Things You'll Need
Appropriate tax form Calculator W-2's, all 1099 forms and any other income that you have All documents for deductions Social Security numbers
How to Fill out a Tax Form
Select the tax form that best fits your current tax situation. The federal forms are 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ. Each form has an explanation as to who should use the particular form and who should not use that form. Select the right form to begin.
Enter your personal information in the first section. This will include your name, Social Security number and address with city, state and zip code. In this section, you will also include your spouse's name and Social Security if filing jointly.
Write in your filing status and exemptions in sections two and three. These two sections are self-explanatory. Make sure that if you are claiming dependents, you have their Social Security numbers available. Total your exemptions on line 6d.
Enter all of your income in the next section called income. This includes wages, tips and salaries reported on W-2 forms and all 1099 forms. You will need the instruction booklet to see what is taxable and what amount is not for the pensions, IRA distributions and capital gains. On line 21, you can enter any income that you made but is not reported on a W-2 or 1099 form. You will also have to list the income type and the amount. For instance, a freelance writer who had private clients would write "freelance writing."
Adjusted gross income is the next section to fill out. This section is where you will claim any qualified moving expenses, educator expenses or some business expenses for certain professions. You can also include any health savings, half of your self-employment tax and alimony paid (you will need the receiver's Social Security number for this). There are other adjustments listed. You can fill in the ones that pertain to your situation.
Move to the next section called tax and
credits. In this section, you will enter the amount of taxes you owe on the taxable income on line 43. Look at the tax table in the instruction booklet and find your tax liability for the amount on line 43 and enter it on line 44. In this section, you can also enter your itemized deductions or a standard deduction and the amount for your exemptions. If you have childcare expenses, education credits and any other credits, you will fill the appropriate amounts. Follow the instruction for each line and fill out any additional forms you need, which can be found in the instruction booklet or online.
Report any other taxes in the next section. This section is self-explanatory. If you are filing self-employment taxes, they will go in this section, but you must fill out Schedule SE before entering the amount.
Add the lines together as instructed and move to the next section titled payments. This section will instruct you to enter your federal tax withheld on your W-2's and 1099 forms. You can also see if you qualify for the EIC. Fill in any amounts that pertain to your situation. Total your payments on line 71.
Find out if you owe money or get a refund in the next two sections. Follow the instructions for subtracting the payments from the income to determine if you have to pay the IRS or if they will send you a refund. If you get a refund, you can enter your bank routing number and account number to have your money placed directly in your bank account.
Sign, date and enter your occupation in the last section. If you are filing with a spouse, this person must also sign, date and enter his or her occupation. Then you can place the forms and any required documents in an envelope and mail to the IRS. The instruction booklet will tell you where to send your return. Look for your state and use that mailing address.