Form 1040 is the most complex of the 3 major individual tax forms — and it offers tax breaks that aren’t available on the simpler Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A. You can report all types of income, expenses, and credits on a 1040.
If you receive these types of income, you must file a 1040:
- Self-employment income
- Tips you didn’t report to your employer
- Income you receive as a partner in a partnership, a shareholder in an S corporation or beneficiary of an estate or trust
- Insurance policy dividends totaling more than the premiums you paid
- Distributions from a foreign trust
You also must file a 1040 if any of these apply:
- You qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion.
- You qualify to exclude income from sources in Puerto Rico or American Samoa because you were a bona fide resident of either.
- You have an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) adjustment on stock acquired from exercising an incentive stock option.
- You owe excise tax on insider stock compensation from an expatriated corporation.
- You’re reporting an original issue discount (OID) amount that doesn’t match the amount on Form 1099-OID.
- You owe household employment taxes.
- You’re eligible for the health coverage tax credit.
- You’re claiming the adoption credit or you received employer-provided adoption benefits.
- You’re a debtor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed after Oct. 16, 2005.
- Your employer didn’t withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from your pay.
- You had a qualified health savings account (HSA) funding distribution from your IRA.
- You’re repaying the first-time homebuyer credit.
- You owe additional Medicare Tax or had Additional Medicare Tax withheld and must file Form 8959.
- You owe Net Investment Income Tax and must file Form 8960.
- You have adjusted gross income of more than $150,000 and must reduce the dollar amount of your exemptions.