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previous pagePrevious Page: Instructions for Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return - Filing Requirements
next pageNext Page: Instructions for Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return - Line Instructions for Form 1040
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for these Instructions
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When and Where Should You File?(p7)


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File Form 1040 by April 15, 2009. If you file after this date, you may have to pay interest and penalties. See page 83.
If you were serving in, or in support of, the U.S. Armed Forces in a designated combat zone, qualified hazardous duty area, or contingency operation, you can file later. See Pub. 3 for details.
See the back cover for filing instructions and addresses. For details on using a private delivery service, see page 8.
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What if You Cannot File on Time?(p7)


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You can get an automatic 6-month extension if, no later than the date your return is due, you file Form 4868. For details, see Form 4868.
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An automatic 6-month extension to file does not extend the time to pay your tax. See Form 4868.
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, you may qualify for an automatic extension of time to file without filing Form 4868. You qualify if, on the due date of your return, you meet one of the following conditions.
This extension gives you an extra 2 months to file and pay the tax, but interest will be charged from the original due date of the return on any unpaid tax. You must attach a statement to your return showing that you meet the requirements. If you are still unable to file your return by the end of the 2-month period, you can get an additional 4 months if, no later than June 15, 2009, you file Form 4868. This 4-month extension of time to file does not extend the time to pay your tax. See Form 4868.
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Private Delivery Services(p8)


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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 15)any age$3,500 
 Head of household (see page 15)under 65
65 or older
$11,500
12,850
 
 Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child (see page 16)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 20a and 20b 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 17 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 salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, 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?
  BoxNo. 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.
  BoxYes. 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?
  BoxNo. 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.
  BoxYes. 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 any of the four conditions below apply for 2008.
1. You owe any special taxes, including any of the following.
 a.Alternative minimum tax.
 b.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.
 c.Household employment taxes. But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Schedule H by itself.
 d.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.
 e.Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security and Medicare or RRTA tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance and additional taxes on health savings accounts. See the instructions for line 61 on page 45.
 f.Recapture taxes. See the instructions for line 44, that begin on page 36, and line 61, on page 45.
2. You received any advance earned income credit (EIC) payments from your employer. These payments are shown in
Form W-2, box 9.
3. You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400.
4. 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.

