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IRS.gov Website
Instructions for Form 1040-A
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP159e4311

Tax, Credits, and Payments(p30)

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Line 23a(p30)

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If you were born before January 2, 1946, or were blind at the end of 2010, check the appropriate boxes on line 23a. If you were married and checked the box on Form 1040A, line 6b, and your spouse was born before January 2, 1946, or was blind at the end of 2010, also check the appropriate boxes for your spouse. Be sure to enter the total number of boxes checked.
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Blindness.(p30)
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If you were partially blind as of December 31, 2010, you must get a statement certified by your eye doctor or registered optometrist that:
If your eye condition is not likely to improve beyond the conditions listed above, you can get a statement certified by your eye doctor or registered optometrist to this effect instead.
You must keep the statement for your records.
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Line 23b(p30)

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If your filing status is married filing a separate return (box 3 is checked) and your spouse itemizes deductions on Form 1040, check the box on line 23b. You cannot take the standard deduction even if you were born before January 2, 1946, were blind, or paid sales or excise taxes on a new motor vehicle. Enter -0- on line 24 and go to line 25.
taxtip
In most cases, your federal income tax will be less if you take any itemized deductions that you may have, such as state and local income taxes, but you must use Form 1040 to do so.
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Line 24(p30)

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Standard Deduction(p30)

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Generally, your standard deduction is:
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Exception 1.(p30)
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Use the worksheet below to figure your standard deduction if:
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Exception 2.(p30)
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Your standard deduction may be higher if you purchased a new motor vehicle after February 16, 2009, and before January 1, 2010, and paid the sales or excise taxes in 2010. If this applies to you, use Schedule L to figure your standard deduction. You must attach Schedule L to your return.
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Standard Deduction Worksheet—Line 24

caution Do not complete this worksheet if you checked the box on line 23b; your standard deduction is zero. Also, do not complete this worksheet if you must use Schedule L to figure your standard deduction (see Exception 2 above).

1. Enter the amount shown below for your filing status.  
 
  • Single or married filing separately—$5,700
  • Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er)—$11,400
Right brace 1. 
 
  • Head of household—$8,400
  
2. Can you (or your spouse if filing jointly) be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return?  
   boxNo.Enter the amount from line 1 on line 4, skip line 3, and go to line 5.      
   boxYes.Go to line 3.  
3. Is your earned income* more than $650?  
   boxYes.Add $300 to your earned income. Enter the total Right brace.3. 
   boxNo.Enter $950
4. Enter the smaller of line 1 or line 3. 4. 
5. If born before January 2, 1946, or blind, multiply the number on Form 1040A, line 23a, by $1,100 ($1,400 if single or head of household). Otherwise, enter -0-. 5. 
6. Add line 4 and line 5. Enter the total here and on Form 1040A, line 246. 
* Earned income includes wages, salaries, and tips. It also includes any amount received as a scholarship that you must include in your income. Generally, your earned income is the amount you reported on Form 1040A, line 7.
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Line 28(p30)

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Tax(p30)

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Do you want the IRS to figure your tax for you?
box Yes. See Pub. 967 for details, including who is eligible and what to do. If you have paid too much, we will send you a refund. If you did not pay enough, we will send you a bill.
box No. Use the Tax Table on pages 63-74 to figure your tax unless you are required to use Form 8615 (see page 31) or the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet (see page 31). Also include in the total on line 28 any of the following taxes.
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Tax from recapture of education credits.(p30)
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You may owe this tax if (a) you claimed an education credit in an earlier year, and (b) either tax-free educational assistance or a refund of qualified expenses was received in 2010 for the student. See the Instructions for Form 8863 for more details. If you owe this tax, enter the amount and ECR to the left of the entry space for line 28.
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Alternative minimum tax.(p31)
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If both 1 and 2 next apply to you, use the worksheet on page 32 to see if you owe this tax and, if you do, the amount to include on line 28.
  1. The amount on Form 1040A, line 26, is: $21,900 or more if single; $25,550 or more if married filing jointly, $29,200 or more if a qualifying widow(er), or $14,600 or more if head of household or married filing separately.
  2. The amount on Form 1040A, line 22, is more than: $47,450 if single or head of household; $72,450 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $36,225 if married filing separately.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#w12088u05
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Alternative Minimum Tax Worksheet—Line 28

