1040 Tax Form Evolution: Everything You Need to Know for Tax Planning in 2024

1040 tax form

Since 1913, Americans have used Form 1040 to file taxes. Even with the option to file online, the form remains crucial. The 16th Amendment made income tax collection possible, solidifying the use of IRS Form 1040.

There are different versions of Form 1040 for U.S. citizens. The main two are the standard Form 1040 and the Form 1040-SR for seniors aged 65 and above. The IRS eliminated the 1040-EZ and 1040-A versions in recent years to simplify the process. The current year’s taxes are due by the April IRS deadline, with an extension until October.

All this and more coming up in the blog, providing with your essential information for your tax planning in 2024. Let’s explore the changes and understand which form suits your needs, ensuring a smooth tax filing experience.


IRS FORM 1040

Form 1040 is the regular tax form that individual taxpayers use to report their yearly income to the IRS. It helps determine if they owe additional taxes or are eligible for a tax refund.

If you’re 65 or older, you can use Form 1040-SR instead of the regular Form 1040. It features a larger print and includes a standard deduction table on the form for quick reference. Despite these changes, both forms share the same line items and instructions.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 brought changes, simplifying Form 1040 and introducing Form 1040-SR for seniors. This replaced Forms 1040EZ and 1040A.

Now let’s us understand who can fill this IRS Form 1040 

Who Can File IRS Form 1040?

Every American with income, regardless of its source, must file a tax return yearly, using the 1040 form. Depending on your employment and other factors, additional tax forms may be necessary. Whether you’re self-employed or work for someone else, report your income on Form 1040.

IRS Form 1040

The thresholds change each year based on factors like your

  • Dependent status
  • Self-employment
  • Filing status
  • Age
  • Gross income

For instance, if you’re a full-time accountant and a landlord, declare both your job and rental income. If you drive for Uber, report all your earnings, including tips. Some situations, like owing taxes on an IRA or health savings account, may also require filing. Even if not required, consider filing a 1040 – skipping it could mean missing out on a refund or other benefits.

If you’re under 65, here are the income limits. Remember, older taxpayers usually have higher thresholds. The threshold can also change based on the age of individuals in a marriage.

Tax Brackets 2024
Tax Brackets 2024

Who Can File IRS Form 1040-SR?

Form 1040-SR is for individuals aged 65 and older. To use this form for the 2023 tax return in 2024, you need to have turned 65 by the end of the tax year, born on or before Jan. 2, 1959.

Unlike Form 1040EZ, which had income limits, Form 1040-SR has no restrictions on total income. It accommodates various income sources, including wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarships, unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits, and more.

Form 1040-SR, like Form 1040, can be used whether you choose the standard deduction or itemize your deductions. With the increased standard deduction and an additional standard deduction for seniors, many people find it more beneficial to take the standard deduction.

IRS Form 1040-SR

To fill out a 1040 form, follow these steps:

  1. Provide basic information: Start by entering your personal details, tax filing status, and the number of dependents on the top of Form 1040.
  2. Calculate income: Tally up all your income and deductions to determine your taxable income. This involves summing up your earnings and subtracting eligible deductions.
  3. Determine tax liability: Write down the amount of income tax you owe on the lower part of Form 1040. Subtract any applicable tax credits and taxes already paid through withholding on your paychecks.
  4. Check for overpayment or underpayment: Evaluate whether your tax credits and withholding cover your tax bill. If you’ve overpaid, you’ll receive a tax refund. If you owe more, you may need to pay the remaining amount when filing, specifying where the IRS should send any refund.

Types of IRS Form 1040

Form 1040 comes in various types for different situations:

  1. Form 1040-NR: Nonresident aliens engaged in U.S. trade or business, representatives of deceased individuals, and those handling estates or trusts file this form.
  2. Form 1040-SS: Residents of American Samoa, CNMI, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands with net self-employment income use this form.
  3. Form 1040-PR: A Spanish-language equivalent of Form 1040-SS.
  4. Form 1040-ES: Used to calculate and pay estimated quarterly taxes for income not subject to withholding, such as self-employment, interest, dividends, rents, unemployment compensation, pension income, and taxable Social Security benefits.
  5. Form 1040-V: A statement accompanying payments for the balance on the “Amount you owe” line of Form 1040 or 1040-NR.
  6. Form 1040-X: Used to correct mistakes or add missing information on previously filed 1040 forms.
  7. Form 1040-SR: Introduced in 2019 for seniors, it features a larger font, no shading, and a standard deduction chart tailored for seniors, making it easier to fill out on paper.

