This is a quick overview of the IRS 1040 personal income tax form and is referenced from the IRS website. Remember to refer to a professional if you have any pressing questions regarding how to fill out your income tax return.
Bear in mind this is for tax year 2008, which means it applies to the 1040 Form you will be using (assuming you file on time) between January and April 15, 2009.
Just about everyone can use the Form 1040 to report their income, to claim various deductions and credits, and to calculate their tax. Some individuals may benefit by being able to use the shorter Form 1040-EZ or Form 1040A, which can help reduce the amount of time you spend in preparing your tax return.
What's New for 2008
For most people, preparing Form 1040 for tax year 2008 was similar to last 2007's tax return. However, there are some important changes in the tax law affecting many people in America. Here are some of the highlights.
Recovery Rebate Credit: There was a one-time credit for you if you did not receive the economic stimulus rebate in 2008, or if your rebate would have been higher when calculated using your 2008 information.
Additional Standard Deduction for Property Taxes: Homeowners who did not itemize can take off an additional standard deduction of $500 (or $1,000 for married couples filing jointly) for property taxes paid in 2008. This is only a one-time only deduction.
Mortgage insurance premiums may be deductible: The deduction for mortgage insurance premiums has been extended through the year 2010. And prepaid premiums may also qualify to be deducted over time as well.
The new guidelines for filing 1040 tax returns will be available soon and you will be able to find all the information you need on the IRS website www.irs.gov and search for form 1040. there are sure to be changes from last year that will affect many people who will be filling income tax returns in early 2010.
One thing to look for will be additional stimulus rebates if the current economic climate continues and make sure that you look over your tax return one last time before sending it off to the IRS, either electronically or by mail.