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

File electronicallyIRS 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 1040, line 62. If you itemize your deductions and any state or local income tax withheld is shown on these forms, include the tax withheld on Schedule A, line 5, unless you elect to deduct state and local general sales taxes.
 FormItem and Box in Which It Should Appear Where To Report if Filing Form 1040
 W-2Wages, tips, other compensation (box 1) Form 1040, line 7
  Allocated tips (box 8) See Wages, Salaries, Tips, etc. on page 20
  Advance EIC payment (box 9) Form 1040, line 60
  Dependent care benefits (box 10) Form 2441, Part III
  Adoption benefits (box 12, code T) Form 8839, line 22
  Employer contributions to an Archer
MSA (box 12, code R)
 Form 8853, line 3
  Employer contributions to a health savings account (box 12, code W) Form 8889, line 9
 W-2GGambling winnings (box 1) Form 1040, line 21 (Schedule C or C-EZ for professional gamblers)
 1098Mortgage interest (box 1)
Points (box 2)
Right brace Schedule A, line 10*
  Refund of overpaid interest (box 3) Form 1040, line 21, but first see the instructions on Form 1098*
  Mortgage insurance premiums (box 4) See the instructions for Schedule A, line 13*
 1098-CContributions of motor vehicles, boats, and airplanes Schedule A, line 17
 1098-EStudent loan interest (box 1) See the instructions for Form 1040, line 33, on page 33*
 1098-TQualified tuition and related expenses
(box 1)
 See the instructions for Form 1040, line 34, on page 34, or Form 1040, line 50, on page 40, but first see the instructions on Form 1098-T*
 1099-AAcquisition or abandonment of secured property See Pub. 4681
 1099-BStocks, bonds, etc. (box 2) See the instructions on Form 1099-B
  Bartering (box 3) See Pub. 525
  Aggregate profit or (loss) (box 11) Form 6781, line 1
 1099-CCanceled debt (box 2) See Pub. 4681
 1099-DIVTotal ordinary dividends (box 1a) Form 1040, line 9a
  Qualified dividends (box 1b) See the instructions for Form 1040, line 9b, on page 21
  Total capital gain distributions (box 2a) Form 1040, line 13, or, if required, Schedule D, line 13
  Unrecaptured section 1250 gain (box 2b) See the instructions for Schedule D, line 19, that begin on page D-8
  Section 1202 gain (box 2c) See Exclusion of Gain on Qualified Small Business (QSB) Stock in the instructions for Schedule D on page D-4
  Collectibles (28%) gain (box 2d) See the instructions for Schedule D, line 18, on page D-7
  Nondividend distributions (box 3) See the instructions for Form 1040, line 9a, on page 21
  Investment expenses (box 5) Schedule A, line 23
  Foreign tax paid (box 6) Form 1040, line 47, or Schedule A, line 8. But first see the instructions for line 47 on page 40.
 1099-GUnemployment compensation (box 1) Form 1040, line 19. But if you repaid any unemployment compensation in 2008, see the instructions for line 19 on
page 26.
  State or local income tax refunds, credits, or offsets (box 2) See the instructions for Form 1040, line 10, on page 22. If box 8 on Form 1099-G is checked, see the box 8 instructions.
  ATAA payments (box 5) Form 1040, line 21
  Taxable grants (box 6) Form 1040, line 21 (but if you received a grant to reimburse a casualty loss to your main home due to Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma, see the Form 4684 instructions for a special rule that may apply)*
  Agriculture payments (box 7) See the Instructions for Schedule F or Pub. 225*
* If the item relates to an activity for which you are required to file Schedule C, C-EZ, E, or F or Form 4835, report the taxable or deductible amount allocable to the activity on that schedule or form instead.
 1099-INTInterest income (box 1) See the instructions for Form 1040, line 8a, on page 21
  Early withdrawal penalty (box 2) Form 1040, line 30
  Interest on U.S. savings bonds and Treasury obligations (box 3) See the instructions for Form 1040, line 8a, on page 21
  Investment expenses (box 5) Schedule A, line 23
  Foreign tax paid (box 6) Form 1040, line 47, or Schedule A, line 8. But first see the instructions for line 47 on page 40.
  Tax-exempt interest (box 8) Form 1040, line 8b
  Specified private activity bond interest (box 9) Form 6251, line 11
 1099-LTCLong-term care and accelerated death benefits See Pub. 525 and the Instructions for Form 8853
 1099-MISCRents (box 1) See the Instructions for Schedule E*
  Royalties (box 2) Schedule E, line 4 (for timber, coal, and iron ore royalties, see
Pub. 544)*
  Other income (box 3) Form 1040, line 21*
  Nonemployee compensation (box 7) Schedule C, C-EZ, or F. But if you were not self-employed, see the instructions on Form 1099-MISC.
  Excess golden parachute payments (box 13) See the instructions for Form 1040, line 61, on page 45
  Other (boxes 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 15b) See the instructions on Form 1099-MISC
 1099-OIDOriginal issue discount (box 1)
Other periodic interest (box 2)
Right brace See the instructions on Form 1099-OID
  Early withdrawal penalty (box 3) Form 1040, line 30
  Original issue discount on U.S. Treasury obligations (box 6) See the instructions on Form 1099-OID
  Investment expenses (box 7) Schedule A, line 23
 1099-PATRPatronage dividends and other distributions from a cooperative (boxes 1, 2, 3, and 5) Schedule C, C-EZ, or F or Form 4835, but first see the instructions on Form 1099-PATR
  Domestic production activities deduction (box 6) Form 8903, line 21
  Credits (boxes 7, 8, and 10) See the instructions on Form 1099-PATR
  Patron's AMT adjustment (box 9) Form 6251, line 27
  Deduction for small refiner capital costs or qualified refinery property (box 10) Schedule C, C-EZ, or F
 1099-QQualified education program payments See the instructions for Form 1040, line 21, on page 28
 1099-RDistributions from IRAs** See the instructions for Form 1040, lines 15a and 15b, that begin on page 23
  Distributions from pensions, annuities, etc. See the instructions for Form 1040, lines 16a and 16b, that begin on page 24
  Capital gain (box 3) See the instructions on Form 1099-R
 1099-SGross proceeds from real estate transactions (box 2) Form 4797, Form 6252, or Schedule D. But if the property was your home, see the Instructions for Schedule D to find out if you must report the sale or exchange. Report an exchange of like-kind property on Form 8824 even if no gross proceeds are reported on Form 1099-S.
  Buyer's part of real estate tax (box 5) See the instructions for Schedule A, line 6, on page A-5*
 1099-SADistributions from health savings accounts (HSAs) Form 8889, line 14a
  Distributions from MSAs*** Form 8853
* If the item relates to an activity for which you are required to file Schedule C, C-EZ, E, or F or Form 4835, report the taxable or deductible amount allocable to the activity on that schedule or form instead.
** This includes distributions from Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs.
*** This includes distributions from Archer and Medicare Advantage MSAs.
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Page 1 of illustrated Form 1040 Text DescriptionPage 1 of illustrated Form 1040   
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