Most Common Tax Forms

Form 5329 Filing Instructions

For many people, tax season is a time of stress and confusion. With so many different forms and deadlines, it can be difficult to keep everything straight. It may leave you wondering what tax forms do I need? However, understanding the basics of the most common tax forms can help to make the process a little less daunting. If you’re like most people, when it comes to filling out your income tax forms you can feel overwhelmed. However, it doesn’t have to be. One of the best ways to ease your anxiety is to stay organized throughout the year.

Here are a few tips to help you get organized to get your taxes done with as little stress as possible. By the way, if you don’t have the time to create your own tax filing system a quick Internet search will reveal a variety of tax organizing systems. I would suggest considering the color-coded approach to make things even easier.

First, gather all your tax forms, including any W-2 forms from your employer, 1099 forms from any freelance work, and other relevant documents. Once you have all your records, check them over to ensure they’re all complete. If you’re missing any information, contact the appropriate people to get the missing data.

Next, organize your records by date. Doing so will make finding the information you need to fill out your tax return easier. You can use a simple filing system or an electronic database to keep track of your records.

Finally, make sure you keep your records in a safe place. This way, you’ll be able to find them easily when it’s time to file your taxes next year. Organizing your tax records may seem tedious, but it’s worth it. By taking the time to get organized now, you’ll be able to get your taxes done quickly and hopefully painlessly.

Tax planning is the process of organizing your financial affairs to minimize your tax liability. Of course, every person’s financial situation is different, so it’s always best to consult with a professional tax advisor. When you anticipate that it will become necessary to file a more complex tax return, finding a professional tax planner who can guide you through the process is a good investment. A knowledgeable tax planner will more than offset their fees by finding you additional deductions and write-offs that you may not know about. Also, do not hesitate to take advantage of any deductions or credits you feel you are eligible to do so. Remember that you must keep good records to support any deductions you claim. There’s no sense in paying more taxes than you have to!

The most common types of tax forms:

While it may seem a daunting task, tax planning can be pretty straightforward. You can save yourself a significant amount of money by understanding the various tax forms and knowing which deductions and credits you’re qualified to claim.

Form Number Form Name Description
W-2 Wage & Tax Statement Total wages & taxes withheld
1099-MISC Miscellaneous Income Income not earned from your employment
1099-G Government Payments Payments you received from the government during the year, including unemployment benefits and state or local tax refunds
1099-INT Interest Income Used to report interest income earned on savings accounts, bonds, and other investments.
1098 Mortgage Interest Statement Used to report interest that has been paid on a mortgage.

W-2 (Wage & Tax Statement)

Download W-2 from the IRS website

The W-2, or Wage and Tax Statement, is one of the more significant tax forms. It contains the year’s amounts for an individual’s wages and taxes withheld from their paychecks. Every employer must provide their employees with a W-2 form by January 31st. You will need to provide your W-2 form when filing your federal and state income tax return. The W-2 form will also show how much you paid in FICA taxes. FICA  includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. These taxes are deducted from your paycheck and are used to fund these government programs. If you have any questions about the W-2 form, you should contact your employer or the IRS.

FORM 1099-MISC (Miscellaneous Income)

Download form 1099-MISC from the IRS website

One of the forms you may encounter is the 1099-MISC. As the name implies, this form reports miscellaneous income you receive that is not income earned from your job. Examples might include income from freelancing, contract work, royalties, and more. For example, John made $845 during the previous year for some freelancing work. Since this amount is over the threshold of $600, the company must send out a 1099-MISC. It is important for taxpayers who receive this form to understand how the income reported on the 1099-MISC will impact their taxes. Careful record-keeping and seeking professional help, if needed, can go a long way in making tax season a little less stressful.

FORM 1099-G (Government Payments)

Download form 1099-G from the IRS website

Another tax form you may need to file is Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments. This form reports any payments you received from the government during the year, including unemployment benefits and state or local tax refunds. It’s important to note that these payments are taxable, so you’ll need to include them in your total income when you file your taxes. Be sure to keep track of any Form 1099-G you receive so you can accurately report your income come tax time.

1099-INT (Interest Income)

Download form 1099-INT from the IRS website

The 1099-INT is a tax form that reports interest income. This form would include interest earned on savings accounts, bonds, and other investments. Banks and investment firms typically issue the 1099-INT. The taxpayer uses the information on the form to report their interest income on their tax return. For example, if you receive interest income, the payer is not required to withhold taxes from your payment. As a result, you will need to report this income on your tax return.