Which Form 1040 Schedules You Should Use in 2024?

Form 1040 SchedulesPurposeWhen to File
Schedule 1Additional income and adjustments to incomeIf you had any of the following: Alimony income or payments, Business income (may also need Schedule C), Rental income (may also need Schedule E), Farm income, Unemployment income, Educator expenses, Deductible moving expenses, Health savings account deduction, Deductible health insurance expenses, Student loan interest, Deductible retirement contributions.
Schedule 2Additional taxesIf you owe any of the following: Alternative minimum tax, Excess advance premium tax credit repayment, Self-employment tax, Additional taxes on IRAs, retirement plans or other tax-favored accounts, Household employment taxes, Repayment of the first-time homebuyer credit, Additional Medicare tax, Net investment income tax.
Schedule 3Additional credits and paymentsIf you want to claim any of the following: Foreign tax credit, Credit for child and dependent care expenses, Education credits, Retirement savings contributions credit (the saver’s credit), Residential energy credit, General business credit.

Standard Deductions of Form 1040 & 1040-SR for 2023 and 2024

When you fill out your Form 1040, the income section considers your filing status, determining your standard deduction. Remember, you file 2023 taxes in 2024 and 2024 taxes in 2025.

For 2023:

  • Aged or Blind: $1,500 (increases to $1,850 if unmarried and not a surviving spouse).
  • Additional Standard Deduction for Seniors (65 or older):
    • Single or head of household: $1,950.
    • Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er): $1,550.

For 2024:

  • Aged or Blind: $1,550 (increases to $1,950 if unmarried and not a surviving spouse).
  • Additional Standard Deduction for Seniors (65 or older):
    • Single or head of household: $1,950.
    • Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er): $1,550.

Breaking Down the Each Section of Form 1040

  1. Income Section: In this part, you report different types of income, like your salary, interest, and dividends.
  2. Adjustments to Income: Here, you list certain deductions such as IRA contributions and student loan interest.
  3. Tax Computation: Calculate the tax you owe after making adjustments and apply for credits in this section.
  4. Deductions and Credits: Here, you can claim standard or itemized deductions and various tax credits.
  5. Refund or Amount Owed: Finally, figure out whether you’re getting a refund or need to pay additional taxes. Understanding each section is crucial to make sure you report all income and claim eligible deductions and credits.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Form 1040 

  1. Verify Social Security Numbers: Check that all Social Security Numbers are accurate to avoid complications.
  2. Double-check Calculations: Ensure there are no math errors by reviewing all calculations for accuracy.
  3. Select the Right Filing Status: Choose the appropriate filing status for your specific situation to prevent errors.
  4. Claim All Eligible Deductions/Credits: Be mindful of potential deductions and credits you qualify for to maximize your tax benefits.

Maximize Your Return with IRS 1040 Form: Uncover Available Credits and Deductions

Unlock more from your tax return by learning about the credits and deductions you can claim on the IRS 1040 form.

Credit/DeductionDescriptionEligibilityForm2023 Credit/Deduction Amount
Child Tax Credit (CTC)Provides a credit for each qualifying child under the age of 17.Taxpayers must have a qualifying child and meet income limits.Form 1040, Schedule EICUp to $2,000 per qualifying child
Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)Provides an additional credit for each qualifying child under the age of 17.Taxpayers must have earned income and meet income limits.Form 1040, Schedule EICUp to $1,600 per qualifying child
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)Taxpayers must have paid interest on qualified student loans.Provides credit for low- to moderate-income taxpayers with qualifying children.Form 1040, Schedule EICUp to $6,935 for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children
Student Loan Interest DeductionAllows taxpayers to deduct up to $2,500 of the interest paid on qualified student loans.Taxpayer must have paid interest on qualified student loans.Form 1040, Schedule 1Up to $2,500 of qualified student loan interest
Standard DeductionA standard deduction is a flat amount that taxpayers can deduct from their income, regardless of their actual expenses.All taxpayers are eligible to claim the standard deduction.Form 1040, Line 12b$12,950 for single taxpayers, $25,900 for married filing jointly, and $19,400 for head of household
Itemized DeductionsTaxpayers can itemize their deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction. This allows them to deduct certain expenses from their income, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and state and local taxes.Taxpayers must have itemized deductions that exceed the standard deduction.Form 1040, Schedule AVaries depending on the taxpayer’s specific expenses

Figuring out Taxes: State vs. Federal on Form 1040

Filing taxes can be confusing, especially when dealing with both federal and state requirements. Let’s break it dow

  • Federal Tax: This one’s for Uncle Sam. You file it using Form 1040, and the rules are the same across the whole country.
  • State Tax: This is where things get interesting. Each state sets its own rules and rates, and some states don’t even have income tax. So, the way you handle this one depends on where you call home.

