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IRS.gov Website
Instructions for Form 1040-A
taxmap/instr/i1040a-004.htm#TXMP2acff542

(p8)

rule

Chart A—For Most People

IF your filing status is . . .AND at the end of
2010 you were* . . .
THEN file a return if your
gross income** was at least . . .
 
Singleunder 65
65 or older
 $9,350
10,750
  
Married filing jointly***under 65 (both spouses)
65 or older (one spouse)
65 or older (both spouses)
 $18,700
19,800
20,900
  
Married filing separately (see page 14)any age $3,650  
Head of household
(see page 14)
under 65
65 or older
 $12,050
13,450
  
Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child (see page 14)under 65
65 or older
 $15,050
16,150
  
* If you were born on January 1, 1946, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2010.
** 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 or from the sale of your main home (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 2010 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). If (a) or (b) applies, see the instructions for lines 14a and 14b on page 26 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 2010 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,650, 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 16 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, 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?
  box No. You must file a return if any of the following apply.
  
  •  Your unearned income was over $950.
  •  Your earned income was over $5,700.
  •  Your gross income was more than the larger of—
   
  •  $950, or
  •  Your earned income (up to $5,400) plus $300.
  box Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply.
  
  •  Your unearned income was over $2,350 ($3,750 if 65 or older and blind).
  •  Your earned income was over $7,100 ($8,500 if 65 or older and blind).
  •  Your gross income was more than the larger of—
   
  •  $2,350 ($3,750 if 65 or older and blind), or
  •  Your earned income (up to $5,400) plus $1,700 ($3,100 if 65 or older and blind).
Married dependents. Were you either age 65 or older or blind?
  box No. You must file a return if any of the following apply.
  
  •  Your unearned income was over $950.
  •  Your earned income was over $5,700.
  •  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—
   
  •  $950, or
  •  Your earned income (up to $5,400) plus $300.
  box Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply.
  
  •  Your unearned income was over $2,050 ($3,150 if 65 or older and blind).
  •  Your earned income was over $6,800 ($7,900 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—
   
  •  $2,050 ($3,150 if 65 or older and blind), or
  •  Your earned income (up to $5,400) plus $1,400 ($2,500 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 2010.
  • 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 30.
You must file a return using Form 1040 if any of the following apply for 2010.
  • 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.
  • You owe any recapture taxes, including repayment of the first-time homebuyer credit.
 

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, mortgage interest, and disaster losses. 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
  
  •  $5,700
  •   7,100
  •   8,500
 
 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)
  
  • $11,400
  •  12,500
  •  13,600
  •  13,600

  •  14,700
  •  15,800
 
 Married filing separately**
  • Your spouse itemizes deductions
  • Under 65
  • 65 or older or blind
  • 65 or older and blind
  
  •      $0
  •   5,700
  •   6,800
  •   7,900
 
 Head of household
  • Under 65
  • 65 or older or blind
  • 65 or older and blind
  
  •  $8,400
  •   9,800
  •  11,200
 
 Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child
  • Under 65
  • 65 or older or blind
  • 65 or older and blind
  
  • $11,400
  •  12,500
  •  13,600
 
* You should use Schedule L to determine if itemizing is to your benefit, if you:
  • Purchased a new motor vehicle after February 16, 2009, and before January 1, 2010, and paid state or local sales or excise taxes (or certain other taxes or fees in a state without a sales tax) in 2010, or
  • Had a loss from a disaster that was declared a federal disaster in tax years beginning after 2007 and that occurred before 2010 but which you could not deduct until 2010 (if you claim a net disaster loss, you must file Form 1040).

** If you can take an exemption for your spouse, complete the Standard Deduction Worksheet on page 30 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 30 or on Schedule L.

Where To Report Certain Items From 2010 Forms W-2, 1098, and 1099

efile 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 20
  Advance EIC payment (box 9) Form 1040A, line 36
  Dependent care benefits (box 10) Form 2441, Part III
  Adoption benefits (box 12, code T) Must file Form 1040
  Employer contributions to an Archer MSA (box 12, code R) 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 instructions for Form 8889)
 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 airplanesMust file Form 1040 to deduct
 1098-EStudent loan interest (box 1) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 18, on page 29
 1098-TQualified tuition and related expenses (box 1) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 19, on page 29, or line 31, on page 33, 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) Generally must file Form 1040 (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 21
  Total capital gain distributions (box 2a) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 10, on page 21
  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) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 13, on page 24
  State or local income tax refund (box 2) See the instructions on page 20
  Amount reported in box 5, 6, 7, or 9 Must file Form 1040
 1099-INTInterest income (box 1) See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 8a, on page 20
  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 20
  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 21
  Distributions from pensions, annuities, etc. See the instructions for Form 1040A, lines 12a and 12b, that begin on page 22
  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) 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.