1040EZ form: what is it, and how do you fill it out?

1 min read by Unbiased team Last updated February 1, 2024

Learn all about the 1040EZ form for tax returns earlier than 2017, whether you are eligible to use it, and how to fill it out.

What is a 1040EZ form, and what was it used for? 

IRS Form 1040EZ is a discontinued income tax return for single and joint filers with no dependents.  

The 1040EZ form was introduced in 1982 by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a means to simplify the tax filing process for low-income individuals with relatively simple tax situations.  

It was an abbreviated version of the original IRS Form 1040. The 1040EZ form was about a fifth as long as the full form, but it also allowed for fewer tax credits or deductions.  

It was also known as the “easy form” as it was the simplest of the six-section federal income tax returns of the time.  

What happened to the 1040EZ form? 

The 1040EZ form was discontinued as of the 2018 tax year, with the introduction of a new 1040 form, which consolidated form 1040A, form 1040EZ, and the original form 1040 into a single document.  

You may now only use the 1040EZ form if you are filing tax returns for 2017 or earlier. 

This means for your current tax return, you should use the new 1040 form.  

If you’re struggling to understand which form you should use when filing your tax return, a financial advisor can help. Connect with an SEC-regulated financial advisor with Unbiased.  

Who is eligible to use a 1040EZ form? 

Only certain individuals are eligible to use a 1040EZ form when filing tax returns.  

Per IRS instructions, in order to be eligible, you must have met the following criteria during the filing period in question: 

  • You were single or married, filing jointly. 

  • Your taxable income was less than $100,000. 

  • You were under the age 65. 

  • You had no dependents.  

  • Your taxable interest was no more than $1,500. 

  • You had only wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarship or fellowship grants, unemployment compensation, or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends. 

  • You had not been a debtor in a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005. 

  • You did not claim any adjustments to income. 

  • You did not owe any household employment taxes (Nanny Taxes) on wages you paid to a household employee. 

  • No advance payments of the premium tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or any individual you enrolled in coverage for whom no one else was claiming the personal exemption. 

  • No advance payments of the health coverage tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or other qualifying family member. 

What information would I need to fill out a 1040EZ form? 

You will need to include the following details in your 1040EZ form: 

  • Personal information (name, Social Security number, address, occupation). 

  • The income amount reported on your Form W-2 (to be attached to the 1040EZ)  

  • Your taxable interest amount. 

  • The amounts of unemployment benefits or Alaska Permanent Fund dividend payments you received. 

  • Details of dependants (if applicable). 

  • Amount of federal income tax (if any) withheld from Form(s) W-2 and 1099 

  • Your health coverage details. 

  • Details for the bank account where you’d like to receive your refund (if applicable). 

  • Your accountant’s or other authorized third party’s details (if applicable). 

Can I fill out the 1040EZ form online? 

While there is a printable 1040EZ form available, you can fill out the 1040EZ form online. 

You have four electronic filing options: 

  • Free File Guided Tax Software or IRS Free File Fillable Forms 

  • Free tax return preparation sites 

  • Commercial software 

  • Authorized e-file providers 

How to fill out a 1040EZ form 

For detailed instructions on how to fill out a 1040EZ form, consult the form instructions or the IRS website. Here is an overview of what information to provide in each section: 

  • Section 1: Your name, Social Security number, and address. 

  • Section 2 (Lines 1 to 6): The income you reported on your Form W-2 (attach your W-2 to the 1040EZ). 

  • Section 3 (Lines 7 to 12): Claims for credit. 

  • Section 4 (Lines 13a to 13d): Your tax refund amount. 

  • Section 5 (Line 14): The tax amount that you owe. 

  • Section 6: Consent/non-consent to a third party discussing your return with the IRS. If yes, provide the party’s details. 

  • Section 7: Signature(s), date, contact number(s), and occupation(s). 

  • Section 8: To be completed by a paid tax preparer, if applicable. 

Get expert financial advice  

Filing your tax returns can be an intimidating and tedious task. Fortunately, you may be able to reduce your stress by using form 1040EZ to file for 2017 or before.  

To find out whether you are eligible to use a 1040EZ form and if it’s your best option, allow Unbiased to match you with a reputable financial advisor.  

With expert financial advice, you can ensure the best possible financial outcomes for yourself and your family. 

Match with a financial advisor today 


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.