  • Figure the tax you would enter on Form 1040A, line 28, if you do not owe this tax.
1.Enter the amount from Form 1040A, line 221.   
2.Enter any amount from Schedule L, line 172.   
3.Subtract line 2 from line 13.   
4.Enter the amount shown below for your filing status 
 
  • Single or head of household—$47,450
  • Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)—$72,450
  • Married filing separately—$36,225
Right brace4   
5.Subtract line 4 from line 3. If zero or less, stop here; you do not owe this tax 5.   
6.Enter the amount shown below for your filing status. 
 
  • Single or head of household—$112,500
  • Married filing jointly or qualifying
      widow(er)—$150,000
  • Married filing separately—$75,000
Right brace6.     
7.Subtract line 6 from line 3. If zero or less, enter -0- here and on line 8, and go to line 97.     
8.Multiply line 7 by 25% (.25)8.   
9.Add lines 5 and 8 9.   
10.If line 9 is $175,000 or less ($87,500 or less if married filing separately), multiply line 9 by 26% (.26). Otherwise, multiply line 9 by 28% (.28) and subtract $3,500 ($1,750 if married filing separately) from the result 10.     
11.Did you use the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet on page 31 to figure the tax on the amount on Form 1040A, line 27?        
  box No.Skip lines 11 through 21; enter the amount from line 10 on line 22 and go to line 23.       
  box Yes.Enter the amount from line 4 of that worksheet11.     
12.Enter the smaller of line 9 or line 11 12.   
13.Subtract line 12 from line 913.   
14.If line 13 is $175,000 or less ($87,500 or less if married filing separately), multiply line 13 by 26% (.26). Otherwise, multiply line 13 by 28% (.28) and subtract $3,500 ($1,750 if married filing separately) from the result 14. 
15.Enter the amount shown below for your filing status:     
 
  • Single or married filing separately— $34,000
  • Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er)— $68,000
  • Head of household—$45,550
Right brace15.   
16.Enter the amount from line 5 of the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet on page 31 16.   
17.Subtract line 16 from line 15. If zero or less, enter -0-17.   
18.Enter the smaller of line 12 or line 17 18.   
19.Subtract line 18 from line 1219.   
20.Multiply line 19 by 15% (.15)20. 
21.Add lines 14 and 2021. 
22.Enter the smaller of line 10 or line 21 22. 
23.Enter the amount you would enter on Form 1040A, line 28, if you do not owe this tax23. 
24.Alternative minimum tax. Is the amount on line 22 more than the amount on line 23?  
  box No.You do not owe this tax. 
  box Yes.Subtract line 23 from line 22. Also include this amount in the total on Form 1040A, line 28. Enter "AMT" and show the amount in the space to the left of line 2824 
  
caution
If filing for a child who must use Form 8615 to figure the tax (see below), and the amount on Form 1040A, line 22, is more than the total of $6,700 plus the amount on Form 1040A, line 7, do not file this form. Instead, file Form 1040 for the child. Use Form 6251 to see if the child owes this tax.
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Form 8615(p31)

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Form 8615 generally must be used to figure the tax for any child who had more than $1,900 of investment income, such as taxable interest, ordinary dividends, or capital gain distributions, and who either:
  1. Was under age 18 at the end of 2010,
  2. Was age 18 at the end of 2010 and did not have earned income that was more than half of the child's support, or
  3. Was a full-time student over age 18 and under age 24 at the end of 2010 and did not have earned income that was more than half of the child's support.
But if the child files a joint return for 2010 or if neither of the child's parents was alive at the end of 2010, do not use Form 8615 to figure the child's tax.
A child born on January 1, 1993, is considered to be age 18 at the end of 2010; a child born on January 1, 1992, is considered to be age 19 at the end of 2010; a child born on January 1, 1987, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2010.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP5c0018d0

Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet(p31)

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If you received qualified dividends or capital gain distributions, use the worksheet below to figure your tax.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#w12088u07
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Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet—Line 28

  • Be sure you do not have to file Form 1040 (see the Instructions for Form 1040A,
    line 10, on page 21).
1.Enter the amount from Form 1040A, line 271.   
2.Enter the amount from Form 1040A, line 9b2.     
3.Enter the amount from Form 1040A, line 103.     
4.Add lines 2 and 34.   
5.Subtract line 4 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0-5.   
6.Enter the smaller of:      
 
  • The amount on line 1, or
      
 
  • $34,000 if single or married filing separately,
  Right brace6.   
   $68,000 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er), or       
   $45,550 if head of household.       
7.Enter the smaller of line 5 or line 6.7.   
8.Subtract line 7 from line 6. This amount is taxed at 0%8.   
9.Enter the smaller of line 1 or line 4.9.   
10.Enter the amount from line 810.   
11.Subtract line 10 from line 911.   
12.Multiply line 11 by 15% (.15)12. 
13.Figure the tax on the amount on line 5. Use the Tax Table on pages 63–74. Enter the tax here13. 
14.Add lines 12 and 1314. 
15.Figure the tax on the amount on line 1. Use the Tax Table on pages 63–74. Enter the tax here15. 
16.Tax on all taxable income. Enter the smaller of line 14 or line 15 here and on Form 1040A,
line 28
16. 
  
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Line 29(p31)

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Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses(p31)

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You may be able to take this credit if you paid someone to care for any of the following persons.
  1. Your qualifying child under age 13 whom you claim as your dependent.
  2. Your disabled spouse who could not care for himself or herself, and who lived with you for more than half the year.
  3. Any disabled person not able to care for himself or herself, who lived with you for more than half the year, and whom you claim as a dependent.
  4. Any disabled person not able to care for himself or herself, who lived with you for more than half the year, and whom you could have claimed as a dependent except that:
    1. The person filed a joint return,
    2. The person had $3,650 or more of gross income, or
    3. You, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2010 return.
  5. Your child whom you could not claim as a dependent because of the rules for Children of divorced or separated parents that begin on page 17.
You must include Form 2441 with your return to claim this credit.
For details, use TeleTax topic 602 (see page 79) or see the Instructions for Form 2441.
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Line 30(p32)

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taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP4f60c477

Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled(p32)

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You may be able to take this credit if by the end of 2010 (a) you were age 65 or older, or (b) you retired on permanent and total disability and you had taxable disability income. But you cannot take the credit if:
  1. The amount on Form 1040A, line 22, is $17,500 or more ($20,000 or more if married filing jointly and only one spouse is eligible for the credit; $25,000 or more if married filing jointly and both spouses are eligible; $12,500 or more if married filing separately), or
  2. You received one or more of the following benefits totaling $5,000 or more ($7,500 or more if married filing jointly and both spouses are eligible for the credit; $3,750 or more if married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse all year).
    1. Nontaxable part of social security benefits.
    2. Nontaxable part of tier 1 railroad retirement benefits treated as social security.
    3. Nontaxable veterans' pensions (excluding military disability pensions).
    4. Any other nontaxable pensions, annuities, or disability income excluded from income under any provision of law other than the Internal Revenue Code.
For this purpose, do not include amounts treated as a return of your cost of a pension or annuity. Also, do not include a disability annuity payable under section 808 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 or any pension, annuity, or similar allowance for personal injuries or sickness resulting from active service in the armed forces of any country, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the Public Health Service.
You must include Schedule R with your return to claim this credit.
See Schedule R and its instructions for details.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP72803eee
Credit figured by the IRS.(p33)
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If you can take this credit and you want us to figure it for you, see the Instructions for Schedule R.
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Line 31(p33)

