What Is a 1040EZ?

Learn who can use IRS Form 1040EZ for filing your tax return.

When it comes to filing your taxes, nobody wants to make it harder than it has to be, which is why there are three different IRS tax forms:

You can use Form 1040EZ regardless of whether you use your Social Security number or an individual tax ID number to file your taxes. If you use an ITIN, make sure it hasn’t expired. Read on to learn about the 1040EZ and get your return faster.

What Is Form 1040EZ?

Based on your income and filing status, you can determine whether the 1040EZ is the correct form for you to file when doing your taxes. Even if you do qualify, you’ll miss out on tax benefits that you might be eligible for and potentially forego a larger refund. Keep reading to find out who can use tax form 1040EZ and how it differs from other tax forms.

If you have $100,000 or more in taxable income, the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t allow you to use Form 1040EZ to file your income tax return  you must use Form 1040. This income threshold isn’t indexed for inflation, so it doesn’t change from year to year. You’re also disqualified from using the short form if you have income other than wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarship or fellowship grants, unemployment benefits, Alaska Permanent Fund dividends or more than $1,500 in taxable interest. In addition, any tip income you’ve earned must be reported in boxes 5 and 7 of your Form W-2.

Related: Best and Worst Ways to Itemize Your Taxes

Filing Requirements for Form 1040EZ

The only tax filing statuses you can use with Form 1040EZ are “single” and “married filing jointly.” To use another status, such as head of household or married filing separately, you must use a different form. If you’re married, you might save money if you and your spouse file separate returns. In that case, it could be worth your time to fill out one of the longer forms to bump up your tax refund. Note, however, that you can’t use Form 1040EZ if you claim any dependents.

If you’re blind or over age 65. You can’t file with IRS Form 1040EZ. Those additional standard deductions are only available on IRS Form 1040. 

Learn Now: Tax Breaks for 2018

Claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit

According to the Form 1040EZ instructions booklet, the earned income tax credit is the only one you’re allowed to claim on the 1040EZ. All other tax credits, adjustments to income and itemized deductions are not accepted.

Adjustments to income reduce your taxable income and might include moving expenses, student loan interest and the tuition and fees deduction. Itemized deductions include any of the following:

  • Donations to charity
  • Mortgage interest
  • State taxes
  • Local taxes

Those eligible for other tax breaks could choose to give them up to use the short form, but it’s never a good idea to leave money on the table. To claim household employment taxes on wages you pay a household employee, you can’t use Form 1040EZ. Plus, if you’ve received advance payments of the health insurance premium tax credit, you must select from the other federal income tax forms to file your taxes.

Up Next: 50 Tax Write-Offs You Don’t Know About for 2018