For more information, see Exclusion from Income Tax.
Can I cancel a Form 1040?
The form cannot be canceled. If you would like to cancel a Form 1040, you must file Form 1040X.
Can you provide a paper copy of Form 1040 to a business?
Yes, as long as you have filed a separate return. However, Form 1040A or 1040EZ should not be mailed to a business. See Questions About mailing Form 1040A.
What if I am not sure about my estimated exemption amounts and would like additional information?
If you are not sure about estimated exemption amounts, you may want to speak to a CPA. See Publication 550 for information and tools on estimating the amount excluded from income.
How does Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ, and Form 1040-EZ compare to Form 4562?
Forms 4562, 4563, 4562-EZ, and 4563-EZ are copies of tax forms. Each has a different purpose: Form 4562 is for individuals who will be liable for the credit and tax; Form 4563 is for businesses.
How do I get my Form 1040?
You may obtain a form 1040A at, by calling, by completing a paper Form 1040 and attaching it to your return, or by visiting your local Internal Revenue Service office. There you must complete a paper Form 1040 for an individual and the Form 1040X for a corporation.
You can also obtain forms at the following tax-paid locations:
The U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico:
Internal Revenue Service office nearest you.
If you do not have one, you can check with the address of the nearest post office.
The District of Columbia:
Internal Revenue Service office nearest you.
If you do not have one, you can check with the address of the nearest post office.
The District of Columbia: If you do not have one, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles to: 1) apply for and obtain a driver's license;
2) complete a DMV driver instruction permit;
3) receive and take fingerprints; or
4) have your photo taken.
You can also check with the addresses listed below:
The Postal Service:
1/9 North Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20210 —
2/4 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC 20220 —
Federal government facilities:
FEDERAL LAW LIMITS ON CREDITS FOR MEDICAL CARE/CHANGING MEDICARE — ()
Do I Need to Prepare an Amended Return?
If you believe you have been incorrectly allocated credit for certain items, you must amend the return. This can either be done by a filing at IRS or by calling:. You can also file your amended return online at:
The IRS allows the filing of a one-page Amended Federal Income Tax Return.
What documents do I need to attach to my Form 1040?
Only documents that you can reasonably use to establish your eligibility and that you can reasonably attach to your tax return. These documents must be originals or certified copies, and you must sign them. You cannot use an invalid document to establish an entitlement to a refund, and you cannot attach a duplicate of an invalid document to your return.
What is an acceptable document?
To establish or maintain eligibility for a refund under your child tax credit or the earned income tax credit (ETC), you may want to attach documents to your return that show an independent source of income beyond your nonmarried spouse's wages for the year. For example, if the independent source of income for a week is your work-related child care expense, then you might attach a receipt showing the amount of such care.
Your documents might include:
A receipt showing your share of your nonmarried spouse's wages,
A statement from your doctor or healthcare provider stating that you or your child are an independent taxpayer,
A pay stub or other evidence of pay,
A statement by your employer that you and your child are both independent employees, or
The names of other people who provide care for you for which you have claimed the child and dependent care credit or earned income tax credit (ETC), if your income does not indicate that you and your child are considered independent taxpayers.
If you do not file Form 1040X or Form 1040, it is generally acceptable for your nonmarried dependent child not to have had a qualifying work-based child care expense for the year. For example, if you and your child did not have a qualifying work-based child care expense for the full year that you claimed your ETC or child and dependent care credit (EIC), it would not be acceptable for you to attach a receipt showing a portion of the care for the year.
If you are claiming your EIC under the child and dependent care credit (EIC), the only qualifying work-based child care expense for an entire year if you are not claiming the child and dependent care credit (EIC). This would be a qualifying child expenses that is made up of eligible care expenses not paid for by your independent sources of income.
What are the different types of Form 1040?
One of the most important parts of Form 1040 is the Line 2 column. This is where you record the amount you've received in pay for the last three months. Line 2 can have either a dollar amount or a date. Since we do not know your pay at the beginning of each pay period, the dollars are more important. You should enter your annual wage as shown. If you receive other pay, you should also enter the amount.
Form 1040 Line 2 is sometimes referred to as the Earned Income Credit. If you're receiving a refund of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRAIN Act), enter your refund as a refund of estimated tax, and then enter the amount of your refund in line 2, as shown below.
Your income may have been affected by a change in circumstances, for example, a major medical event (like a heart attack or sudden death). If you qualify for the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) test, enter the difference between this value and your AGI in the MAGI column.