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taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP0cf4ba09

Education Credits(p33)

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If you (or your dependent) paid qualified expenses in 2010 for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent to enroll in or attend an eligible educational institution, you may be able to take an education credit.
However, you cannot take an education credit if any of the following applies.
You must include Form 8863 with your return to claim this credit.
See Form 8863 and its instructions for details.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP13c3cf09

Line 32(p33)

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taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP63785e76

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver's Credit)(p33)

rule
You may be able to take this credit if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, made (a) contributions, other than rollover contributions, to a traditional or Roth IRA; (b) elective deferrals to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan (including designated Roth contributions), or to a governmental 457, SEP, or SIMPLE plan; (c) voluntary employee contributions to a qualified retirement plan (including the federal Thrift Savings Plan); or (d) contributions to a 501(c)(18)(D) plan.
However, you cannot take the credit if either of the following applies.
  1. The amount on Form 1040A, line 22, is more than $27,750 ($41,625 if head of household; $55,500 if married filing jointly).
  2. The person(s) who made the qualified contribution or elective deferral (a) was born after January 1, 1993, (b) is claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2010 tax return, or (c) was a student (defined next).
You were a student if during any part of 5 calendar months of 2010 you:
A school includes a technical, trade, or mechanical school. It does not include an on-the-job training course, correspondence school, or school offering courses only through the Internet.
You must include Form 8880 with your return to claim this credit.
For more details, use TeleTax topic 610 (see page 79) or see 
Form 8880.
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Line 33(p33)

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Child Tax Credit(p33)

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Steps To Take the Child Tax Credit!

Step 1.Make sure you have a qualifying child for the child tax credit. Follow Steps 1 through 3 in the instructions for line 6c beginning on page 16.
Step 2.Make sure you checked the box on Form 1040A, line 6c, column (4), for each qualifying child.
  
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP21d44590
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Child tax credits Text DescriptionChild tax credits   
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taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP3812ade1
Child Tax Credit Text DescriptionChild Tax Credit   
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Line 38(p36)

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Federal Income Tax Withheld(p36)

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Add the amounts shown as federal income tax withheld on your Forms W-2 and 1099-R. Enter the total on line 38. The amount of federal income tax withheld should be shown in box 2 of Form W-2, and in box 4 of Form 1099-R. Attach Form(s) 1099-R to the front of your return if federal income tax was withheld.
If you received a 2010 Form 1099 showing federal income tax withheld on dividends, taxable or tax-exempt interest income, unemployment compensation, or social security benefits, include the amount withheld in the total on line 38. This should be shown in box 4 of Form 1099, or box 6 of Form SSA-1099. If federal income tax was withheld from your Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, include the tax withheld in the total on line 38.
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Line 39(p36)

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taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP7b644e09

2010 Estimated Tax Payments(p36)

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Enter any estimated federal income tax payments you made for 2010. Include any overpayment that you applied to your 2010 estimated tax from:
If you and your spouse paid joint estimated tax but are now filing separate income tax returns, you can divide the amount paid in any way you choose as long as you both agree. If you cannot agree, you must divide the payments in proportion to each spouse's individual tax as shown on your separate returns for 2010. For an example of how to do this, see Pub. 505. Be sure to show both social security numbers (SSNs) in the space provided on the separate returns. If you or your spouse paid separate estimated tax but you are now filing a joint return, add the amounts you each paid. Follow these instructions even if your spouse died in 2010 or in 2011 before filing a 2010 return. Also, see Pub. 505 if either of the following applies.
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Line 40(p36)

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Making Work Pay Credit(p36)

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You may be able to take this credit if you have earned income from work. However, you cannot take the credit if:
The credit is reduced if:
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP10048914
Social security number.(p36)
rule
To take the credit, you must include your social security number (if filing a joint return, the number of either you or your spouse) on your return. A social security number does not include an identification number issued by the IRS. Only the Social Security Administration issues social security numbers.