American Tax Service

Helping Americans File Their Taxes


The IRS Form 1040A Explained

Form 1040A is one of the forms that can be used when filing federal taxes in the US. This form is shorter than the original 1040 form however; it is more complex than the 1040EZ form. All taxpayers can use form 1040 yet there are restrictions as to which taxpayers can use form 1040A.

For example, you have to have a taxable income of less than $100,000; you have to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing your deductions.

Filing Status & Exemptions

When preparing this form you have to list your exemptions and select a filing status before you start reporting your income. This is because each filing status has different tax brackets for calculating your income. However, your filing status does not affect your exemption amount claimed for your dependents and yourself.

Therefore, you can think of exemptions as deductions, since they reduce your taxable income, which results in a lower tax liability. At the top of the form, you will have to list the name, social security number, and relationship to you for all of your dependents though.

Income Types that Go on Form 1040A

tax form 1040aForm 1040A limits the types of income you can report. For example, it does include wages, salaries & tips, interest & dividends, capital gains, IRA unemployment, and pension & annuity distributions.

Alaska even allows social security benefits. However, if you have income from a business, you still have to report it when you file your taxes but you have no choice but to fill out the original 1040 form.

Once your income has been reported you have adjustments that can be made so your AGI can be determined. Some of these adjustments include, but are not limited to, educator expenses, IRA contributions, and student loan interest and tuition payments.

Reporting Tax, Credits & Payments

The second page of the form is where you will subtract your standard deduction and exemptions from your AGI. Once this is done you will have your taxable income. Next, you have to determine the amount of tax that you owe by looking at the tax tables that are found in the instructions.

When you have calculated your tax, you are then allowed a limited amount of tax credits that will reduce your tax bill on a dollar for dollar basis. Once that has been done, you reduce it again if you have made tax payments and withholdings.

How Form 1040A and Form 1040 Differ

The filing status and exemption sections are similar on both forms. However, Form 1040A limits the income and adjustments that you can make, which causes the form to be shorter. One of the main differences between the two forms is Form 1040 allows you to itemize your deductions and Form 1040A does not.

Why File with H&R Block

We recommend filing your taxes with H&R Block this tax season because of all of the tax benefits that you will receive. H&R Block asks you simple questions to fill in the proper form, gets you the deductions and tax credits that you qualify for, and you will get the largest refund possible. You never have to know the tax laws or access tax tables during the filing process!

They even have a free tax refund calculator available that allows you to know the amount of money that you will be getting back in your tax refund. Their online filing services has the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail.


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