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IRS.gov Website
Instructions for Form 1040-EZ
taxmap/instr/i1040ez-011.htm#TXMP618dea99

Filing Requirement Charts(p7)

rule

taxmap/instr/i1040ez-011.htm#TXMP6e41dd6fIntroduction

taxtip
Chart A and B users—if you have to file a return, you may be able to file Form 1040EZ. See Checklist for Using Form 1040EZ earlier.

Chart A—For Most People

IF your filing status is . . .AND your gross income* was at least . . .THEN . . .
Single$ 9,500File a return
Married filing jointly**$19,000File a return
*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).
**If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2011 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,700, you must file a return.

Chart B—For Children and Other Dependents

If your parent (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this chart. taxtip To find out if your parent (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, see Pub. 501.
File a return if any of the following apply.
  • Your unearned income1 was over $950.
  • Your earned income2 was over $5,800.
  • Your gross income3 was more than the larger of—
     • $950, or
     • Your earned income (up to $5,500) plus $300.
 
1 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.
2 Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship or fellowship grants.
3 Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income.

Chart C—Other Situations When You Must File

You must file a return using Form 1040A or 1040 if any of the following apply for 2011.
You owe tax from the recapture of an education credit (see Form 8863).
You claim a credit for excess social security and tier 1 RRTA tax withheld.
You claim a credit for the retirement savings contributions credit (saver's credit) (see Form 8880).
You must file a return using Form 1040 if any of the following apply for 2011.
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 uncollected social security and Medicare or RRTA tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance.
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 tax from the recapture of the first-time homebuyer credit (see Form 5405).
You owe 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.

Where To Report Certain Items From 2011 Forms W-2, 1097, 1098, and 1099

efileIRS 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 or see Section 6, later for details.
Part 1Items That Can Be Reported on Form 1040EZIf any federal income tax withheld is shown on the forms in Part 1, include the tax withheld on Form 1040EZ, line 7.
FormItem and Box in Which It Should AppearWhere To Report on Form 1040EZ
W-2Wages, tips, other compensation (box 1)Line 1
 Allocated tips (box 8)See the instructions for Form 1040EZ, line1
1099-GUnemployment compensation (box 1)Line 3
1099-INTInterest income (box 1)Line 2
 Interest on U.S. savings bonds and Treasury obligations (box 3)See the instructions for Form 1040EZ, line 2
 Tax-exempt interest (box 8)See the instructions for Form 1040EZ, line 2
1099-OIDOriginal issue discount (box 1)
Other periodic interest (box 2)
See the instructions on Form 1099-OID
See the instructions on Form 1099-OID
Part 2Items That May Require Filing Another Form
FormItems That May Require Filing Another FormOther Form
W-2
Dependent care benefits (box 10)
Adoption benefits (box 12, code T)

Must file Form 1040A or 1040
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 ZMust file Form 1040
W-2GGambling winnings (box 1)Must file Form 1040
1097-BTCBond tax creditMust file Form 1040
1098-EStudent loan interest (box 1)Must file Form 1040A or 1040 to deduct
1098-TQualified tuition and related expenses (box 1)Must file Form 1040A or 1040 to claim, but first see the instructions on
Form 1098-T
1099-CCancelled debt (box 2)Generally must file Form 1040 (see Pub. 4681)
1099-DIVDividends and distributionsMust file Form 1040A or 1040
1099-INTInterest on U.S. savings bonds and Treasury
obligations (box 3)
See the instructions for Form 1040EZ, line 2
 Early withdrawal penalty (box 2)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-LTCLong-term care and accelerated death benefitsMust file Form 1040 if required to file Form 8853 (see the instructions for Form 8853)
1099-MISCMiscellaneous incomeMust file Form 1040
1099-OIDEarly withdrawal penalty (box 3)Must file Form 1040 to deduct
1099-QQualified education program paymentsMust file Form 1040
1099-RDistributions from pensions, annuities, IRAs, etc.Must file Form 1040A or 1040
1099-SADistributions from HSAs and MSAs*Must file Form 1040
* This includes distributions from Archer and Medicare Advantage MSAs.