While the Internal Revenue Service of the United States does offer a few different forms for you to use when submitting your tax returns, IRS Form 1040A is a very common choice because it meets a middle ground that the other tax forms do not, thus making it very applicable to a wide variety of taxation situations. While it is not as totally simple as IRS Form 1040EZ, the 1040A is still called “the short form” due to its manageable size of only two pages.
However, it should still be noted that there are circumstances that are not covered by the 1040A form and so you should go ahead and use IRS Form 1040 if you are uncertain about which form to use. The best advice will always come from a qualified tax preparation service or expert, but learning about this particular tax form can help you save time by making sure you are eligible to use it before you begin filling it out this year. There are few things worse than completing and sending in your taxes only to have the IRS reject your form because you did not select the correct one for your circumstances.
Some important things to keep in mind for this form are that you need to be earning less than $100,000 in a single year from the following sources only: compensation for unemployment, income from interest or dividends, Social Security income, IRA distributions, grants or scholarships that are taxable, pension income, capital gains distributions, annuities, and, of course, wages from employment. Interest you have paid on student loans and higher education fees or tuition are both eligible adjustments to income that you can use on IRS Form 1040A, but not on the 1040EZ and this makes 1040A a great choice for many students with fairly straight forward sources on income and expenses.
While you will not be able to itemize every single deduction you might want to the way taxpayers who use the standard 1040 form are allowed to, you can still greatly reduce the amount of taxes you have to pay with the deductions you are allowed, plus tax credits such as credits for taking care of elderly or disabled persons, child tax credits, and the Earned Income Credit. What this boils down to is, if your situation is fairly simple and you don’t intend to go after every possible deduction then you are making things simpler for the people at the IRS and as a result, you got a simpler form to fill out.