Think of it like this: federal tax is like paying rent for the whole apartment building (the US), while state tax is like paying your share of the electricity bill for your apartment.

Important Key Takeaways for FORM 1040 in 2024: 

  1. Filing Your Taxes:
    • Form 1040 is your main tax form for individual income tax returns. It reports income and calculates your owed tax.
  2. Maximizing Your Refund:
    • Use tax tips and services for maximum tax savings, ensuring a larger refund or a smaller tax due.
  3. State and Federal Taxes:
    • Understand the differences between state and federal taxes. File both accurately to avoid penalties from the IRS or state.
  4. Correcting Mistakes:
    • If errors occur, use Form 1040-X to amend your return. This is crucial for the current tax year and fixing mistakes from the past two years.
  5. Professional Guidance:
    • Consult tax experts like BSE Accounting CPAs, especially if facing an IRS audit or needing help with your return.
  6. Claiming Credits:
    • Always claim eligible credits like the child tax credit and premium tax credits to reduce your tax owed.
  7. Organized Filing:
    • Keep tax documents organized and use online filing methods for convenience.
  8. Special Forms and Schedules:
    • Use additional forms or schedules based on your tax situation, such as Form 1040 schedules, Form 1040-SR, or Form 1120-C.
  9. Stay Updated:
    • Stay informed about new 1040 form versions and changes in tax laws for compliance and taking advantage of new benefits.
  10. Personalized Advice:
    • Seek professional tax advice from BSE Accounting CPAs and Tax Advisors for unique situations or complex returns.
  11. Record-Keeping:
    • Maintain records for year-round access and in case of IRS or state queries.
  12. Choosing the Right Form:
    • Understand which version of Form 1040 suits your tax calculation needs.
  13. Specific Tax Situations:
    • Adapt your approach based on your specific tax situation.
  14. Filing for Different Years:
    • Know the requirements for filing Form 1040 for the current and past tax years.
  15. Handling IRS Communications:
    • Respond appropriately to an IRS audit letter, especially for the past two tax years.
  16. Engaging with Experts:
    • Consider involving tax professionals at BSE Accounting, especially for complex issues or inquiries from the IRS.
  17. Understanding Refunds and Liabilities:
    • Learn how to calculate and anticipate refunds or manage situations where you owe more tax.
  18. Online Resources:
    • Use online tax filing and estimators for efficient and accurate tax preparation.
  19. Document Management:
    • Develop a system for managing tax documents and filing for IRS review.
  20. Tax Planning:
    • Use insights from your tax return to plan for future years, including using year-round tax estimators.
  21. Navigating Form Versions:
    • Be aware that Form 1040 has different versions, and use the correct one for accurate reporting.
  22. Tax Preparation for Specific Groups:
    • Consider unique requirements for personal federal income tax returns for different groups, like retirees using Form 1040-SR.
  23. Addressing Past Errors:
    • Understand the process for rectifying errors made by tax experts or CPAs in previous filings, using Form 1040-X.
  24. Preparing for Audits:
    • Stay informed on what triggers an IRS audit and how to prepare if your tax return is selected for review.

Bottom Line

Navigating the intricate landscape of tax forms demands clarity and precision. As we approach 2024, keep these key takeaways in mind for efficient tax planning. By understanding the specifics of IRS Form 1040, individuals can optimize their financial outcomes. Reach out to BSE Accounting’s expert CPA and tax advisors for personalized guidance. Book your free consultation call today by visiting our website. Let’s make your tax filing journey a breeze

Frequently Asked Questions 

Ques. What is the purpose of IRS Form 1040 in income tax filing?

Answer: Form 1040 is the main tax form for individual income tax returns. Its purpose is to report income and calculate the tax owed.

Ques. How does the IRS use Form 1040, and what information does it require?

Answer: The IRS uses Form 1040 to gather essential information on your income and expenses, helping them assess your tax liability accurately.

