Form 1040 (officially, the “U.S. Individual Income Tax Return”) is one of three IRS tax forms (see variants section for explanations of each) used for personal (individual) federal income tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by United States residents for tax purposes.
Income tax returns for individual calendar year taxpayers are due by Tax Day, which is usually April 15 of the next year, except when April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday. In those circumstances, the returns are due on the next business day. An automatic extension until October 15 to file Form 1040 can be obtained by filing Form 4868.
Form 1040 consists of two full pages (79 lines in total) not counting attachments. The first page collects information about the taxpayer(s), dependents, income items, and adjustments to income. In particular, the taxpayer specifies his/her filing status and personal exemptions on this page. The second page calculates the allowable deductions and credits, tax due given the income figure, and applies funds already withheld from wages or estimated payments made towards the tax liability. At the top of the first page is the presidential election campaign fund checkoff, which allows individuals to designate that the federal government give $3 of the tax it receives to the Presidential election campaign fund. The instructions booklet for Form 1040 is 104 pages as of 2014.
Altogether, over 147 million returns were filed for Form 1040 and its variants in the year 2014, 80% of which were filed electronically.