Income Tax Q & A: IRS Form 1040 for Individuals
What is Form 1040?
This is the Individual Tax Return for U.S. citizens. The 2018 form has been redesigned, so if you used to file 1040A or 1040EZ in previous years, you will now use Form 1040.
Along with it, there are 6 new Schedules for declaring specific circumstances:
- Schedule 1: Report additional income such as capital gains; claim deductions such as self-employment tax.
- Schedule 2: Owe AMT or make an excess advance premium tax credit repayment.
- Schedule 3: Claim a nonrefundable credit other than the child tax credit or the credit for other dependents.
- Schedule 4: Owe other taxes such as self-employment tax, household employment taxes, additional tax on IRAs.
- Schedule 5: Claim a refundable credit other than the earned income credit, American opportunity credit or additional child tax credit; or have other payments.
- Schedule 6: Have a foreign address or a third party designee other than a paid preparer.
Who must file Form 1040?
Individuals who are employees of another entity, self-employed, members of a partnership and retirees, with a minimum gross income that varies according to age, spouses filing jointly or separately, heads of household and widow(er)s.
Additional conditions may also require you to file, including if you owe special taxes or received health savings account distributions.
The same rules apply if you are:
- A resident alien
- Married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien
- Electing to be taxed as a resident alien
What if I want to claim tax credits anyway?
Even if you’re not required to file based on gross income, you should do so anyway to get these tax credits:
- Earned income credit
- Additional child tax credit
- American opportunity credit
- Credit for federal tax on fuels
- Premium tax credit
- Health coverage tax credit
When must Form 1040 be filed?
- April 15, 2019 for residents of all states except Maine and Massachusetts
- April 17, 2019 for residents of Maine and Massachusetts
Can I get an extension?
Yes, you can get a 6-month extension if you apply for it by the original filing due date. Use IRS Form 4868 to request an extension.
You may qualify for an automatic 2-month extension without having to apply for it if you:
- Live outside the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business or post of duty is outside the United States and Puerto Rico
- You are in military or naval service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico
Be aware, though, that if you take an extension, the IRS will charge interest on any unpaid tax from the original due date of the return.
Where can I get a Form 1040 and Schedules 1 through 6?
Your tax preparer can take care of all that for you.
How do I file Form 1040?
Postal mail: Send it to the IRS address for your state listed on the Form 1040 Instructions or at irs.gov/file-paper-returns. The address may be different if you are requesting a refund than if you are enclosing payment.
Electronic filing: Learn how to file your 1040 return electronically at irs.gov/e-file-options. Information includes using the IRS’s own free fillable forms, commercial tax prep software, and more.
Private delivery service: The IRS authorizes the use of certain services, including DHL, FedEx and UPS, to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule for tax returns. Go to IRS.gov/PDS for the current list of designated services. You must use a IRS mailing address that’s specifically for PDS deliveries, as listed in IRS.gov/PDSStreetAddresses, not the address listed for postal mail. Be sure to get written proof of the mail date from your delivery service.
This brief overview does not cover all the complexities of filing Form 1040. For expert advice, please consult your Xendoo tax advisor.