Ques. Can you provide a simple explanation of what Form 1040 is and its significance in tax filing?

Answer: Form 1040 is the key document for reporting your income and determining your tax obligations, playing a crucial role in the annual tax filing process.

Ques. How does Form 1040 play a role in calculating and reporting taxes?

Answer: Form 1040 is used to calculate your total income, deductions, and credits, ultimately helping you report and determine the taxes you owe or the refund you may receive.

Ques. Where can I find clear and concise instructions for completing Form 1040?

Answer: You can find detailed instructions for completing Form 1040 on the official IRS website or consult a BSE Accounting CPA and Tax Advisors for personalized guidance.

Ques. What is Form 1040-ES, and when is it used in the tax filing process?

Answer: Form 1040-ES is used for estimating and paying taxes quarterly, particularly if you have income not subject to withholding. BSE Accounting CPAs and Tax Advisors can assist in navigating this process.

Ques. How is Form 1040 adjusted gross income calculated, and why is it important?

Answer: Adjusted gross income (AGI) on Form 1040 is calculated by subtracting eligible deductions from your total income. AGI is crucial as it affects various tax calculations and eligibility for certain credits.

Ques. When and why would someone use Form 1040X to amend their tax return?

Answer: Form 1040X is used to correct errors on a filed return. If mistakes are identified, consult with a BSE Accounting Tax Plannners and CPA to determine the need for and process of amending your tax return.

Ques. Can you explain the significance of Form 1040 with schedules attached in tax filing?

Answer: Schedules attached to Form 1040 provide detailed information on specific income or deductions. Their significance lies in ensuring accurate reporting and compliance with tax regulations.

Ques.What are the key changes or updates to Form 1040 for the tax year 2021?

Answer: Stay informed about any changes to Form 1040 by checking the official IRS website or consulting with a BSE Accounting CPA for the latest updates and guidance.

Ques. How do I use the tax table on Form 1040 to determine my tax liability?

Answer: The tax table on Form 1040 helps determine your tax liability based on your taxable income. Refer to it or seek assistance from a BSE Accounting CPA and Tax Advisors for accurate calculations.

Ques. Who is eligible to use Form 1040-SR, and what makes it different from the standard 1040?

Answer: Form 1040-SR is designed for seniors and is similar to the standard 1040 but with larger text. Seniors seeking simplicity in filing can use it, with guidance from a BSE Accounting CPA if needed.

Ques. What types of income or deductions does Schedule 1 of Form 1040 cover?

Answer: Schedule 1 covers additional income sources or deductions not included on the main Form 1040. Consult with a BSE Accounting CPA for assistance in navigating Schedule 1.

Ques. Where can I find the most up-to-date instructions for filling out Form 1040 for the year 2022?

Answer: The most recent instructions for Form 1040 can be found on the official IRS website or by seeking guidance from a BSE Accounting CPA for the latest information.

Ques. In what situations would someone need to use Form 1040-NR instead of the regular Form 1040?

Answer: Form 1040-NR is for non-resident aliens. If you’re an international taxpayer, consult a BSE Accounting CPA to determine whether this form applies to your situation.

Ques. How does Schedule C on Form 1040 apply to individuals with self-employment income?

Answer: Schedule C is used to report self-employment income and expenses. Individuals with self-employment income should use this schedule, with guidance from a BSE Accounting CPA if necessary.

Ques. Where can I find the latest instructions for completing Form 1040 for the tax year 2022?

Answer: Access the most recent instructions for Form 1040 on the official IRS website or consult with a BSE Accounting CPA for updated guidance.

Ques. What are the eligibility criteria and simplicity of filing for individuals using Form 1040-EZ?

Answer: Form 1040-EZ is for individuals with straightforward tax situations. Eligibility criteria are outlined on the form, and a BSE Accounting CPA can help determine if it’s suitable for your situation.

Ques. How can I conveniently pay my estimated taxes online using Form 1040-ES?

Answer: You can conveniently pay estimated taxes online using Form 1040-ES through the IRS website. A BSE Accounting CPA can guide you through the online payment process. Book Your Free Consultation with them by vising the website bseaccounting.com 

Ques. What kind of deductions does Schedule A of Form 1040 cover, and who should use it?

Answer: Schedule A covers itemized deductions such as medical expenses and charitable contributions. Those eligible for itemizing deductions should use Schedule A, with guidance from a BSE Accounting CPA for optimal results.