Tax Tip No. 1: Which Form to Use?

When filing your federal income tax return, half the battle is deciding which form to use. For most of us there are three to choose from:


This is the easiest by far but…

• Your taxable income must be under $50,000

• Most of that income should come from wages, salary, tips and overtime

• You can't owe household employment taxes

• You can't claim dependents

• Married couples must file jointly

• You must be under 65


If you need a little more flexibility in income then the 1040A is the next best thing:

• Your taxable income must be under $50,000

• You can claim dependents

• You are allowed some deductions, but no itemizing


If your taxable income is higher than $50,000 or if you are self-employed you'll have to use the 1040 anyway even if you don't plan to itemize.

You can get copies of all of these forms, and instructions on how to use them from the IRS web site at

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