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IRS.gov Website
Instructions for Form 1040-A
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP1ae5e9ef

Tax, Credits, and Payments(p30)

rule
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Line 23a(p30)

rule
If you were born before January 2, 1947, or were blind at the end of 2011, 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, 1947, or was blind at the end of 2011, also check the appropriate boxes for your spouse. Be sure to enter the total number of boxes checked. Do not check any box(es) for your spouse if your filing status is head of household.
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Blindness.(p30)
rule
If you were not totally blind as of December 31, 2011, you must get a statement certified by your eye doctor (ophthalmologist or 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 (ophthalmologist or optometrist) to this effect instead.
You must keep the statement for your records.
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Line 23b(p30)

rule
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, 1947, or were blind. 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)

rule
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Standard Deduction(p30)

rule
Most people can find their standard deduction by looking at the amounts listed under All others to the left of line 24.
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Exception 1–dependent.(p30)
rule
If you, or your spouse if filing jointly, can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2011 return, use the Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents to figure your standard deduction.
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Exception 2–box on line 23a checked.(p30)
rule
If you checked any box on line 23a, use the Standard Deduction Chart for People Who Were Born Before January 2, 1947, or Were Blind to figure your standard deduction.
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Exception 3–box on line 23b checked.(p30)
rule
If you checked the box on line 23b, your standard deduction is zero, even if your were born before January 2, 1947, or were blind.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#w24811v10
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Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents—Line 24

Use this worksheet only if someone can claim you, or your spouse if filing jointly, as a dependent.

1. Is your earned income* more than $650?    
   boxYes.Add $300 to your earned income. Enter the total Right brace.1. 
   boxNo.Enter $950
2. Enter the amount shown below for your filing status.   
 
  • Single or married filing separately—$5,800
  • Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)—$11,600
  • Head of household—$8,500
Right brace .2. 
3. Standard deduction.     
 a.Enter the smaller of line 1 or line 2. If born after January 1, 1947, and not blind, stop here and enter this amount on Form 1040A, line 24. Otherwise, go to line 3b 3a. 
 b.If born before January 2, 1947, or blind, multiply the number on Form 1040A, line 23a, by $1,150 ($1,450 if single or head of household) 3b. 
 c.Add lines 3a and 3b. Enter the total here and on Form 1040A, line 243c. 
* Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, professional fees, and other compensation received for personal services you performed. It also includes any amount received as a scholarship that you must include in your income. Generally, your earned income is the total of the amount you reported on Form 1040A, line 7.
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Standard Deduction Chart for People Who Were Born Before January 2, 1947, or Were Blind—Line 24

Do not use this chart if someone can claim you, or your spouse if filing jointly, as a dependent. Instead, use the Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents.
Enter the number from the box on
Form 1040A, line 23a
square   caution Do not use the number of exemptions from line 6d. 
IF your filing
status is . . .
AND the number in
the box above is . . .
 THEN your standard
deduction is . . .
 
Single 1
2
 $7,250
8,700
  
Married filing jointly
    or
Qualifying widow(er)
1
2
3
4
 $12,750
13,900
15,050
16,200
  
Married filing separately1
2
3
4
 $6,950
8,100
9,250
10,400
  
Head of household1
2
  $9,950
11,400
  
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Line 28(p30)

rule
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Tax(p30)

rule
Do you want the IRS to figure your tax for you?
box Yes. See chapter 29 of Pub. 17 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 to figure your tax unless you are required to use Form 8615 (see Form 8615, later) or the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet in these instructions. Also include in the total on line 28 any of the following taxes.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP3f0ed0d5
Tax from recapture of education credits.(p30)
rule
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 2011 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.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP5bdeb52f
Alternative minimum tax.(p30)
rule
If both 1 and 2 next apply to you, use the Alternative Minimum Tax Worksheet in these instructions 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: $22,200 or more if single; $25,900 or more if married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er); or $14,800 or more if head of household or married filing separately.
  2. The amount on Form 1040A, line 22, is more than: $48,450 if single or head of household; $74,450 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $37,225 if married filing separately.
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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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 the amount shown below for your filing status 
 
  • Single or head of household—$48,450
  • Married filing jointly or qualifying
      widow(er)—$74,450
  • Married filing separately—$37,225
Right brace2   
3.Subtract line 2 from line 1. If zero or less, stop here; you do not owe this tax 3.   
4.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 brace4.     
5.Subtract line 4 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0- here and on line 6, and go to line 75.     
6.Multiply line 5 by 25% (.25)6.   
7.Add lines 3 and 6 7.   
8.If line 7 is $175,000 or less ($87,500 or less if married filing separately), multiply line 7 by 26% (.26). Otherwise, multiply line 7 by 28% (.28) and subtract $3,500 ($1,750 if married filing separately) from the result 8.     
9.Did you use the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet to figure the tax on the amount on Form 1040A, line 27?        
  box No.Skip lines 9 through 19; enter the amount from line 8 on line 20 and go to line 21.       
  box Yes.Enter the amount from line 4 of that worksheet9.     
10.Enter the smaller of line 7 or line 9 10.   
11.Subtract line 10 from line 711.   
12.If line 11 is $175,000 or less ($87,500 or less if married filing separately), multiply line 11 by 26% (.26). Otherwise, multiply line 11 by 28% (.28) and subtract $3,500 ($1,750 if married filing separately) from the result 12. 
13.Enter the amount shown below for your filing status:     
 
