How to efile Form 1040 - IRS Federal Income Taxes

What is Form 1040?

Which Form 1040 is for me?

Where do I e-file or file Form 1040?

When do I e-file or file Form 1040?

What is Form 1040?

The 1040 Form is the federal income tax form. It is used to file income tax returns for a particular tax year. There are several main types of 1040 Forms: 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ.

Which Form 1040 Is for Me?

If you e-file with you don't have to select any forms. Simply take a short online tax interview and the efile software will automatically determine the correct IRS income tax form 1040 given your situation - so you don't have to choose or select any tax forms.


IRS Formefile or file this form ifHow to file
1040EZ You meet the following criteria:
  • Your filing status is single or married filing jointly.
  • You don't claim any dependents.
  • You don't claim any adjustments to gross income.
  • You don't claim any tax credits with the exception of Earned Income Credit or Making Work Pay Credit.
  • You, and your spouse if filing jointly, are younger than 65 and are not blind.
  • Your taxable income is under $100,000.
  • You didn't receive any advance Earned Income Credits.
  • You don't owe any household employment taxes on wages paid to household employees
  • You aren't a debtor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy
  • You are not claiming any casualty or disaster losses
  • You income is only from wages, salaries, tips, unemployment compensation, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, $1,500 or less in interest income, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.


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From Jan. - Oct. 15 


You satisfy the following criteria:

  • Your income must be only from wages, salary, tips, interest and ordinary dividends, capital gain distributions, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, pensions, annuities and IRA's, unemployment compensation, taxable Social Security and railroad retirement benefits, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.
  • Your adjustments to income must only be from educator expenses, IRA deduction, student loan interest deduction, tuition and fees deduction, you don't itemize deductions, your taxable income is less than $100,000, you didn't have an Alternative Minimum Tax adjustment on stock acquired from the exercise of an incentive stock option.
  • The only tax credits that you claim are Child Dependent Care Credit, Elderly or Disabled Credit, Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, educational credits, Retirement Savings Contribution Credit, Earned Income Credit.


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From Jan. - Oct. 15

1040 You are a United States resident and have any kind of taxable income including income, tax deductions, and credits not covered by Forms 1040 and 1040A. This includes:
  • Self employment income, unreported tips over $20 in any month, income received as a partner in a partnership, S corporation, trust, or estate, dividends on insurance policy exceeding all net premiums you paid for, income $100,000 or greater.
  • Itemized deductions
You can also file Form 1040 if you owe excise tax on insider stock compensation from an expatriated corporation, you are a debtor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed after October 16, 2005, you have an alternative minimum tax adjustment on stock you obtained from an exercise of an incentive stock option, you owe household employment taxes, you are claiming an adoption credit or received adoption benefits from an employer, you are eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit, you're an employee and your employee didn't withhold Medicare and Social Security tax, you have a qualified health savings account funding distribution from your IRA, or you have a net disaster loss attributable to a federally declared disaster, your Form W-2 box-12 shows uncollected tax on tips or group term life insurance, or your Form W-2 box-12 shows code Z.


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From Jan. - Oct. 15 

1040X You need to amend your 1040 income tax form. Learn more on when to amend your tax return and how to complete form 1040X.

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You are a nonresident alien, meaning you don't have a green card or don't satisfy the substantial residence requirements. You satisfy the substantial presence test if you spent 31 days during the tax year and a total of 183 days over the past 3 years, calculating the total number of days by adding the total number of days spent in United States this year to 1/3 of the total number of days spent in United States last year, and then adding 1/6 of the total number of days spent in United States 2 years ago to that total.

If you need to file taxes as a foreign student, find out more here.

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1040NR-EZ You are a nonresident alien. The same rules for determining residency status apply as for Form 1040NR. However, you can only file Form 1040NR-EZ if your U.S. income only comes from wages, salaries, tips, refunds of state and local income taxes, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. If your income comes from any source that's not listed above, then you must file form 1040NR.

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How Do I e-file or File Form 1040?

You have three options when it comes to filing your 1040 form:

List item 1 Efile your tax return. When you e-efile your tax return, your return is:

  • Processed faster so you get your tax refund in as little as 8 days!
  • Significantly more accurate(an e-filed tax return has a error rate of only 1% versus 20% for traditional paper tax returns)!
  • More secure than a traditional paper filing!
  • Environmentally friendly!
  • More convenient (learn about the benefits of e-filing your tax return)!

You can take advantage of's Free Federal Edition to file form 1040EZ for free and other kinds of forms for less than the competitors(Compare with other online tax preparation services!).  The e-file option is only available for the current tax year.

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List Item 2 Work With a Tax Pro!

A tax professional can file the correct Fom 1040 for you, just provide the necessary information. There are multiple benefits to working with a live tax professional:

  • You can get answers to your tax questions from a licensed tax professional!
  • Have your TaxPro efile your Federal and/or State Tax Return(s) for you
  • Have your TaxPro complete your tax return for either the current or previous tax year(s) for you!
  • Enjoy the peace of mind that your taxes are being handled by a profesional!

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List Item 3 Mail your tax return.

If you choose to mail your tax return, it will take longer. If you are filing for a past year then you can only mail it, you can't e-file it. Download the IRS Form 1040 for the corresponding year (for forms from previous tax years, see history of Form 1040), fill it out, and mail it to a special mailing address that depends on which state you live in and whether you are attaching a payment to your return or not.

Find the mailing adress for Form 1040 here.

When Do I e-file or File Form 1040?

You should file your form 1040 no later than April 15th, which is the tax day deadline. Click here for a detailed overview of tax day deadlines.

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