Tax forms or forms by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the federal tax agency of the United States, or more popular as IRS forms, are legal documents that taxpayers, whether individuals or businesses, and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S. use to report all their income and financial activities. The federal government uses the submitted forms to calculate the tax liabilities of every taxpayer.
As required by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), the IRS also issues tax forms that individuals or businesses may use to request the disclosure of any financial information from another individual or business.
The IRS issues and maintains hundreds of tax forms; currently, there are over 800 different tax forms and schedules.
A tax schedule is used when you have certain types of income or deductions, such as interest income or charitable contributions.
The IRS tax forms you will use will depend on your classification as a taxpayer, as every tax form serves a distinct purpose.
Most popular tax forms you need to know
Form 1040, U.S. Individual Tax Return
Individual taxpayers use Form 1040 to file their annual income tax returns. It assists taxpayers in calculating their taxable income to determine the amount of tax they owe to the IRS or the refund they will receive. Yearly, the IRS determines the amount of gross income individual taxpayers must have to be eligible to file Form 1040. However, if you are self-employed, meaning you work as a freelancer or independent contractor, and have net earnings of at least $400, you need to file Form 1040. All individual taxpayers, no matter their tax status need to use Form 1040. However, if you are over 65 years old, you must use Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors.
Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
Self-employed individuals use Form 1040-ES to calculate the amount of taxes they owe. In general, if you are a freelancer or independent contractor and suppose you need to pay quarterly taxes, you should use Form 1040-ES.
Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
Use Form 941 if you are an employer to report income taxes, Medicare taxes, and Social Security taxes you withheld from the income of your employees. It is filed every quarter.
Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement
The IRS requires employers to report wage and salary information, federal and state income tax, and Social Security and Medicare taxes of all their employees at the end of the year using Form W-2. Form W-2 contains several copies that are sent to specific recipients, such as the employee, the Social Security Administration (SSA), the IRS, and the state, city, or local tax department of the employee.
Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate
When you start a new job, you will need to submit an accomplished Form W-4 to your employer. Form W-4 enables employees to inform their employers of the amount of money to withhold from their paycheck. It helps you determine your standard deduction based on your wage and the number of allowances you qualify for. There are also instances when you can declare yourself exempt from withholding, depending on your eligibility. You must submit Form W-4 to your employer within the first month of your employment. Take note to determine just the right amount of tax to withhold from your paycheck. Overpayment results in a refund at the end of the year and underpayment results in penalties.
Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
Use Form W-7 to apply for a unique nine-digit Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The IRS issues ITIN to non-citizens who are not qualified to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) but need to file a federal tax return.
Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification
Companies that hire self-employed workers use Form W-9 for tax-filing purposes. If you are a business or an individual who hires independent contractors, consultants, or freelancers, you may ask them to complete Form W-9 to obtain their taxpayer information. Other situations that may require an individual to use Form W-9 include certain real estate transactions, paying student loan interest, cancellation of debt, and paying for mortgage interest.
Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income
Form 1099-MISC is used to report miscellaneous income., including awards and prizes, rent income, and royalties. In general, self-employed professionals receive Form 1099 from their clients that paid them $10 or more in royalties or $600 or more in other types of miscellaneous income during a tax year.
Form 1099-INT, Interest Income
Financial institutions, including banks, may send you a Form 1099-INT if they paid you a certain amount of interest income. It reports and records a breakdown of all types of interest income you receive at the end of a tax year.
Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return
All taxpayers may use Form 4506 to request exact copies of previously filed tax returns and tax information from the federal tax agency.
Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return
All taxpayers may use Form 4506-T to request a copy of their original tax return transcript, tax account transcript, record or account transcript, wage and income transcript, and verification of non-filing letter.
Form 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation
If your business is registered as an S Corporation, you must use Form 1120-S to report the income, losses, and dividends of each shareholder of the business. Form 1120-S helps determine tax payments or refunds due to shareholders on their personal income tax returns.
Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income
Form 1065 is used by companies that are registered as a partnership. It declares the profits, losses, credits, and deductions of a business partnership to the IRS and presents a financial status overview.
Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request
You may use Form 9465 to request a monthly installment payment plan if you cannot pay the full amount of tax you own on your tax return. You may only use Form 9465 if you have an indebted income tax, are or might be the one who is responsible for a trust fund recovery penalty, are indebted to employment taxes, and owe an individual shared responsibility payment under the Affordable Care Act.
Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
If you need more time to file your individual tax return, use Form 4868 to request an extension. Take note that filing Form 4868 does not give you extra time to pay taxes.
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