How to Find Common Tax Forms

Internal-Revenue-Services

Filing your taxes becomes a more complicated task as you earn more, have various sources of income, invest, or donate to tax deductible organizations. If you own your own business or work out of your home then filing your taxes becomes even more involved increasing your chances for an audit on your tax return. The following is a brief description of the most common tax forms available from the IRS.

Common U.S. Tax Forms

  • 1040 EZ

Form 1040 EZ is single or joint filers with no dependents. This is the most basic form and you can only take the standard deductions if you file this form.

  • Form 1040 A

Form 1040 A is individuals who only had income from wages, salaries, tips, interest and ordinary dividends, capital gain distributions, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, pensions, annuities, and IRAs, unemployment compensation, taxable social security and railroad retirement benefits, and/or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends. The taxable income (line 27) must be below $100,000. The only adjustments to your income include educator expenses, IRA deduction, student loan interest deduction, and/or tuition and fees deduction. You cannot use a 1040 A if you plan on itemizing deductions (such as for donations to charity, etc.). Also, you can only claim the child tax credit, additional child tax credit, education credits, EIC, credit for child and dependent care expenses, credit for the elderly or the disabled, retirement savings contributions credit, and/or making work pay credit to use the 1040 A.

  • Form 1040

Form 1040 is used by anyone who has income from a different source such as self-employment (business or farm income), if you received income as a partner in a partnership, shareholder in an S corporation, or a beneficiary or an estate or trust, or dividends on insurance policies. You will also need to use the 1040 if you are itemizing your deductions, have experienced a loss through a nationally declared disaster, are a debtor in a bankruptcy case, or your employer did not withhold social security and Medicare tax.

While not all inclusive of the details describing which form tax payers should use, this information provides basic details to help find the forms you may need for filing your taxes. You can download any of the required tax forms from the IRS.

  • Schedule A

Schedule A will be used in conjunction with Form 1040 to itemize deductions. Deductions may include medical and dental expenses, taxes you paid, interest you paid, gifts to charity, casualty and theft losses, job expenses and certain miscellaneous deductions, and new motor vehicle taxes.

  • Schedule C

Schedule C is used in conjunction with Form 1040 and is used to report Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship).

  • Schedule D

Schedule D is used in conjunction with Form 1040 and is used to report Capital Gains and Losses.

  • Schedule M

Schedule M will be used in conjunction with Form 1040A or 1040 and is the Making Work Pay Credit.

  • Schedule SE

Schedule SE is the Self-Employment Tax form used in conjunction with Form 1040 to report earnings from Self-employment.

  • From 1040 X

Form 1040 X is the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. This form will be used if changes need to be made to your original return.

  • Form 8917

Form 8917 is used to report Tuition and Fees Deduction based on qualified education expenses paid to an eligible post secondary educational institution.

  • Form 8863

Form 8863 is the Education Credits (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits) to use in conjunction with Form 1040 or 1040A. This credit cannot be combined with the tuition and fees deduction for the same student for the same year.


Finding the right form may be a difficult task if you have not worked on more complicated tax filings. Consulting a professional to help file your taxes may be to your benefit or simply by using and self-help program such as Turbo Tax can reduce the amount of time you spend looking for a specific form. Also, if you need more time to file your taxes file an extension for tax return. Most, if not all, forms can be found on the IRS website or at your local U.S. Post Office.

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Jeremy represents a husband and wife team working together to establish a quick, visual guide to assist others in ordinary tasks. Together they are the founders and editors of this site. In short, with their experiences combined, they are a jack-of-all-trades. For further information visit His and Hers DIY | About.

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