The Ultimate Guide to Tax Forms

tax forms

When tax season arrives, there are several forms to fill out. It can get confusing if you don’t know which forms apply to you. Consult this list before you begin your taxes to prepare yourself. 

State Return

If you live in a state that has income tax, you’ll need to file a separate state income tax return in addition to the federal return. Wyoming, Washington, Texas, South Dakota, Nevada, Florida, and Alaska do not collect individual income tax. You do not have to file a state tax return if you live in one of these states.


Shows total wages, salaries, and tips paid to an employee, as well as all the earnings that were withheld for taxes throughout the year.


The form you will use to file your personal federal return. It exists in different versions, depending on your family situation and income level.

  • 1040A: If you claim dependents, make less than $100,000 in income, and you plan on taking the standard deduction, you will file with this form. It is also known as the short form. It is a shorter version of the 1040.
  • 1040-EZ: If you have no dependents, make under $100,000 in income, and are planning on taking the standard deduction, you will file with this form. It is an even simpler version of the 1040 and 1040A.
  • 1040X: If you need to file an amended return if you made an error on your previous year tax return you will need to use this form.


A schedule is an attachment to Form 1040. Some of the most commonly used schedules are:

  • Schedule C: Used to report self-employment income and expenses.
  • Schedule A: Used for itemizing your deductions.


When you start a new job, your employer will ask you to fill out this form. It requests your name, address, and either your social security number or employer identification number. The information on this form can later be used to report income on Form 1099.


Used to report types of income other than wages, salaries, and tips. There are several types of Form 1099.

  • 1099-A: Acquisition of secured property
  • 1099-B: Proceeds from broker exchange transactions
  • 1099-C: Cancellation of debt
  • 1099-DIV: Dividends
  • 1099-G: Government payments
  • 1099-H: Health insurance payments
  • 1099-INT: Interest
  • 1099-K: Merchant card and third-party network payments (Uber & Lyft drivers, for example)
  • 1099-MISC: (see below)
  • 1099-Q: Qualified education programs
  • 1099-R: IRAs, retirement plans, and pensions
  • 1099-S: Real estate income
  • 1099-MISC: Used to report miscellaneous income that does not fall into any of the categories above. Independent contractors and freelancers frequently use this form. It can also be used to report royalties and rental income.


If you can’t complete and submit your income tax return by the due date (usually April 15th), you can use this form to file an extension. You will still need to file your Form 4868 extension request and pay any taxes you owe on Tax Day, but your return won’t be due for another six months (Oct. 15th).

This article is accurate for returns filed through tax year 2017. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, some of the laws mentioned changed beginning in 2018. Learn more about the updated tax laws enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act here.

Related Posts