IRS Form 1040 – U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Who must file:
A Green card holder, a US citizen or any person considered a resident for tax purposes need to file an Income Tax return – 1040 by April 15, 2020. An extension of 6 months is available just on filing of Form 4868. So, technically, 1040 can also be filed by October 15, 2020.
How to file:
The tax return can be filed with SSN or ITIN (Income Tax Identification Number).
Filing Status:
Filing status is important for exemptions and deductions that are significantly based on the filing status one who choose. MFJ (Married Filing Jointly) is recommended than MFS (Married filing separately) unless the spouse is a non-resident for tax purposes (e.g. recently married and migrated) having major income out of USA.
Important Deductions:
1. Student loan interest deduction
2. Self-employment tax deduction
3. Deduction for contributing to Health Savings Account
4. Deduction for contribution to IRA
5. Educator Expense deduction
6. Standard or Itemized Deduction
Important Credits:
A. Non-Refundable:
1. Child tax credit for being a parent
2. Child and dependent care credit for daycare and similar costs

B. Refundable:

1. Earned Income Credit for people below certain adjusted gross incomes
2. American Opportunity Credit for College education costs
3. The net premium tax credit
4. Health coverage tax credit
Checklist to fill out Form 1040:

  1. Social Security Numbers for you, your spouse and any dependents
  2. Dates of birth for you, your spouse and any dependents
  3. Statements of wages earned (for example W-2 and 1099s).
  4. Statements of interest or dividends from banks, brokerages.
  5. Proof of any tax credits or tax deductions.
  6. A copy of your past tax return.
  7. Your bank account number and routing number (for direct deposit of any refund)

Which Form 1040 Schedules I use:                                                                                 
Schedule 1

File this if you had any of these:

  • Business or Farm Income or loss
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Prize or award money
  • Gambling winnings

Have any of deductions to claim:

  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Self-employment tax
  • Educator expenses

Schedule 2
File this if you owe any of these:

  • AMT
  • Make an excess advance premium tax credit repayment.
  • Self-employment tax
  • Household employment taxes
  • Additional tax on IRAs or other Qualifi­ed retirement plans
  • Tax-favored accounts

Schedule 3
File this if you claim credit any of these:

  • Foreign tax credit
  • Credit for child and dependent care expenses
  • Education credits
  • Retirement savings contributions credit
  • Residential energy credit
  • General business credit