The 1040 EZ: A Reason to Smile


Are you untethered from most of life’s big responsibilities?  If so, the tax form you use might be the wonderfully simple 1040 EZ.  This is a stripped-down version of the regular IRS form 1040, which is  used by taxpayers with a little more complexity in their taxable lives.

What does this mean?  Well certain life events make taxes a bit more complicated, like having children, making tons of money, getting married, or reaching retirement age.  Also, your financial life determines whether you get to use the nice easy 1040 EZ form.  If you make lots of money from investments or interest then you’ll have to use the 1040A or the long 1040 form.  Also, if you are very poor you might qualify for some nice tax credits, but the 1040 EZ can’t handle such complexity so again, it’s the 1040A or the 1040 for you if any of these situations apply to you.  The 1040 EZ can handle only one credit: the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

1040EZ Checklist

  • You are single or married filing jointly
  • You have no kids or other people living with you who depend on you financially
  • Your taxable income is not in the six figure range
  • You are under age 65
  • You had no household employees (i.e. maid, nanny, cook etc)
  • Your interest from savings accounts etc does not come to more than $1500
  • If you made tips, they’re already being reported by your employer on your W2
  • You did not file for bankruptcy
  • You are not claiming any tax credit except the EITC (see above)

Do You Qualify to Use the 1040 EZ?

If you do, then you should seriously consider doing your own taxes and saving yourself a bunch of money.  This is a reason to smile.  It’s such a simple easy form they had to call it the “ee-zee” form- get it?  Don’t take your taxes to a tax store if you qualify to use the 1040EZ.  You can fill it out yourself in about ten minutes.  Do you have a Facebook page?  Well if you can figure out how to set up a Facebook page then you’re going to be just fine filling out and submitting the IRS 1040 EZ and saving your self approximately $50 to $100 dollars.  Are you smiling now?  You should be!

How to File the IRS Form 1040EZ for Free

Any tax website like TaxAct or even the IRS website will let you fill out an IRS 1040 EZ form online and they will e-file it for you for free.  Why would they do this for you?  Because you will also have to do your State income taxes and those are not free.  They’re hoping you’ll buy their online state tax return service, and since you already gave them all your data it’s a no-brainer.  You probably will, and save yourself some time by not having to fill all that boring stuff out again.