Tax Forms and Schedules
In addition to the 1040 forms themselves, there are a variety of other forms that may be necessary for you to complete as well. This is particularly true if you are using the long form 1040, or are trying to maximize your tax deductions.
- Schedules A & B are used to itemize deductions and interest/dividend income.
- Schedule EIC is used to provide information about your children when you apply for the Earned Income Credit (EIC).
- Schedule C allows you to report profit or loss derived from your business activity.
- Schedule D is used to report capital gains and losses.
- Schedule E is used to report supplemental income or loss from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, estates and trusts.
- Form 1040ES allows you to file estimated taxes. It is usually filed quarterly (four times a year).
- Form 8863 is required to claim the Hope Scholarship Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit
- Completing form 8812 is a good idea when you have three or more children but your tax bill is too low to enable you to claim all of your available child credit.
- Form 2441 allows you to claim the credit for child and dependent care expenses
- Form 4868 allows you to file an extension and get 4 additional months to file your return.
There are a lot of tax forms to keep track of! There are also a vast number of laws that govern what can be deducted and what cannot and similar rules for how each form must be completed. Even worse, the laws and forms change on a regular basis from year to year. The whole process of filing your own tax returns is, in fact, very technical and can easily become overwhelming. For this reason, it may be a good idea to get a tax professional to help assist you with the preparation of your return. This is particularly a good idea when your return is complicated (e.g., by capital gains, numerous itemized deductions, etc.)
The prototypical professional who can help you complete your taxes so as to take maximum advantage of all deductions you are entitled to would be a local licensed Accountant. An alternative to consulting with an accountant, would be to consult with employees of tax preparation franchises such as H&R Block, or Jackson Hewitt.