What is IRS 1040ez Tax Form?

As a US taxpayer, you are required to file an annual US Individual Income Tax return to comply and report your earnings and tax liability with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Most taxpayers find tax forms confusing and frustrating, but the IRS has a “simplified” version of the tax return if you meet certain criteria.

IRS 1040EZ Form

The Form 1040EZ was available for certain taxpayers, but even if you qualify for the “easy” Form 1040EZ, it may still be more beneficial to file a Form 1040 to claim tax credits and deductions.

The 1040EZ is much shorter to fill out and can be e-filed, or a printable version can be prepared and mailed to the IRS. In addition, the IRS website and other popular software allow for Form 1040EZ to be e-filed for free.

Table of Contents

Is there still a 1040 EZ form?

No, in the past, if you needed to submit a basic tax return, you most likely used IRS Form 1040EZ. This form applied to a wide variety of taxpayers. However, Form 1040EZ is no longer an option for filing taxes. Depending on your tax position, Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR have since replaced this form.

What is the IRS 1040EZ Tax Form?

The IRS offers three different forms to file your Individual Income Tax Return. The Form 1040, Form 1040A, and Form 1040EZ are generally the forms US taxpayers use to file their income tax returns.

Form A is a hybrid of the Form 1040 and Form 1040EZ. The Form 1040EZ is a simplified version of the tax return, and the Form 1040A allows for additional adjustments to income and credits available.

The Form 1040-EZ Income Tax Return is for Single and Joint Filers with no dependents. It’s a one-page form with a few sections. The regular Form 1040 is two-pages but can get much longer and more complicated depending on your transactions during the tax year. In addition, form 1040 usually has additional schedules and forms.

If you are eligible for Form 1040EZ filing, you can easily complete and file the form for free using TurboTax Online, or the IRS website.

Who Can File a 1040EZ

A taxpayer must meet all of the following to qualify to file Form 1040EZ:

  • The taxpayer’s filing status must be single or married, filing jointly.
  • The taxpayer cannot claim any dependents.
  • The taxpayer cannot claim any adjustments to income (see IRS.gov/taxtopics)
  • The taxpayer can only claim the earned income tax credit (EIC). No other credits can be claimed with the Form 1040EZ.
  • The taxpayer must be under age 65 and not blind at the end of the tax year.
  • The taxpayer’s taxable income (line 6 of Form 1040EZ) must be less than $100,000.
  • The taxpayer’s income consisted of only wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarship or fellowship grants, unemployment compensation, or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.

The taxpayer’s taxable interest must not be over $1,500.

To claim a “single” status on the Tax Form 1040EZ, the taxpayer must be:

  • Not married.
  • According to state law, they were legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance.
  • Widowed before the first day of the tax year and not married during the tax year.

To claim a “married filing jointly” status on Tax Form 1040EZ, the taxpayers:

  • Must be considered legally married as of the last day of the applicable tax year
  • Or be considered legally married as of the last day of the tax year, and the taxpayer’s spouse died before the return was filed.

If you qualify for the Form 1040EZ, it may still be more beneficial to file the Form 1040 to make income adjustments or credits that you may be eligible for.

How to Get a 1040EZ Form Online

The Form 1040EZ can be prepared and filed using a few different methods:

You can also use the printable version of the Form 1040EZ. Finally, you will fill out the tax return and mail it to the IRS. This method isn’t preferred and can delay the refund process.

TurboTax Federal Free

If you qualify to file Form 1040EZ, you can also use the TurboTax Federal Free software to prepare and file your return. TurboTax is a software by Intuit, which is one of the leaders in tax software. The free TurboTax software is really simple to use and available to any who qualifies to file a Form 1040EZ.

IRS Website

If your adjusted gross income is $64,000 or less, you can use the IRS Free File tool to file your return. This is a very quick and easy method to use if you qualify, but you must calculate the taxes yourself. You will also need to create an account to use the tool and e-file your return. The tool can be found here.

How to Fill Out a 1040EZ

Filling out Form 1040EZ is simplified because being eligible for this tax form means you are low risk for the IRS. The 1040EZ is broken down into a few different sections:

General Information

The first section includes general identity information such as your name, address, and social security number. Here, you can also provide your spouse’s name and social security number to file married filing joint status.

Income

On-Line 1, you provide the amount of wages, salaries, and tips you earned per your W-2. You will also complete this section with any taxable interest (up to $1,500) and unemployment compensations. Adding these will get you to your adjusted gross income (AGI).

Payments, Credits, and Tax

The information for this section usually comes from your W-2. This section is the amount of tax you have already paid to the IRS via withholding tax payments.

Since the Form 1040EZ doesn’t allow for tax credits, the only credit that you can claim is the Earned Income Credit (EIC)

Note: The EIC is a refundable credit, which means that if your tax liability is at $0, any additional EIC you can use will result in a refund. See the EIC table here.

IRS Tax Refunds

If your tax withholding and EIC during the year are larger than the tax liability on the form, you will receive a refund. Complete this section with your savings or checking account number with your routing number.

Using a direct deposit instead of a paper check refund, you can usually speed up the refund process by a few weeks.

If You Owe Tax

Suppose you owe any tax after filling out your return. In that case, you will need to complete the amount in Box 14 and pay the amount due – IRS Direct Pay, Pay by Card, Electronic Fund Withdrawal, Online Payment Agreement, and IRS2GO, which is an app available for Android and iPhone smartphones. In addition, if you use one of the free Form 1040EZ services mentioned, you will have the ability to pay your tax liability electronically.

Signature

Finally, if filing jointly, you (and your spouse) will need to sign, date, and file the tax return. If you are e-filing, you will sign using an e-signature.

1040EZ Tax Table

The IRS instructions for Form 1040EZ include a tax table that can be used to calculate your tax liability for the year. For example, if filing the 1040EZ, after you calculate your taxable income, you can use the tax table found at the end of the Form 1040EZ instructions to estimate how much tax you owe. The instructions for the 2018 Form 1040EZ can be found here.

The tax bracket table breaks down the tax due by taxable income and filing status. Simply find the amount of your taxable income in the table and match it to your filing status to see how much tax you owe.

Summary

A lot of time can be saved for taxpayers with simple tax calculations by filing the 1040EZ. The IRS also provides a Form 1040A, a hybrid between Form 1040EZ and Form 1040. Luckily, there are a few different ways to fill out and file your Individual Income Tax Return.

It’s important to remember that you may still need to file state and local income taxes in addition to the federal return. Read your state and local individual income tax laws to be sure you comply.

As complex as the US tax law can be, Form 1040EZ is one method of simplifying tax returns for middle to low-class individuals. In addition, many taxpayers do not have multiple sources of income or deductions to claim to this form gives them a great relief in time and money.

If you qualify to file Form 1040EZ, you should research to ensure you do not miss out on any deductions or credits you would be eligible for by filing Form 1040. In addition, the 2019 tax returns are due on April 17, so be sure to gather all the information you may need to file a complete and accurate return.