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previous pagePrevious Page: Instructions for Form 1040-A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return - What If You Cannot File on Time?
next pageNext Page: Instructions for Form 1040-A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return - Who Can Use Form 1040A?
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taxmap/instr/i1040a-005.htm#TXMP6356b6f9

Where Do You File?(p7)


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See the back cover for filing instructions and addresses.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-005.htm#TXMP4847401d

Private delivery services.(p7)

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You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the timely mailing as timely filing/paying rule for tax returns and payments. These private delivery services include only the following:
The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.
caution
Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any item to an IRS P.O. box address.

Chart A—For Most People

IF your filing status is . . .AND at the end of
2008 you were* . . .
THEN file a return if your
gross income** was at least . . .
 
Singleunder 65
65 or older
 $8,950
10,300
  
Married filing jointly***under 65 (both spouses)
65 or older (one spouse)
65 or older (both spouses)
 $17,900
18,950
20,000
  
Married filing separately (see page 18)any age $3,500  
Head of household
(see page 18)
under 65
65 or older
 $11,500
12,850
  
Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child (see page 19)under 65
65 or older
 $14,400
15,450
  
* If you were born on January 1, 1944, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2008.
** Gross income means all income you received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States (even if you can exclude part or all of it). Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time in 2008 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). If (a) or (b) applies, see the instructions for lines 14a and 14b that begin on page 27 to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income.
*** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2008 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,500, you must file a return regardless of your age.
 

Chart B—For Children and Other Dependents


See the instructions for line 6c that begin on page 20 to find out if someone can claim you as a dependent.
If your parent (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this chart to see if you must file a return.
 In this chart, unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. Earned income includes wages, tips, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income.
Single dependents. Were you either age 65 or older or blind?
  No. You must file a return if any of the following apply.
  
  •  Your unearned income was over $900.
  •  Your earned income was over $5,450.
  •  Your gross income was more than the larger of—
   
  •  $900, or
  •  Your earned income (up to $5,150) plus $300.
  Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply.
  
  •  Your unearned income was over $2,250 ($3,600 if 65 or older and blind).
  •  Your earned income was over $6,800 ($8,150 if 65 or older and blind).
  •  Your gross income was more than the larger of—
   
  •  $2,250 ($3,600 if 65 or older and blind), or
  •  Your earned income (up to $5,150) plus $1,650 ($3,000 if 65 or older and blind).
Married dependents. Were you either age 65 or older or blind?
  No. You must file a return if any of the following apply.
  
  •  Your unearned income was over $900.
  •  Your earned income was over $5,450.
  •  Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
  •  Your gross income was more than the larger of—
   
  •  $900, or
  •  Your earned income (up to $5,150) plus $300.
  Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply.
  
  •  Your unearned income was over $1,950 ($3,000 if 65 or older and blind).
  •  Your earned income was over $6,500 ($7,550 if 65 or older and blind).
  •  Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
  •  Your gross income was more than the larger of—
   
  •  $1,950 ($3,000 if 65 or older and blind), or
  •  Your earned income (up to $5,150) plus $1,350 ($2,400 if 65 or older and blind).

Chart C—Other Situations When You Must File

You must file a return if either of the following applies for 2008.
  • You received any advance earned income credit (EIC) payments from your employer. These payments are shown in Form W-2, box 9.
  • You owe tax from the recapture of an education credit or the alternative minimum tax. See the instructions for line 28 that begin on
    page 33.
You must file a return using Form 1040 if any of the following apply for 2008.
  • You owe any special taxes, such as social security and Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer or on wages you received from an employer who did not withhold these taxes.
  • You owe write-in taxes, including uncollected social security and Medicare or RRTA tax on tips you reported to your employer or on your group-term life insurance, or additional tax on a health savings account.
  • You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400.
  • You had wages of $108.28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes.
  • You owe additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself.
  • You owe household employment taxes. But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Schedule H (Form 1040) by itself.
 

Would It Help You To Itemize Deductions on Form 1040?

      
 You may be able to reduce your tax by itemizing deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). Itemized deductions include amounts you paid for state and local income or sales taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, and mortgage interest. You may also include gifts to charity and part of the amount you paid for medical and dental expenses. You would usually benefit by itemizing if—
 Your filing status is:ANDYour itemized deductions are more than:*
 Single    
  • Under 65
  • 65 or older or blind
  • 65 or older and blind
  
  •  $5,450
  •   6,800
  •   8,150
 
 Married filing jointly    
  • Under 65 (both spouses)
  • 65 or older or blind (one spouse)
  • 65 or older or blind (both spouses)
  • 65 or older and blind (one spouse)
  • 65 or older or blind (one spouse) and
      65 or older and blind (other spouse)
  • 65 or older and blind (both spouses)
  
  • $10,900
  •  11,950
  •  13,000
  •  13,000

  •  14,050
  •  15,100
 
 Married filing separately**
  • Your spouse itemizes deductions
  • Under 65
  • 65 or older or blind
  • 65 or older and blind
  
  •      $0
  •   5,450
  •   6,500
  •   7,550
 
 Head of household
  • Under 65
  • 65 or older or blind
  • 65 or older and blind
  
  •  $8,000
  •   9,350
  •  10,700
 
 Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child
  • Under 65
  • 65 or older or blind
  • 65 or older and blind
  
  • $10,900
  •  11,950
  •  13,000
 
* If you paid real estate taxes in 2008, increase the amount in this column by the lesser of:
  1. the amount of state or local real estate taxes you paid that would be deductible on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 6, if you were itemizing deductions, or
  2. $500 ($1,000 if married filing jointly).

