Tax Forms

Last Revised on January 23, 2008

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Tax forms are used by taxpayers and tax-exempt companies or organizations to report financial information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They are used to report income and calculate taxes owed to the government.

Here are some of the types of Federal tax forms:

Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, is used in the United States income tax system as an information return to report wages paid to employees and the taxes withheld from them. The form is also used to report FICA taxes to the Social Security Administration. Relevant amounts on Form W-2 are reported by the Social Security Administration to the Internal Revenue Service.

Form W-4 is a tax form used by the United States Internal Revenue Service. The form is used by employers to determine the correct amount of tax withholding to deduct from employees’ wages. Ideally, this amount will exactly equal the annual tax due on the 1040 series related to employment compensation, though in reality, many times it is off by a substantial amount.

The W-8BEN form (entitled Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding) is used in the United States taxation system by foreign individuals to certify their non-American status.

Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, is used in the United States income tax system by a third party who must file an information return with the IRS. It requests the taxpayer identification information of a taxpayer (usually in the form of a Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number).

The IRS Form 990 is titled “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.” It is submitted by tax-exempt organizations and non-profit organizations to provide the Internal Revenue Service with annual financial information.

Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is the starting form for personal (individual) Federal income tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. The first Form 1040 was published for use for the tax years 1913, 1914, and 1915. Beginning with the tax year 1916, Form 1040 was converted to an annual form (i.e., updated each tax year with the new year printed on the form).

Form 1041 is used by estates and trusts for tax returns.

Form 1065 is used by partnerships for tax returns.

Form 1098: Mortgage Interest Statement, is used to report interest that a taxpayer has paid on his or her mortgage. Such interest is tax-deductible at the federal level, unless the taxpayer is subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Form 1099 is a form promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is used in the United States income tax system to prepare and file an information return to report various types of income other than wages, salaries, and tips (for which Social Security Administration Form W-2 is used instead). The term information return is used in contrast to the term tax return although the latter term is sometimes used colloquially to describe both kinds of returns.

Form 1120 is used by C corporations for tax returns.

Form 1120S is used by S-corporations for tax returns.

Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation, is used in the United States income tax system by small businesses to elect to be treated (taxed) as a “Subchapter S – Corporation” (“S-Corporation”).

Form 2555 (entitled Foreign Earned Income) is an Internal Revenue Service form filed by taxpayers who have earned income from sources outside the United States exempt from U.S. income tax.

State tax forms: States also have their own tax forms. Most states provide separate forms for reporting personal or corporate income for the state income taxes, for reporting revenue for sales taxes, and for reporting out-of-state purchases for use taxes.

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