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Instructions for Form 1040-EZ

Helpful Hints(p3)

Future Developments.(p3)
For the latest information about developments related to Form 1040EZ and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to
Filing status.(p3)
We want you to use the proper filing status as you go through the instructions and tables. You can use Form 1040EZ to file as Single or Married filing jointly.
If you qualify for another filing status, such as Head of household or Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, you may be able to lower your taxes by using Form 1040A or 1040 instead. See Pub. 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, for more information.
Icons. (p3)
We use icons throughout the booklet to draw your attention to special information. Here are some key icons:
efile IRS e-file. This alerts you to many online benefits, particularly electronic tax filing, available to you at
taxtip Tip. This lets you know about possible tax benefits, helpful actions to take, or sources for additional information.
caution Caution. This tells you about special rules, possible consequences to actions, and areas where you need to take special care to make correct entries.
Writing in information.(p3)
Sometimes we will ask you to make an entry in the space to the left of line . . . The following example (using line 1) will help you make the proper entry:
Income Text DescriptionIncome   


Section 1—Before You Begin(p3)



Even if you can use Form 1040EZ, it may benefit you to use Form 1040A or 1040 instead. See Should You Use Another Form in Section 2, later.

What's New(p3)

Information reporting about health coverage.(p3)
If you or someone in your family had health coverage in 2015, the provider of that coverage is required to send you a Form 1095‐A, 1095‐B, or 1095‐C (with Part III completed), that lists individuals in your family who were enrolled in the coverage and shows their months of coverage. You may use this information to help complete line 11. However, you do not need to wait to receive these forms to file your return. You may have had health care coverage for some or all of 2015 even if you didn’t receive a form with this information, and you may rely on other information about your coverage to complete line 11.
For more information on why your health provider might be asking for your social security number, go to .
Information reporting about employer offer of coverage.(p3)
If you or someone in your family was an employee in 2015, the employer may be required to send you a Form 1095‐C. Part II of Form 1095‐C shows whether your employer offered you health insurance coverage and, if so, information about the offer. This information may be relevant if you purchased health insurance coverage for 2015 through the Health Insurance Marketplace and wish to claim the premium tax credit. You must file Form 1040A or 1040 to claim the premium tax credit. However, you do not need to wait to receive this form to file your return. You may rely on other information received from your employer. If you do not wish to claim the premium tax credit for 2015, you do not need the information in Part II. For more information on who is eligible for the premium tax credit, see the instructions for Form 8962.
Health care individual responsibility payment increased.(p3)
If you or someone in your household didn’t have qualifying health care coverage or qualify for a coverage exemption for one or more months of 2015, the amount of your shared responsibility payment may be much more this year than it was last year. Like last year, you must either:
For more information, see the instructions for line 11 and Form 8965.
Earned income credit (EIC). (p4)
You may be able to take the EIC if you earned less than $14,820 ($20,330 if married filing jointly). See Lines 8a and 8b, Earned Income Credit (EIC) in Section 3, later.
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account.(p4)
This is a new type of savings account for individuals with disabilities and their families. For 2015, you can contribute up to $14,000. Distributions are tax-free if used to pay the beneficiary's qualified disability expenses. Don't deduct your contributions on your tax return. For details, see Pub. 907.
Due date of return.(p4)
File Form 1040EZ by April 18, 2016. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia—even if you do not live in the District of Columbia. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until April 19, 2016. That is because of the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states.
Public safety officers.(p4)
Certain amounts received because of the death of a public safety officer are nontaxable. See Pub. 525 for details.
Certain charitable contributions.(p4)
A special rule applies to cash contributions made between January 1, 2015, and April 15, 2015, to benefit the families of slain New York detectives Wenjian Liu or Rafael Ramos. See Pub. 526 for details.
Direct deposits of a refund to a myRA® account.(p4)
You now can have your refund directly deposited to a new retirement savings program called myRA®. This is a starter retirement account offered by the Department of the Treasury. For more information and to open a myRA account online, visit
Form W-2 Verification Code. (p4)
The IRS is testing the use of a 16-character code to verify certain Forms W-2. If you are e-filing and your Form W-2 includes a code in a box labeled “Verification Code,” enter the code when prompted by your software; disregard the prompt if your Form W-2 does not have the code. If you are filing a paper Form 1040, you don't have to use the code.
Earned income credit.(p4)
If you didn't have a social security number (an SSN) by the due date of your 2015 return (including extensions), you can't claim the EIC on either your original or an amended 2015 return, even if you later get an SSN. Also, if a child didn't have an SSN by the due date of your return (including extensions), you can't count that child as a qualifying child in figuring the EIC on either your original or an amended 2015 return, even if that child later gets an SSN. See the instructions for lines 8a and 8b.