** If you can take an exemption for your spouse, complete the Standard Deduction Worksheet on page 33 for the amount that applies to you.
 If someone can claim you as a dependent, it would benefit you to itemize if your itemized deductions total more than your standard deduction figured on the Standard Deduction Worksheet on page 33.

Where To Report Certain Items From 2008 Forms W-2, 1098, and 1099

File electronically IRS e-file takes the guesswork out of preparing your return. You may also be eligible to use Free File to file your federal income tax return. Visit www.irs.gov/efile for details.

If any federal income tax withheld is shown on these forms, include the tax withheld on Form 1040A, line 38.
FormItem and Box in Which It Should Appear Where To Report
  W-2Wages, tips, other compensation (box 1) Form 1040A, line 7
 Allocated tips (box 8) See Tip income on page 23
 Advance EIC payment (box 9) Form 1040A, line 36
 Dependent care benefits (box 10) Schedule 2, Part III
 Adoption benefits (box 12, code T) Must file Form 1040
 Employer contributions to a health savings account (box 12, code W) Must file Form 1040 if required to file Form 8889 (see the instructions for Form 8889)
 Amount reported in box 12, code R or Z Must file Form 1040
  W-2GGambling winnings (box 1) Must file Form 1040
  1098Mortgage interest (box 1)
Points (box 2)
Right braceMust file Form 1040 to deduct
 Refund of overpaid interest (box 3) See the instructions on Form 1098
 Mortgage insurance premiums (box 4) Must file Form 1040 to deduct
 1098-CContributions of motor vehicles, boats, and airplanes Must file Form 1040 to deduct
1098-EStudent loan interest (box 1) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 18, that begin on page 31
1098-TQualified tuition and related expenses (box 1) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 19 on page 32, or line 31, on page 37, but first see the instructions on Form 1098-T
1099-AAcquisition or abandonment of secured property See Pub. 4681
1099-BBroker and barter exchange transactions Must file Form 1040
1099-CCanceled debt (box 2) Must file Form 1040 if taxable (see Pub. 4681)
  1099-DIVTotal ordinary dividends (box 1a) Form 1040A, line 9a
 Qualified dividends (box 1b) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 9b, on page 24
 Total capital gain distributions (box 2a) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 10, on page 24
 Amount reported in box 2b, 2c, or 2d Must file Form 1040
 Nondividend distributions (box 3) Must file Form 1040 if required to report as capital gains (see the instructions on Form 1099-DIV)
 Investment expenses (box 5) Must file Form 1040 to deduct
 Foreign tax paid (box 6) Must file Form 1040 to deduct or take a credit for the tax
1099-GUnemployment compensation (box 1) Form 1040A, line 13. But if you repaid any unemployment compensation in 2008, see the instructions for line 13 on page 27
 State or local income tax refund (box 2) See the instructions on page 23
 Amount reported in box 5, 6, or 7 Must file Form 1040
  1099-INTInterest income (box 1) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 8a, on page 23
 Early withdrawal penalty (box 2) Must file Form 1040 to deduct
 Interest on U.S. savings bonds and Treasury obligations (box 3) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 8a, on page 23
 Investment expenses (box 5) Must file Form 1040 to deduct
 Foreign tax paid (box 6) Must file Form 1040 to deduct or take a credit for the tax
 Tax-exempt interest (box 8) Form 1040A, line 8b
 Specified private activity bond interest (box 9) Must file Form 1040
  1099-LTCLong-term care and accelerated death benefits Must file Form 1040 if required to file Form 8853 (see the instructions for Form 8853)
  1099-MISCMiscellaneous income Must file Form 1040
  1099-OIDOriginal issue discount (box 1)
Other periodic interest (box 2)
Right braceSee the instructions on Form 1099-OID
 Early withdrawal penalty (box 3) Must file Form 1040 to deduct
 Original issue discount on U.S. Treasury obligations (box 6) See the instructions on Form 1099-OID
 Investment expenses (box 7) Must file Form 1040 to deduct
  1099-PATRPatronage dividends and other distributions from a cooperative (boxes 1, 2, 3, and 5) Must file Form 1040 if taxable (see the instructions on Form 1099-PATR)
 Domestic production activities deduction (box 6) Must file Form 1040 to deduct
 Amount reported in box 7, 8, 9, or 10 Must file Form 1040
1099-QQualified education program payments Must file Form 1040
1099-RDistributions from IRAs* See the instructions for Form 1040A, lines 11a and 11b, that begin on page 24
 Distributions from pensions, annuities, etc. See the instructions for Form 1040A, lines 12a and 12b, that begin on page 25
 Capital gain (box 3) See the instructions on Form 1099-R
1099-SGross proceeds from real estate transactions
(box 2)
 Must file Form 1040 if required to report the sale (see Pub. 523)
 Buyer's part of real estate tax (box 5) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 23c, on page 32. But if you are itemizing deductions, you must file Form 1040
  1099-SADistributions from HSAs and MSAs** Must file Form 1040
   *This includes distributions from Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs.
**This includes distributions from Archer and Medicare Advantage MSAs.
  
previous pagePrevious Page: Instructions for Form 1040-A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return - What If You Cannot File on Time?
next pageNext Page: Instructions for Form 1040-A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return - Who Can Use Form 1040A?
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for these Instructions