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Form 1040-EZ Tax Basics

An Overview of Form 1040EZ for Year 2004

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These instructions apply to the tax year 2004 only. Click here for the 2005 Form 1040EZ instructions.

What's New for 2004

  • More people can file using Form 1040EZ.
  • You can use Form 1040EZ if you earn less than $100,000.
  • In the past, you had to earn less than $50,000 to use 1040EZ.

What's Coming for 2005

  • More people will be eligible for the Earned Income Credit
  • The maximum amount of earned income will increase by $2,000 for joint filers.
  • Income range for EIC (joint filers) will be $14,490 or less
  • Income range for EIC (single filers) will remain the same: $11,490 or less.

You Qualify to Use the 1040-EZ if:

  • Your total income is under $100,000
  • Your interest income is under $1,500
  • You have income only from wages, interest, unemployment compensation, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
  • You and your spouse are under 65 years old
  • You do not have any adjustments to income
  • You are claiming only the standard deduction
  • You may claim the Earned Income Credit
  • You are not claiming any other tax credits

Bottom Line

  • Most people qualify to use the 1040-EZ form this year.
  • It will be easier and less time-consuming for you, and
  • Faster for the IRS to process.

Getting Ready

  • Gather all your W-2 (wages), 1099-G (unemployment compensation), and 1099-INT (interest) statements.
  • Get two copies of Form 1040-EZ (you can download the form in the Adobe Acrobat or "PDF" format)—I suggest two copies so that one can be your "draft" and one your "final" copy, just in case you make mistakes or need to re-write something.
  • Get a copy of the Instructions for Form 1040-EZ (you can download the instructions in the "PDF" format).
  • Grab a calculator and a pen.

Next: Line by Line Instructions for Form 1040EZ

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