Federal tax form 1040, and its variants, is used by all United States citizens, residents, and nonresident aliens to report their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on an annual basis. Most Americans with any income at all are required to file this form every year, and while many people receive refunds based on the amount of their wages that were withheld during the year, many others find themselves owing taxes to the federal government.
The overall tax process in the United States is extremely complex, with the IRS receiving information on each tax payer from multiple sources and then comparing them to identify discrepancies and problems. Therefore, as a general rule, most people filing federal tax form 1040 need a number of other tax forms from various sources in order to fill out their return properly.
Depending on the type of income you receive, or the types of financial outlays you have made (many of which may be deductible from your income taxes), a wide range of forms may be required to properly fill out the 1040 and avoid any conflicting information that is likely to warrant closer investigation – an audit – by the IRS.
One of the key forms used to properly fill out the federal tax form 1040 is the W-2 form. This form is issued to employees once a year by employers and records the amount of money the employee made (wages or salary), the amount of withholding held by the employer and sent to the IRS, as well as employer contributions to various tax structures like a health savings account (HSA). Since most people that earn income do so through working for another person or company, for most Americans their W-2 is absolutely essential for filing their annual tax return.
Most of the 1098 series of forms, issued by various institutions, is also used for reporting on the federal tax form 1040 or its appended schedules. The basic 1098 reports on the amount of interest the individual paid on their home mortgage loan and is reported on the 1040’s Schedule A while other information from the basic 1098 is reported on Line 21 of the 1040.
The 1098E and 1098T forms report on student loan interest paid and qualified tuition and related expenses and is reported directly on the 1040 in Lines 33 and 34. The 1098C relates to motor vehicles and is reported on Schedule A of the 1040.
The 1099 series of tax forms is exhaustive and reports on all kinds of income derived from sources other than wages, salary, or tips. Covering every type of investment imaginable, there are fourteen different types of 1099 form that are directly tied to different aspects of properly filling out federal tax form 1040.
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