The Most Common Tax Forms for When You File 

Tax Forms:

Form 1040

Form 1040 is the main form that you send to the IRS in April. This form is where you declare your filing status, claim credits, and take your standard deductions. This determines how much you owe to the IRS. The 1040 is very comprehensive and if you have questions about how to fill it out you can check out the IRS website and use a tax website like TurboTax Freedom Edition to assist you (if you make under 76k, assistance is free). There are different types of 1040s. Some that cater to you as a single filer, joint filer, claiming a child as a dependent etc. 


The W4 form is the one you receive from your employer when you are first hired. This form is used to ascertain your withholding, basically what your employer should withhold from your paycheck to cover your federal income tax. You can update this form, like when you have a child, whenever needed. When you start a new job, you have to fill out a new W4 each time. 


This is the form that you will get from your employer by January 31 for when you file in April. The W2 is everything withheld, income tax, medicare tax, social security, from your employer that you decided on when you filled out your W4. In essence, the W2 is the result of what is filled out in the W4. The W2 should be sent in with the 1040 when you file your taxes.

Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income

The 1099-MISC is essential to fill out if you make money outside of employment, like selling clothes online. When you earn above $600 outside of employment, you have to file this tax form with all that you’ve earned. Because there isn’t an employer to withhold your taxes, you must save the money on your own to pay by the mid-April deadline. This form should be attached to your 1040 when you file.

Schedule SE

This form is for individuals who are self-employed. This form is where you determine your income tax and self-employment tax (Medicare and social security) that are not automatically withheld from your earnings. This form should also be included when you file your 1040.

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