When filing a tax return first determine if you qualify for filing the simplest form first. This is the 1040 EZ (easy). The advantage is that you do not need as much documentation as the other forms, but only use this form if you qualify. There’s not a lot of room for exceptions; the requirements are well illustrated and nonnegotiable and you must meet all of them.
Eligibility for filing 1040EZ
- Your filing status is single or married and you file jointly
- You will not claim any dependents
- You/Spouse are under the age of 65 on or before January 1, 2013 or were not legally blind at year end 2012
- Your taxable interest was less than $1500.00
- Your only income was from salaries, wages, tips, unemployment, scholarships or grants that are taxable, or Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.
- Your annual taxable income was less than $100,000.
- Box 5 and 7 of your W2 lists tips you earned
- You do not owe employment tax or wages to household employees
- You are not in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed after October 16, 2005
- Your only credit is earned income
- You are a not eligible for exemptions such as IRA, interest from student loans, tuition and fees, or educator expense exemption.
What to include when filing the 1040EZ
The documentation required for filing this tax return is a W2. If you qualify for an EIC (earned income credit) a worksheet is supplied to determine the amount of your credit. If you can be claimed as a dependent on another return, and choose not to do so, you can still file a 1040EZ, but you must report this information on the form.