IRS Form 1040 EZ: If Only Life Were This Simple

There are only a few circumstances I cant think of where filing your federal income tax return on paper is preferable to filing electronically.  When your tax life is so simple and straightforward that you can get away with using the IRS Form 1040 EZ, sometimes paper filing is just as good.  However, if you want a fast refund, e-filing is still the way to go.

IRS Form 1040 EZ: The Way All Tax Forms Should Be!

IRS Form 1040 EZ is a thing of simplistic beauty: one page, twelve lines.  Everyone can understand this form, so there’s no need for tax accountants, tax lawyers or even a nasty trip to the local tax preparation storefront of misery during tax season…you can fill out the EZ yourself!

If only all income tax forms were this simple.  It would be a shame to wipe out an entire industry of accountants and tax prep software designers and audit assistance companies, not to mention IRS employees.  However, wouldn’t we all be a lot better off if our tax code was as simple as the 1040 EZ makes it look?  The EZ simply takes your wage income, factors in the withholding you’ve already paid the IRS via your paychecks, calculates the Earned Income Credit if you qualify, then subtracts your withholding from the tax you owe and voila: you’re done filing your federal income tax for another year.

You see, it’s the tax credits and deductions that make our tax code so very complicated.  All the little bonuses and favors the IRS does to reward certain behavior.  For example, you can get a tax credit if you purchase energy-saving improvements for your home.  There’s a form for that, of course.  Another example: you can get a deduction if you have children (dependents).  You get another deduction if you contribute to a certain type of retirement account.  And of course the list goes on.  All of these things disqualify a taxpayer from being able to use IRS Form 1040 EZ.

But if you have no dependents, you claim no credits or deductions, you don’t make much money in interest, and a few other qualifications, you can get away with using the IRS’s simplest, easiest tax form available: the 1040 EZ.  It certainly makes tax time a lot easier! Continue reading “IRS Form 1040 EZ: If Only Life Were This Simple”