FORM 1098 (Mortgage Interest Statement)

Download form 1098 from the IRS website

The IRS Form 1098, also known as the Mortgage Interest Statement, reports the annual total of interest paid on a mortgage. The lender sends this form to the taxpayer at the end of the year. The information reported on Form 1098 is the basis for claiming a tax deduction for mortgage interest. For example, if you paid $1,000 in mortgage interest during the year, you would enter this amount on your tax return. The mortgage interest deduction can save you money at tax time, so it’s essential to keep track of your Form 1098 if you have a mortgage.

Most Common Types of Different Tax Return Forms:

Form Number Description
1040EZ The 1040EZ is the most basic of the three most common tax forms. It’s intended for taxpayers with few deductions.
1040A This form is for people with relatively simple tax situations. Who only have wages, interest, and dividend income.
1040-SR Designed specifically for taxpayers who are 65 or older
1040 You are required to file a 1040 if you are claiming any deductions or credits

1040EZ

The 1040EZ is the most basic of the three most common tax forms. It’s intended for taxpayers with straightforward tax situations.

Examples of who can use the 1040EZ include:

  • Single and joint filers with no dependents who only have wage income, interest income, and unemployment compensation
  • Single and joint filers with no dependents who only have wage income, interest income, unemployment compensation, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
  • Taxpayers who didn’t claim any deductions or credits other than the Earned Income Credit (EIC)

If you think you might be able to use the 1040EZ, double-check the instructions to make sure you meet all the requirements. Even if you meet them, you might still want to consider using a different form. The 1040EZ does not allow for any deductions or adjustments, so you might pay more in taxes than you need to. All in all, it’s always best to explore your options before settling on a tax form.

1040A

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to file a few different tax forms. The 1040A is one of the most common. This Form is for people with relatively simple tax situations. Examples of people who would file a 1040A include those who only have wages and salaries, interest, and dividends. You can also claim certain credits on this Form, such as the earned income credit.

If you itemize your deductions, you cannot use the 1040A. You will need to use the more complex 1040 form instead. If you’re not sure which Form is suitable for you, consult with a tax professional or look at the instructions for each Form on the IRS website.

1040-SR

The IRS released the 1040-SR Form for seniors in 2019. This Form is shorter and more straightforward than the traditional 1040, and it was created for taxpayers who are 65 or older. The Form includes larger print and fewer questions, making it easier to complete for those who may have difficulty reading small print. In addition, the Form can be filed electronically, which means that seniors can prepare and file their taxes without having to go to a tax preparer or use paper forms.

1040

Download form 1040 from the IRS website

1040 is the standard Form used by individuals to file their federal income taxes. You must file a 1040 if you are claiming any deductions or credits, such as the earned income tax credit. If you are not sure whether you need to file a 1040, you can visit the IRS’s online tool to help determine if you are required to do so? www.irs.gov/help/ita/do-i-need-to-file-a-tax-return. The IRS website also has many examples of tax forms that you will find helpful.

The Form is divided into six sections, each covering a different aspect of your taxes.

  • The first section, which is labeled “Income,” is where you’ll report all of your sources of income, such as wages, interest, and dividends.
  • The second section, titled “Adjustments to Income,” includes deductions and credits that can reduce your taxable income.
  • The third section, “Tax and Credits,” is where you’ll calculate your tax liability.
  • The fourth section, “Other Taxes,” covers additional taxes that may be owed, such as self-employment tax.
  • The fifth section, “Payments,” is where you’ll report any payments made with the return, such as estimated tax payments or amounts withheld from your wages.
  • The sixth section – “Signature and Verification” – is where you’ll sign the return and provide other information to verify your identity.

Ways to Get Extra Tax Deductions

Millions of people who file their taxes themselves leave refund money on the table by not researching to see if there are any more deductions they could use to their advantage.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Charitable Donations: Always get a receipt when donating to a nonprofit charity.
  • Charitable Volunteering: If you spend money to travel to a help a charity you can add this expense to your charitable donations.
  • Medical Expenses:  You can claim a deduction for qualifying medical expenses but only for the expenses that exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
  • Tax Preparation Fees: Applies only to your personal return
  • Unreimbursed Job and Job-Related Moving Expenses: Work-related travel or you were required to move to take a new job.
  • Side Hustle: Earning some extra money on the side not only is good for your wallet it can be a powerful tool to reduce your income taxes.  This is an area of tax planning where you should definitely use the services of a tax professional.

Final Word

No one enjoys dealing with taxes, but staying organized plus a little bit of prior tax planning can save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run. By taking some time to review your tax situation and make some strategic decisions, you can minimize your tax liability and make sure you’re taking advantage of all the deductions and credits you’re entitled to. That means a larger refund comes tax time. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and that’s especially true when it comes to taxes.

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