Form 1040 is your US individual federal income tax return. This must be filed by every person who earned income over the decided standard deduction for the tax year. If you made more than $12,550 during the 2020 tax year, you are mandated to file a federal income tax return in 2021.
There are several ways to file a federal income tax return. The most convenient option is to file it electronically through a tax preparation service. This will enable you to get your tax refund a lot faster than mailed-in returns if you’re expecting one.
Nevertheless, taxpayers have the option to file Form 1040 on paper and mail it to the Internal Revenue Service. This is good for those who know how to file their tax returns but don’t qualify for the free file options with the tax preparation services.
In this article, we will explain how taxpayers need to file and submit their federal income tax returns for the 2021 tax season to report the 2020 taxes while answering commonly asked questions.
- 1 Form 1040 – PDF
- 2 How to prepare Form 1040?
- 3 Schedule 1 to report additional income and claim adjustments h3
- 4 Calculate tax liability and compare with taxes paid
- 5 Tax dates for Form 1040
- 6 Frequently asked Form 1040 questions
Form 1040 – PDF
The Internal Revenue Service updates most federal income tax forms every year due to changes to the tax code. Form 1040 is the tax form that sees the most changes as it’s the actual return.
Form 1040 the IRS publishes is fillable online meaning you can enter the money amounts and your information on your computer. This enables taxpayers to fill out their federal income tax returns online without paying for a tax preparation service and print out a paper copy to mail to the IRS.
Start filling out Form 1040 PDF.
Form 1040-US Individual Income Tax Return can take some time to file. What takes the most time is preparing the document, not entering the money amounts on the form itself. Taxpayers need to calculate their gross income, adjusted gross income, taxable income, tax liability, taxes paid, and potentially; their tax refunds.
How to prepare Form 1040?
Before you get 1040 to your hands, review the information returns you were furnished with such as Forms W-2 and 1099. These tax forms report the income earned through employment and other sources of income by the individuals and businesses who made payments to you.
Schedule 1 to report additional income and claim adjustments h3
The income reported on the information returns must be added up to figure out gross income. Along with the income reported, taxpayers also need to fill out Schedule 1—Additional Income and Adjustments to Income. This tax form is used for reporting the income earned that cannot be reported through the information returns, and take out the adjustments from the gross the taxpayer can claim.
After Schedule 1 is filled out, what you will be left is your adjusted gross income. This is your income that’s adjusted for taxes and used for multiple tax provisions such as determining eligibility for certain tax deductions and credits.
For example, if your adjusted gross income exceeds the threshold for the IRA deduction, you’ll either get a partial deduction or no deduction at all. Your adjusted gross income is important because it will reduce taxable income further down in the line. Fill out Schedule 1 to make sure you reduce adjusted gross income, thus, taxable income so you pay less tax.
Calculate tax liability and compare with taxes paid
So now that you know your taxable income, you will know the highest marginal tax rate that applies to you. Head over to the 2021 tax brackets and figure out your tax liability by doing some simple math. As we’ve explained before, you will pay taxes at the highest rate for the starting income for that bracket. What this means is just because you’re in the 24 percent bracket doesn’t mean you’ll pay 24 percent of your income in taxes.
After the calculation for the total amount owed is done, you can get to the next step on Form 1040 which is comparing the amount owed with the total taxes paid during the year. Whether you paid taxes through federal income tax withheld or estimated tax payments, if the total payments exceed the tax liability, you will get a refund. If not, you owe the IRS and must pay what you owe with your tax return or by April 15.
Tax dates for Form 1040
Form 1040 needs to be filed by April 15, but the IRS permits taxpayers to request an extension to get more time to prepare their returns. With an extension, the deadline to file will be pushed further to October 15, but the deadline to pay remains the same on April 15.
Frequently asked Form 1040 questions
How to get 1040 form?
Get Form 1040 from the IRS page and print out a paper copy or save it as a PDF to your device. You can also start filling out Form 1040 with instructions to file on our site.
How to fill out Form 1040?
Form 1040 needs a lot of preparation before it can be filed. You will need to gather the tax forms that need to be attached to it, calculate the money amounts, and figure out gross income, adjusted gross income, taxable income, tax liability, tax refund, and report these on Form 1040. If you’re new to taxes, we highly suggest reading our guide for beginners.
Where can I find my 1040 Form?
The IRS allows tracking of tax refunds, but not tax returns. When you track the status of your tax refund using the IRS Where’s My Refund tool, you will know if the IRS received your return or not. After the IRS receives your return, you will also know whether or not the IRS approved your tax refund. Although you will not be able to track your return directly, you will know when the IRS receives it.
Where to mail Form 1040?
If a paper Form 1040 is filed, you need to mail it to the Internal Revenue Service. The mailing address in which Form 1040 needs to be sent depends on the state of residence of the taxpayers, and whether or not the taxpayer is making a payment with the return or not. Learn more about where to mail by reading our instructions to file a tax return.