Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
Most people who file their own state and federal taxes typically starts with IRS Form 1040, but this is far from the only form you will need, or even the only possible form you can file. There are three different income forms to choose from, and to claim certain deductions you need to attach separate forms that prove your eligibility for the deduction. FindLaw's "Tax Forms" section provides links to tax forms used for filing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and in each of the 50 states, as well explanations on when to use each form.
Which Tax Form Should I Use?
Most individual taxpayers will file one of three basic tax forms; Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040. Form 1040EZ is the easiest and most streamlined to use. To qualify to use 1040EZ there can't be any complications relating to household wages paid to a household employee, certain kinds of deduction or credit payments, dependents, or other complications.
Those who do not qualify to use Form 1040EZ may be qualified to file the alternative Form 1040A, which permits a greater range of tax credits and deductions. Form 1040A remains greatly streamlined and does not permit itemized deductions, dependents, or certain other complicating elements. Those who do not qualify to use Form 1040A may still employ Form 1040 to itemize deductions, claim adjustments and credits, or have other complications such as excise tax or uncollected employee tax.
Taxpayer Assistance Resources
The complicated nature of tax codes can make filing taxes stressful and confusing. If you are feeling overwhelmed there are a number of agencies and organizations that offer assistance to taxpayers. If you have questions about how to file, exemptions, forms to use, filing status, or other issues related to tax laws one of the organizations listed may be able to help.
These resources include national programs such as the IRS's Taxpayer Advocate Service, the Intuit/Turbo Tax Freedom Project, and the America Pledge Offer. Active members of the U.S. Armed Forces may be eligible for assistance from the U.S. Armed Forces Tax Information provided by the IRS. Seniors may find taxpayer assistance through The American Association of Retired People's Tax Aide Service or from the 60 Plus Association, both of which focus on tax issues affecting seniors, as well as resources relating to the "death" tax and Social Security.
IRS Forms and Publications
In addition to the other resources available here there are a number of sections available that provide access to the bewildering array of forms the IRS and state tax authorities use in the administration of their tax programs. These sections are conveniently divided so that you can look at your state specific tax forms, the IRS forms and publications that are most frequently requested by taxpayers, as well as comprehensive databases of federal tax forms and resources. Some of these resources are searchable by subject and many will direct you to the agency websites where you can fill a form out online, download and print a form, and in some cases allow you to submit forms digitally.
Learn About Tax Forms
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