Filing your own taxes does not have to be scary. One of the most important steps to filing your own taxes is collecting the proper forms. The basic forms will be mailed to you by the Internal Revenue Service and any company from which you earned income (interest income from the bank, employers, etc). Any other necessary forms can be downloaded and printed from the IRS website.
The basic tax return is called the 1040. There are modified versions called the 1040-EZ and the 1040A which are better suited for individuals who have very basic income to report. In addition, you will receive W-2s and 1099s in the mail for any income earned throughout the year.
An individual who would like to itemize deductions rather than taking the standard deduction needs to file a Schedule A. There is a line on the form for each type of deduction allowable. This schedule is normally mailed with the 1040.
Interest Income and Dividends
Interest income and dividends are reported on the Schedule B. Schedule B is found on the back of Schedule A.
Anyone who has earned self employment income will need to fill out both the schedule C and SE. Schedule C reports the self employment income and schedule SE calculates the self-employment tax.
Capital gains and losses are reported on the Schedule D. This schedule has separate sections for long term and short term gains.
As you go through each line of the 1040, it clearly states what other forms are connected to that line of the form. As you work through each line, you will need to fill out any other forms that apply to your specific situation.
R.J. Bowman has a Bachelor's degree in accounting with a minor in English from Pensacola Christian College. After college, she taught English to seventh graders until becoming a mom. At that time, she found freelance writing to be a great way to keep her writing skills sharp.