Popular IRS Tax Forms You Should Know About:

Below is a list of some of the IRS tax forms that individuals may need and a brief definition of what they are used for. From the IRS 1040EZ to the IRS 1040A, there are many to navigate as an e-filer. While this represents just a small number of the forms the IRS may require from a taxpayer these are ones you are most likely to encounter.

Different IRS Forms

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This is the standard form that is used by individual taxpayers to report their taxable income for the year in accordance with filing a US tax return with the IRS. Requires information on income, usually in the form of W-2 and 1099 earnings but also dividends/interest, capital gains, and retirement distributions. Any deductions claimed or credits earned may also be reported on this document. (See the 1040 Form for 2017)


A simplified version of the 1040 designed for those taxpayers who do not plan to itemize their deductions. Taxpayers must earn less than $100,000 in taxable income, claim a limited number of credits and adjustments to income, and not have an alternative minimum tax charge for exercising an incentive stock option. (See the 1040A Form for 2017)


This is the income tax form for taxpayers without dependents. It is a simplified version of the standard 1040 and 1040A. Those who earn a taxable income of less than $100,000, have no dependents, no dividend income, no retirement distributions, and do not claim any income adjustments or credits (other than the earned income credit) may use this form. More on the difference between 1040, 1040A and EZ forms. (See the 1040EZ Form for 2017)


To be used by non-resident (alien) individual taxpayers when filling a US tax return. It is available in both standard and EZ formats. Those non-residents who worked/earned wages in the US or students that received grants, scholarship, stipends or allowances for attending school in the US will likely need to file a NR or NR-EZ.


Designed to serve as an amendment to a previously filled tax return. Used to correct errors or make adjustments to taxpayer 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ documents. (See the 1040X Form for tax years 2019 or later)


Form used to accompany individual estimated tax payments made to the IRS. ES payments are made on a quarterly basis and due on April 15th, July 15th, September 15th and January 15th (with the exception of years where the 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday in which case they are due the following Monday). Depending upon the amount own the prior years tax return, estimated payments may be a requirement for the individual.


Used to file the income tax return for an estate or trust. Reports information such as income, deductions, liabilities, gains, losses, employment taxes and other data for the estate or trust. Must be used if the gross income is $600 or greater or if it has any taxable income, even if it is less than $600. Also, it must be used if a non-resident alien is the designated beneficiary.


A partnership files an annual tax return (Form 1065) to report its income, deductions, gains, losses, credits, and other items, but it does not pay income tax. Instead, it passes profits and losses through to its partners on Schedule K-1. Copies of Schedule K-1 are sent to the partners and a copy is filed with the IRS. Each partner then includes his or her share of the partnership's items on his or her own return. more


This is for individuals who paid more than $600 in mortgage interest during a tax year. The company servicing the mortgage issues it. The form includes information about prepaid interest points, the amount of interest paid during the prior year and sometimes-additional information. Although corporations, partnerships and most other types of businesses do not have to file this form for mortgage interest, a sole proprietor must use a 1098.


Designed to report income outside of ordinary wages or salary. This form is issued when income is received in excess of $600. All income reported on a 1099 should be included on the taxpayers US tax return. Variations of this form are available for many things such as sale proceeds, dividends, interest payments, contractor services and even retirement distributions.


Used to claim a tax refund on behalf of a deceased family member. Usually, a surviving spouse, executor of estate or a court-appointed representative filing a tax return or amended return for the deceased completes it. This form may also be used when requesting a tax refund check be re-issued in the surviving spouse's name.


Form to inform the IRS that a person has become a victim of identity theft, and a social security number has been compromised. This theft affidavit alerts the IRS that current and future tax returns may be compromised so that a specific account can be marked to review activity.


Anyone wishing to grant a third party the ability to appear on his or her behalf before the IRS can use this form. It serves as a power of attorney/representative. Up to three people can be appointed on behalf of a taxpayer who can also use this to revoke the power of a previously appointed representative. All selected representatives must sign the form before filling.


There are two versions of this form, the 433-A for individuals and B for businesses. Both are used to make an offer in compromise, which is an offer to settle a tax debt for less than the full amount owed. With this, the IRS will typically consider circumstances such as income, ability to pay, asset equity, and expenses. The form cannot be used in the case of an open bankruptcy.


