When filing your 2009 tax return, there are three different IRS tax forms you can use. Using the simplest form for your needs helps avoid expensive mistakes or processing delays so you won't have to wait to receive your refund.
Each of these forms can be filed electronically, which facilitates processing your return. You must meet the criteria to use the 1040EZ form, and a lot of people do. The form has the advantage of being shorter and less time consuming, not to mention easier to complete. Additionally, it is faster for the IRS to process an EZ form. The 1040EZ works for return filers who do not own a home, didn't attend school and don't have children or other dependents.
There is also a 1040A form, which is also shorter than the normal 1040, but allows for Retirement Contributions. Claiming retirement contributions reduces your taxes and is recommended if you have in fact made contributions. Be sure to check on the IRS website, irs.gov, in order to ensure you are using the proper form.
In order to qualify to use the 1040EZ, you must meet the following criteria: Your income is less than $100K, with interest income of no more than $1.5K; your income comes only from wages, interest, unemployment and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends; you are under 65 years old, and so is your husband or wife; neither you nor your husband or wife is blind; you have no dependents; there are no adjustments to your income; you are claiming the standard deduction; you can claim earned income credit; and you will not be claiming any other tax credits.
You cannot use the 1040EZ if: your income is more than $100K; you plan to claim itemized deductions; you have any income from being self-employed; you have sold property and are reporting that income.
You can consider using the 1040A if: your earnings are below $100K;you have capital gain distributions; you will claim other tax credits; and you will be claiming deductions for IRA contributions, student loan interest, educator expenditures or higher education expenses.