  • Single or married filing separately— $34,500
  • Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er)— $69,000
  • Head of household—$46,250
Right brace13.   
14.Enter the amount from line 5 of the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet14.   
15.Subtract line 14 from line 13. If zero or less, enter -0-15.   
16.Enter the smaller of line 10 or line 15 16.   
17.Subtract line 16 from line 1017.   
18.Multiply line 17 by 15% (.15)18. 
19.Add lines 12 and 1819. 
20.Enter the smaller of line 8 or line 19 20. 
21.Enter the amount you would enter on Form 1040A, line 28, if you do not owe this tax21. 
22.Alternative minimum tax. Is the amount on line 20 more than the amount on line 21?  
  box No.You do not owe this tax. 
  box Yes.Subtract line 21 from line 20. 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 2822. 
  
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP5daaf735

Form 8615(p31)

rule
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 2011,
  2. Was age 18 at the end of 2011 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 2011 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 2011 or if neither of the child's parents was alive at the end of 2011, do not use Form 8615 to figure the child's tax.
A child born on January 1, 1994, is considered to be age 18 at the end of 2011; a child born on January 1, 1993, is considered to be age 19 at the end of 2011; a child born on January 1, 1988, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2011.
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Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet(p31)

rule
If you received qualified dividends or capital gain distributions, use the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet to figure your tax.
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Line 29(p31)

rule
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Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses(p31)

rule
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 or any other disabled person who could not care for himself or herself.
  3. Your child whom you could not claim as a dependent because of the rules for Children of divorced or separated parents in the instructions for line 6c.
For details, use TeleTax topic 602 (see TeleTax Topics, later) or see Form 2441.
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).
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
      
 
  • $34,500 if single or married filing separately,
  Right brace6.   
   $69,000 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er), or       
   $46,250 if head of household.       
7.Enter the smaller of line 5 or line 67.   
8.Subtract line 7 from line 6. This amount is taxed at 0%8.   
9.Enter the smaller of line 1 or line 49.   
10.Enter the amount from line 810.   
11.Subtract line 10 from line 911.   
12.Multiply line 11 by 15% (.15)12. 
13.Use the Tax Table to figure the tax on the amount on line 5. Enter the tax here13. 
14.Add lines 12 and 1314. 
15.Use the Tax Table to figure the tax on the amount on line 1. 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 30(p34)

rule
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Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled(p34)

rule
You may be able to take this credit if by the end of 2011 (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#TXMP45666257
Credit figured by the IRS.(p34)
rule
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(p34)

rule
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Education Credits(p34)

rule
If you (or your dependent) paid qualified expenses in 2011 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#TXMP50a8fe55

Line 32(p34)

rule
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP14714120

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver's Credit)(p34)

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 $28,250 ($42,375 if head of household; $56,500 if married filing jointly).
  2. The person(s) who made the qualified contribution or elective deferral (a) was born after January 1, 1994, (b) is claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2011 tax return, or (c) was a student (defined next).
You were a student if during any part of 5 calendar months of 2011 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 TeleTax Topics, later) or see Form 8880.
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Line 33(p34)

rule
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Child Tax Credit(p34)

rule

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. If you do not have a qualifying child, you cannot claim the child tax credit.
Step 2.Make sure you checked the box on Form 1040A, line 6c, column (4), for each qualifying child.
  
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP11928775
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2011 Child Tax Credit Worksheet—Line 33

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Child tax credits Text DescriptionChild tax credits   
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2011 Child Tax Credit Worksheet—Line 33 (Continued)

taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP5dccd03d
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Child Tax Credit Text DescriptionChild Tax Credit   
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Line 36(p37)

rule
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Federal Income Tax Withheld(p37)

rule
Add the amounts shown as federal income tax withheld on your Forms W-2 and 1099-R. Enter the total on line 36. 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 2011 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 36. 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 36.
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Line 37(p37)

rule
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2011 Estimated Tax Payments(p37)

rule
Enter any estimated federal income tax payments you made for 2011. Include any overpayment that you applied to your 2011 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 2011. For an example of how to do this, see Pub. 505. You may want to attach an explanation of how you and your spouse divided the payments. 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 2011 or in 2012 before filing a 2011 return.
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Divorced Taxpayers(p37)

rule
If you got divorced in 2011 and you made joint estimated tax payments with your former spouse, enter your former spouse's SSN in the space provided on the front of Form 1040A. If you were divorced and remarried in 2011, enter your present spouse's SSN in the space provided on the front of Form 1040A. Also, in the blank space to the left of line 37, enter your former spouse's SSN, followed by DIV.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-015.htm#TXMP2789873d

Name Change(p37)

rule
If you changed your name because of marriage, divorce, etc., and you made estimated tax payments using your former name, attach a statement to the front of Form 1040A. On the statement, explain all the payments you and your spouse made in 2011 and the name(s) and SSN(s) under which you made them.