This is a request for a transcript of a tax return. It is often used to evaluate and verify a person's credit worthiness, especially when applying for a mortgage. It certifies claimed income on a loan application matches income on a tax return. In other words, this is used as quality control by financial institutions to prevent loans being issued based on inaccurate information.


This is an application for a six-month extension to file an individual tax return. Must be filed by the April 15th tax deadline and should include the total estimated tax liability. This form does not extend the time a person has to pay his or her taxes just the filling of the return.


The law limits the amount of money that can be contributed and withdrawn from tax deferred accounts and certain tax advantaged accounts. This should be filed whenever a person contributes too much money, withdraws too little/much, or withdraws funds for a purpose that does not conform to the type of plan (e.g. retirement, medical bills, etc).


Used by trustees or custodians of IRA (individual retirement account) plans and various MSA and HAS plans to report annual contributions. Plan participants will receive this form from the plan by May 31 of the tax year following the contribution. The custodian also files the form with the IRS, so the plan participant simply needs to retain this copy for future verification if needed.


Used to claim government issued energy tax credits. Such as, energy efficient windows, doors, insulation, roofing as well as Energy Star appliances. The form must include the costs associated with the improvements, installation dates, etc.


Individuals who gave more than $500 in non-cash charitable contributions during the tax year must use this to report information about these donations. This includes donated vehicles, household goods and other items.


This is used by a parent who is filing their taxes separately from the custodial parent. This releases them from the right to claim the dependent(s) on their tax return. The form is attached to the non-custodial parent's tax return. With this you can designate the years in which the taxpayer is releasing their claim to this exemption. It can also be used to revoke a previously released right to claim.


Reports nondeductible IRA (individual retirement account) contributions and conversions from a traditional IRAs to a Roth. It is also used to report distributions from traditional, SIMPLE, or SEP IRAs if there have ever been nondeductible contributions made.


A taxpayer can use this form to instruct the IRS that a lender or other entity is able to access specified tax-related documents. This filling includes the name of the organization being authorized to receive this information, their address, and the tax information that is being released.


A taxpayer change or address form. Needs to be filled out and submitted any time there is a change to a home address. Should be transmitted to the IRS prior to receiving an anticipated refund checks or critical correspondence.


This is a specific form for reporting adjustments to income from a Medical Savings Account (MSA.)


Used to calculate and claim the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning tax credits for qualified education expenses. The attending college/university should send a 1098-T each year to anyone who pays tuition; this can be used to complete the 8863 accurately.


The authorization required for a taxpayer's electronic return to be filed through a tax preparer (electronic return originator). This is necessary whenever permission is given to generate a filing PIN or transmit IRS tax forms electronically.


A credit for contributions to qualified retirement savings vehicles. This is used by taxpayers to reduce the amount of income tax they owe based on contributions to a qualified retirement plan. In order to complete this for a particular tax year, taxpayers will need to know how much they and their spouses contributed to an IRA, 401k or 403b plan via elective deferral, as well as the distributions they have received from one of the aforementioned plans during the year.


Used to report contributions to HSAs (health savings accounts). Anyone who made contributions to their plan or received employer contributions and wishes to deduct these from his or her income taxes must complete this form. Anyone who receives distributions from their plan or inherits an HSA, as a beneficiary after the death of the account holder, must also file.


Anyone claiming a tuition and fees deduction must complete this with their 1040. This deduction may be up to $4,000. To qualify the taxpayer, spouse, or dependent must be a student with allowed educational expenses. These include tuition payments, fees associated with enrollment or attendance at a qualifying post-secondary facility.


To be completed when reporting capital gains or losses on one's tax return. Reports income from gains as well as capital losses so that the correct tax is paid/deduction taken. With this it is important to identify the date of acquisition as well as sales date to determine if the transaction is a long-term or short-term gain/loss.


To be filed with an income tax return in order to determine the premium tax credit that may be due for the purchase of a qualified health insurance plan. To qualify for the credit, taxpayers must have a modified adjusted gross income that falls within a certain range and must not be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance.


Anyone who did not maintain health care coverage for the entire year must complete an 8965. This is used to calculate a shared responsibility amount for households that did not have coverage or an exemption for part of the tax year. If a coverage exemption or Marketplace granted exemption was received it can also be reported on this form.


