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IRS.gov Website
Instructions for Form 1040-A
taxmap/instr/i1040a-006.htm#en_us_publink_12088ud0e2886

When Must You Use Form 1040?(p12)

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taxmap/instr/i1040a-006.htm#en_us_publink_12088ud0e2896Introduction

Check Where To Report Certain Items From 2012 Forms W-2, 1097, 1098, and 1099 to see if you must use Form 1040. You must also use Form 1040 if any of the following apply.
  1. You received any of the following types of income:
    1. Income from self-employment (business or farm income).
    2. Certain tips you did not report to your employer. See the instructions for Form 1040A, line 7.
    3. Income received as a partner in a partnership, shareholder in an S corporation, or a beneficiary of an estate or trust.
    4. Dividends on insurance policies if they exceed the total of all net premiums you paid for the contract.
  2. You can exclude any of the following types of income:
    1. Foreign earned income you received as a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
    2. Certain income received from sources in Puerto Rico if you were a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico.
    3. Certain income received from sources in American Samoa if you were a bona fide resident of American Samoa for all of 2012.
  3. You have an alternative minimum tax adjustment on stock you acquired from the exercise of an incentive stock option (see Pub. 525).
  4. You received a distribution from a foreign trust.
  5. You owe the excise tax on insider stock compensation from an expatriated corporation.
  6. You owe household employment taxes. See Schedule H (Form 1040) and its instructions to find out if you owe these taxes.
  7. You are eligible for the health coverage tax credit. See Form 8885 for details.
  8. You are claiming the adoption credit or received employer-provided adoption benefits. See Form 8839 for details.
  9. You are an employee and your employer did not withhold social security and Medicare tax. See Form 8919 for details.
  10. You had a qualified health savings account funding distribution from your IRA.
  11. You are a debtor in a bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005.
  12. You must repay the first-time homebuyer credit. See Form 5405 for details.
  13. You had foreign financial assets in 2012 and you must file Form 8938. See Form 8938 and its instructions.