How to Fill Out a 1040 Form — Step-by-Step Instruction

IRS 1040 Form is a tax report that you need to file annually to calculate and pay your federal income taxes. Though financial and tax situations may differ from one citizen to another, filing it is mandatory for almost everyone.

Our extensive guide will show you how to fill out this form correctly, e-sign it, and where to send 1040. And the best part is you can do it all online and free of charge.

What Is IRS 1040 Form

The 1040 Form is also known as the U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Form. Every American citizen who has a certain form of income has to file it annually. Unemployed people are exempt from this obligation.

Previously, this form existed in three incarnations that covered various tax situations:

  • 1040-A,
  • 1040-EZ,
  • Standard 1040.

Luckily, the tax return form has been unified since 2018. The only exception is the 1040-SR form designed for senior citizens.

So, why do you need to file it exactly? This form determines two important factors:

a) How much you will owe the government;
b) How much of a tax refund you can claim later.

If you experience any problems with how to get the 1040 tax form, there is an article on the topic right here.

How to Fill out a 1040 Form

Now, let’s see how to fill out the 1040 form. The tax document will request the following info from you:

  • Your identity. The first section of the form basically asks who you are: full name, address, social security number (SSN), marital and filing status, number of dependents, etc.
  • Taxable income. In the next section, you provide info on your revenue and also deductions that you want to claim later. This helps to calculate how much you will pay the IRS according to the standard tax brackets: from 10% to 37%.
  • Tax liability. In the final section, you need to specify your current income tax status. This implies the taxes you may have already paid from your salary, paychecks, side gigs, and other revenue sources during the year.

At that point, you can learn whether your already-paid taxes cover the necessary sum according to your tax brackets. If you still owe some, you will have to pay the rest upon filing the 1040 Form.

In case you’ve overpaid — this may happen by accident — you can request a tax refund. There’s a section in 1040 Form, in which you tell the IRS where they can send your money.

As you can see, there’s quite a lot to fill. This is why it’s recommended to use a simple and flexible tool like PDFLiner. It allows you to easily edit and correct any possible mistakes online in a snap.

You won’t need any 3d party soft, there are all sorts of fillable forms and collaboration tools. The service is free to use unless you want to subscribe for more advanced options.

How to Find Income Tax on 1040

In case you’re wondering how to find income tax on 1040, here’s a quick instruction:

  1. In lines 1-7, specify your income info.
  2. If you’re an employer who pays at least $600 of remuneration annually, you also need to attach W-2 to 1040.
  3. Next, you should provide info on all the sources of revenue and income including dividends, annuities, pensions, and benefits.
  4. After that, you need to calculate your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).

Calculating AGI is fairly simple. Once you figure out the overall money amount you get from all your revenue sources — it’s called gross income — you need to deduct such expenses like Alimony payments, Retirement account contributions, Student loan interest, etc.

The remaining sum is what you should pay. Note: some deductions have recently lost their force. For instance, college tuition fees cannot be used to calculate AGI.

How to Sign a 1040 Form

Upon completing the form online, you also need to e-sign it. This is necessary to authorize it — in other words, to give it legal document status so that the IRS can work with it.

Luckily, PDFLiner lets you get your own signature in just three simple steps:

  1. Click on the Sign Field ;
2. Click the red Add New Signature button;
3. Choose how you want to add your signature: draw, upload, or capture it.
Congratulations — now you have your own e-signature! You can e-sign 1040 or any other document and give it legal force.

Besides, you can share the signed documents on PDFLiner with other people and make your workflow more organized and faster. If you specifically want to know how to sign the 1040 form, see this article.

How to File a 1040 Form

And once the job is done, you can file 1040 online. The IRS admits the digital forms 24/7, so you don’t need to stress about the opening and closing times of your local post office.

The deadline for filing tax forms in 2021 is May 17. However, if you experience certain problems, you can get a postponement until October 15. To do that, you need to file the 4868 Form. But don’t forget: this request doesn't set you free from delay penalties.

There are two options to file a tax form via the IRS. They are based on your adjusted gross income: below or above $72,000. Visit this section of the IRS website to choose the most suitable filing option for you


This section with the relevant questions about the 1040 form might be useful if you still feel uncertain about filling it out. 
Can I fill out 1040 online?
Yes. In fact, the IRS suggests that you choose online filing due to staff problems. It can take a few weeks to process a form mailed by the post old-fashioned way.
What line is AGI on 1040?
This stands for Adjusted Gross Income. In other words, your overall income with certain expenses being deducted. They include educator expenses (including Covid-19 protection), self-employed health insurance, and so on.
Who must file 1040?
Basically, every working person in the US: employees, freelancers, contractors, investors, and so forth. If you earn at least $400, you have to file this form.
How to find income tax on 1040?
Simply subtract line 46 from line 56 and enter the total. 
What is line 8b on your tax return?
This line helps you determine your AGI.
What is the minimum income for 1040?
For the most part, it depends on: a) your age; b) filing status. For instance, if you’re single and younger than 65, your minimum income threshold is $12,400. 

If you’re married, and you file the taxes jointly and both are under the age of 65, the minimum tax threshold is $24,800, and so on. As you can see, it depends on your individual situation. 
What is the minimum income for 1040?
This will cause unpleasant consequences. At first, simple penalties and interest will follow, increasing your tax due by the maximum of 25%. 

Also, the ASFR program will come into play after some time. That means that all of your income will be taken into account, but at the same time, the deductions you can be entitled to will be ignored for the most part.

Besides, you will lose the right to claim a tax refund — by procrastinating, you will simply run out of time to claim the money that the government owes you. And don’t forget about tax evasion, which may result in a prison sentence.
Printable Blank 1040 Form
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