What federal forms do you need?
Most students will need:
1040EZ: This is the easiest tax form. You will use it if you match all these criteria:
- You made less than $100,000.
- You are not self-employed.
- Your interest income was $1,500 or less.
- You don't claim any dependents.
- W-2: You should already have this form, one from each employer if you had more than one. If not, better check—your employer should have mailed it to you by the end of January. The W-2 states how much your employer withheld for state and federal taxes, and other deductions, if any.
- 1099-INT: This is a form that your financial institution will send you if you earned interest or dividends on any accounts. Use it to report your interest income.
Can't use the 1040EZ?Save money and time; use the simplest form.
If you can't use Form 1040EZ, you may be able to use:
Form 1040A: This form is a little longer than 1040EZ.
- If you file form 1040A and your interest income was more than $1,500, you must also file Schedule B.
Form 1040: Known as the long form, you use this form you use if you can't use Form 1040EZ or 1040A.
Your tax records can be used by identity thieves.
Completing form 1040EZ
What are your sources of taxable income?
- Job: The most obvious source is your regular job. If you earned cash from babysitting or mowing lawns you have to report it as income. And if you earned $400 or more for self-employment, you must report this income to the IRS and pay self-employment taxes.
- A paper route: If you had a paper route, determine whether you were an employee of the newspaper or an independent contractor.
- Scholarships: For college students, parts of a scholarship award may be taxable—the money you use for room and board, but not for tuition and books.
- Other: This is different from self-employment income. Examples of other income include prize money won in a lucky number drawing, television quiz program, beauty contest, or other event. It is best to ask a tax expert for help on this question.
Now let's get that refund fast...