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Form 1040 Vs. Form 1040A

Form 1040 Function

Form 1040 tax returns allow taxpayers to report capital losses and gains and IRA distribution taxes in addition to claiming tax credits for things like educational expenses and retirement contributions. Form 1040 also allows taxpayers to itemize deductions such as health-care expenses and mortgage interest.

Form 1040A Function

Form 1040A tax returns allow taxpayers to report standard income such as wages, unemployment compensation and interest or dividend income. Taxpayers can also claim educational expense and child tax credits, but people using this form to file federal tax returns can not itemize deductions and can only claim standard deduction amounts for the filing tax year.


Self-employed taxpayers can use Form 1040 to report income and tax liability through Schedule C. Taxpayers using Form 1040A must not have taxable income that exceeds $100,000, according to the 2009 rules established by the IRS.

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