Form 1040 Line 2 shows your adjusted gross income (AGI). Line 2 has a maximum value of 60,800 for 2017. The maximum value cannot change from year to year. For tax years ending 2018 and later, line 2 is 70,300.
If you made a distribution from your IRA to cover a qualified education expense, enter the amount in your IRA in the Form 1040 line 2 box.
To be sure you have entered your correct W2 wage, enter it on line 2. If you are a single taxpayer, enter line 1 here. If you are married filing jointly, you should divide your wages by the number of you filing as individuals, so you have a correct figure. Enter your total earnings, including overtime and commissions, as shown on Form W-2.
How to Report Income Tax Refunds
Enter the amount in box 1.
Use Form 1040XA to calculate the amount to enter in box 3. Box 3 is adjusted for all qualifying adjustments listed in the instructions. You may not adjust box 3 for a distribution to pay child or other dependent care expenses or the IRS-guaranteed student loan interest deduction amount.
How many people fill out Form 1040 each year?
It depends on (the IRS calls it the “number-of-taxpayers”) what “it” is.
According to the most recent numbers the U.S. tax filing system receives around 7 million individual income tax forms and 2 million employer tax forms annually. Some say it's 10 million and some say it's 10 billion.
“One person who has a lot of income might file 1040s,” says Joseph D. Rosenberg, a former IRS tax policy analyst who is now a partner at accounting firm LSM & Associates. “In the case of an entrepreneur or freelancer, one person might fill out 1040s.”
But Rosenberg says it's hard to tell by just looking at tax forms.
“When you're paying taxes, you've got to put it in your mind that it's not just an individual filing their tax returns,” he says.
How many people use the tax software?
Experts say roughly 10 percent of individual tax returns contain incorrect or questionable information, which means there are tens, if not hundreds, of millions of tax returns that need to be investigated.
That being said, the IRS relies on taxpayer trust to keep track of what's on your tax returns. One way people are able to do that is with tax software. (See if your tax software has accurate tax information for 2009 here.)
The software usually has a record of every tax return that will be sent to the IRS in the future. IRS officials then have them cross-checked with the returns to make sure everything is right.
If there were errors, those can be corrected once a year by sending in a correction letter, even if it's a paper letter, Rosenberg says.
In the case of the 2008 Tax Day filings, the IRS will still be able to find the errors through the old paper records. The question is how many taxpayers they will find using this software to double-check their returns. According to the IRS, they will audit an average of more than 700,000 taxpayers in 2009.
Do you still pay your Social Security taxes?
Social Security taxes paid by an individual are not reported to the U.S. government. Those taxes are only paid in cash at the Social Security office in your home state or at a private account that has been set up by the IRS. (See how to open a private account here.)
How many Americans go to court over taxes?
Yes, the U.S.
Is there a due date for Form 1040?
A. Yes. If you want to file a Form 1040 by May 15, you cannot file an amended return for the same tax year if you have previously filed an amended tax return with the same information unless the tax year is extended to the date you are filing your amended return.
Q. Can I choose to pay in cash after the IRS has requested an estimated payment?
A. Yes. The IRS offers an alternative way for taxpayers who wish to pay in cash. The alternative is for taxpayers to make Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return for Current Year, which includes a request by the taxpayer to pay by check on or before March 31.
Q. Can I claim a tax credit if I make estimated payments, or can I use Form 8283 to pay electronically?
A. Yes. If you have not done so by the deadline, then you can file Form 8283 to authorize your financial institution to make electronically estimated payments for the current tax year.
Q. My employer withheld my Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes, but I have not received any refunds yet. I've been making payments into an escrow account to pay for my estimated taxes, but my employer has stopped depositing those payments. Now, do I still have to pay my estimated taxes through Social Security withholding, or can I deduct those interest from my tax bill?
A. No, unless you have filed an IRS Form 8822-S, Payment of Tax Withheld By a Social Security Account. Once a Social Security account was included in your tax return, you have complete and immediate responsibility to include all interest and penalties paid for its return or payment.
Q. Do I have to estimate my self-employment taxes if there are no refunds due yet, and I don't owe self-employment tax?
A. Yes, unless you filed an IRS Form 3800 or Form 4020 to determine your self-employment tax and paid it when due.
Q. When should I file my return for the current tax year?
A. Late filing a return is considered defaulting on your tax obligation. It means that you have already paid a refund to the IRS but do not have proof of payment.
Q. I am currently in the process of getting a social security number. Will I need to wait till the end of the year to receive my refund checks for that year?