Hello, I’m Lisa Lewis from TurboTax with important news about filing your taxes on the 1040EZ form.
If you are like most taxpayers, the less time you spend preparing your income tax return, the better. Luckily, if you don’t anticipate deducting any expenses or aren’t eligible for most tax credits, you can prepare your taxes pretty quickly by using the 1040EZ form. There are, however, some tax tips you may want to consider before choosing to file on the 1040EZ.
If you are unmarried and considering using the 1040EZ, you will be required to use the single filing status. You may want to check if you are eligible to file as head of household – the additional tax savings may be worth the extra time. The benefit of filing as head of household is the larger standard deduction it provides you with in comparison to the single filing status.
If you do have the option of filing as head of household, the additional tax savings may be worth the extra time it will take to file on the 1040A or 1040. Reporting dependents and claiming exemptions for them is a common way for taxpayers to reduce their tax bill. But when you file on the 1040EZ, the IRS doesn’t allow you to report any dependents. You can, however, claim dependents on the 1040A and 1040 forms—so it’s beneficial to evaluate your eligibility to claim dependents before settling on the 1040EZ form.
Another limitation of the 1040EZ is that it doesn’t allow you to itemize deductions—you can only claim the standard deduction. Itemizing your deductions on Schedule A is only an option when using the longer 1040 form.
So, if you have a number of deductions, you will have to decide whether itemizing or claiming the standard deduction will save you more in tax. TurboTax can help with this.
Lastly, the biggest tax savings of all is oftentimes the result of claiming tax credits, like those for education expenses, for example. However, the only tax credit you can take on the 1040EZ is the earned income tax credit. It is important to understand that a tax credit reduces your tax bill on a dollar-for-dollar basis, whereas a deduction only reduces your taxable income. Given the potential tax savings, your eligibility to claim a tax credit may be reason enough not to use the 1040EZ.
Not sure which form to use? When you file with TurboTax, you don’t need to know a thing about tax forms. We’ll ask you simple questions and determine the filing status and forms that will give you your biggest tax refund.