If a taxpayer owes a debt that is canceled or forgiven, it is possible that the canceled amount is taxable. When this is the case the amount of debt that has been forgiven should be added to the taxpayer's reported income. However, in some cases, such as mortgage debt relief under restructuring agreements or in the case of a foreclosure, taxpayers may exclude some of or the entire forgiven amount. In this case, a form 982 should be completed to determine the amount of the forgiven debt that can be exclude from their gross income.


This is an installment agreement request. It is used to ask the IRS to set up a monthly installment plan when a person is not able to submit the full amount of taxes own. This form may be filed electronically with a tax return or filed separately using this form. It is important to note the IRS does imposes fees for using this type of agreement and charges interest for all balances not paid in full by their respective due date.

Schedule A

Used for itemized deductions. An individual taxpayer can either use the standard deduction or itemize deductions. Expenses qualifying as itemized deductions include unreimbursed medical and dental expenses, mortgage interest, state and local taxes paid, and charitable donations.

Schedule B

Interest and ordinary dividends are reported on this schedule if the taxpayer had over $1,500 of taxable interest or ordinary dividends and in a number of other situations, such as having accrued interest from a bond or reporting original issue discount in an amount less than the amount shown on Form 1099-OID.

Schedule C

A taxpayer uses this schedule to report income or loss from a business in which the taxpayer operated as a sole proprietor. It is also used for:

  • Wages and expenses the taxpayer had as a statutory employee
  • Income and deductions of certain qualified joint ventures
  • Certain income shown on Form 1099-MISC
Small businesses and statutory employees with business expenses of $5,000 or less may be able to file Schedule C-EZ instead.

Schedule D

Should be used to report capital gains and losses, specifically:

  • The sale or exchange of a capital asset not reported on another form or schedule
  • Gains from involuntary conversions (other than from casualty or theft) of capital assets not held for business or profit
  • Capital gain distributions not reported directly on Form 1040
  • Nonbusiness bad debts
More on filing a Schedule D with your 1040 can be found, here.

Schedule E

A taxpayer should use to report income or loss from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, estates, trusts, and residual interests in Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMICs).

Schedule EIC

Used to provide the IRS the taxpayer’s “qualifying child” information if the taxpayer is claiming the earned income credit. The schedule is completed only if the taxpayer has a qualifying child.

Schedule F

Used to report farm income and expenses.

Schedule K-1

Used by Partnerships and S Corporations that pass income and deductions on to its partners or shareholders rather paying/claiming them by the entity. Each partner or shareholder then pays/claims their share of the entity’s income and deductions on his or her own return.

Schedule SE

A taxpayer uses this schedule to determine the tax due on net earnings from self-employment.


This is the application for a social security card. The same form is used whether the applicant is applying for a replacement card, changing or correcting information (such as a name change), or receiving a card for the first time. This can be completed online through the Administration's web site, or using this form.


A W-2 is an IRS form known as the Wage and Tax Statement. It is used to report wages and the federal income taxes withheld from those wages from the previous year to both the employee and the IRS. The employer is required to mail the form to each employee at the end of the year. The employee uses that form to report income to the IRS for tax purposes.

If you are missing your W-2 form, there are two ways to receive another copy. First, contact the employer that issued or should have issued a W-2 to you, and request another copy of the form. If they are unable to provide it, you must contact the IRS directly to get a copy of your form. You will need to provide information such as the name of your employer, your Social Security number, your contact information and other facts that the IRS requests. Note that if you do not receive your form, you are not exempted from filing a tax return for the year in question.


A W-4 is a tax form individuals fill out when they begin work with a company. This form is used by employees to let their employer know how much income tax should be withheld from their paycheck each pay period. Employees must fill out a W-4 form to initiate tax withholding or to change the amount of pay they want withheld each period. Employees indicate the amount they withheld by stating their tax exemptions, a dollar amount they want withheld or a combination of the two.


This form is a request for taxpayer identification number either as a social security number or an employer identification number. This is typically provided by businesses to contractors so that the business may files the appropriate tax documentation (e.g. 1099) at the end of the year. It consists of the taxpayers name, address, identification number and signature.

This is a brief description of many of the IRS tax forms you may encounter; here there are hundreds of forms not covered here. For more information on these, please visit http://taxmap.ntis.gov/taxmap/.

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