The Differences Between Form 1040A and Form 1040

At first glance, Form 1040A and Form 1040 can look very similar to each other. But they are not and you shouldn’t get them confused. We are going to introduce you to the main differences between Form 1040A and Form 1040.TaxForm1040Pic

Quantity of Information

The easiest difference to spot is the amount of information you can provide on each form. First of all, you have Form 1040A, which allows you to put about half as much information as Form 1040. You can use Form 1040 for everything, of course, but if you can get away with using Form 1040A, why wouldn’t you?

Taxable Income

Another of the key differences is you have to earn under $100,000 in taxable income to use Form 1040A. Anything above that and you have to use the conventional 1040.

Tax Credits

Certain tax benefits can’t be claimed using the Form 1040A. One example would be the health coverage tax credit. For the vast majority of tax benefits, these can be claimed on 1040A, however.

What About Form 1040EZ?

While we are here, the Form 1040EZ also exists. Most people won’t qualify to use this form. It’s the simplest type of form and the vast majority of people will either earn too much money or be claiming a range of tax credits.


It’s important to note the differences between these various forms before you begin filing your taxes. Filing using the wrong form can leave you in a world of hurt. Many people have been fined as a result of using the wrong form and not reporting everything they were required to report.

Image credit: Bradley Gordon

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