The 1040EZ is the simplest of all IRS tax forms. It might be the right choice for you if you have fairly straightforward income and deductions.
However, if your taxes are more complicated than that or if you want to claim dependents or make estimated payments on your taxes, we’d recommend using one of the other options—either the 1040A or 1040.
Table of Contents
The 1040EZ is for taxpayers with fairly straightforward tax situations
The 1040EZ is for taxpayers who have a relatively straightforward tax situation. If you are getting a W2, you could use the 1040EZ to file your taxes.
However, if you don’t have a W-2 (such as being self-employed), then it’s best to use the 1040A and itemize your deductions instead of using this simpler form.
Can you claim dependents on tax form 1040ez?
No, you cannot claim dependents on tax form 1040ez. The 1040EZ is the simplest form, but it has a few drawbacks.
You can’t claim dependents on the 1040EZ; if you want to claim someone as your dependent, you have to file Form 1040A or Form 1040.
If you don’t have enough deductions to offset your income and lower your tax bill by the standard deduction amount, then it might make more sense to file a 1040 A or 1040.
You can’t write off charitable donations on the 1040EZ
You can’t write off charitable donations on the 1040EZ. If you want to deduct donations, you must use Form 1040 and itemize your deductions.
You can only claim a deduction for charitable contributions that are made to qualified charities and only if they were paid during the tax year.
If you’re donating property other than cash, make sure that the charity has a written acknowledgment from an authorized official of the organization within 30 days of donating (this acknowledgment must include a description of any goods or services received in exchange).
You can’t claim tax credits on the 1040EZ
If you file a 1040EZ, you can’t claim tax credits. If your income is low enough that you don’t have to pay federal taxes, you can still use the form to get your refund back in a hurry.
But if your situation isn’t simple — for example, if you plan on claiming dependents or are eligible for other deductions — it’s best to choose another form instead.
This form is used to report income earned by someone under 18 years old
The 1040EZ is also used to report income earned by someone under 18. This can include interest, dividends, and capital gains from investments.
The minor’s investment earnings will be reported on Line 2 of Form 1040EZ; you’ll need to enter their Social Security number here.
In addition to the minor’s investment earnings, if you claim the standard deduction for yourself on Line 40 of Form 1040EZ (as opposed to completing Schedule A), you may be able to claim an additional $1,050 deduction for any dependents who were under age 17.
For example: If your child earned $500 in interest and paid out $200 in deductible expenses related to that interest, they would still receive a refund because they’re entitled to an additional standard deduction amount due solely because they’re under 17 years old!
If you have self-employment income, you’ll be using a different form
Let’s say you have self-employment income. The 1040ez form is not for you: in this case, you’ll file a different tax form.
But there are situations where even if you have self-employment income, your situation may be simple enough for the 1040ez to work for you.
For example, if your only sources of income were wages from one employer and all of them were reported on W-2 forms (which we’ll talk about later), then it’s possible that filing with the 1040ez would be sufficient—but not guaranteed!
It depends on how much self-employment income and other sources of taxable money there are in play. In any case, if any part of your return involves self-employment or other nonwage income, use our online tax software instead of filling out paper forms at home and mailing them off to the IRS.
If your taxes are simple, it’s okay to use this form!
The 1040EZ is the simplest form of the four. It’s for taxpayers with fairly straightforward tax situations: no dependents, no itemized deductions, and only one job.
If you’re unsure whether or not this applies to you, it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and use the 1040EZ anyway—it will spit out an error if something about your life changes between now and next year when you file your taxes again.
But be careful! It isn’t for everyone! If you have dependents (spouse and/or kids), or if you make money from self-employment (like freelancing or owning a small business), then this form won’t work for you.
How to File Taxes Quick and Easy With TurboTax
Filing taxes can be a complex and time-consuming task, but TurboTax makes it quick and easy. Here are some tips for filing your taxes with TurboTax:
- You will need to gather all of your tax documents, including your W-2 form from your employer and any 1099 forms you may have received.
- Enter your information into TurboTax.
- The software will ask you questions about your income, deductions, and credits and will automatically fill in the appropriate 1040 forms for you.
- Review your tax forms. After you have entered all of your information, you can also change any information that needs to be corrected before filing.
- File and get your refund within 10 days!
We hope this article has helped you clarify your own tax situation. If you’re still unsure about what form to use, the IRS website has a Tax Tools section with tools that can help you make the decision.