When it comes to making tax returns 1040 is one of the best known options and one that you may want to take a closer look at. It’s actually a form that shows your total taxable income and makes sure that you are paying into the government what you owe or getting a refund.
Income tax returns are due by April 15 unless that day happens to be a weekend (Saturday or Sunday) or a federal holiday of some type. In these cases tax day is pushed back to the next business day. If you have an automatic extension you can get one for October 15 by filing Form 4868.
Who Files 1040 Form?
If you are a resident of the United States you may be eligible to file 1040. This is the standard tax form that most residents will file. A business form is generally an 1120 or US Corporation Income Tax Return.
Those who are a citizen of the United States or a resident alien of the United States are considered residents for tax purposes. Also, an individual is considered a resident alien if they pass the Substantial Presence Test or Green Card Test. If you make any form of taxable income in the United States you must pay taxes, but if you are not considered a resident you must file as a nonresident alien instead.
Nonresident aliens are eligible to file 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ rather than the form 1040 that residents file. Those who have a status change during the course of the tax year can file as a dual status alien.
How To File the 1040 Tax Form?
There are two ways that you can file your 1040. You can choose to do so on a paper form or online.
- Paper Filing
If you file your form 1040 in paper form you will need to download it as a PDF from the Internal Revenue Service. This file will include all of the variants, schedules and instructions that you need in order to file the 1040.
At the end of January of the year you will submit the filing you will be able to download the updated version of the form for the year you are representing.
You will need a PDF reader in order to fill out and save your form electronically and from there you will be able to print out a copy that can be mailed to the IRS.
If you wish, you can also fill out the entire form by hand after printing out a blank copy of the form. You are also allowed to use a combination of these two methods by electronically adding some information and writing by hand as well. It is entirely possible for you to use any of these methods to fill out the forms.
- Online Filing
You are allowed to file your forms electronically in any of the following three ways.
If you make $66,000 or less you can use IRS Free File to file for free. Some people with this income limitation may not be able to file in this way however if they earn money through certain means.
Tax compliance software is also an option if you are filing electronically but you must make sure the software is approved by the IRS and that it files your forms.
You can also use a tax professional to have your forms electronically filed.
In fact, most tax professionals are required to file forms electronically because they generally use software that will take care of this automatically. If they aren’t required to file through electronic means they are instead required to file form 8948 alongside the 1040 to explain why they have submitted a paper form.