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When to use the 1040EZ tax form

Don't choose the 1040EZ just because it's the simplest option. Sometimes, the EZ is all you need, but a little extra paperwork can equate to substantial savings. The IRS website says you should use the 1040EZ if:

1. You are filing as single or married jointly.

2. You're under the age of 65 and not blind at the end of 2012. If filing jointly with your spouse, you must both meet these requirements.

3. You do not claim any dependents.

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

5. Your interest income was not over $1,500 last year.

6. All earned tips are included on your W-2 in boxes 5 and 7.

7. You do not owe household employment taxes on wages paid to a household employee.

8. You are not a debtor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005

9. You will not claim any adjustments to income (deduction for IRA contributions, a student loan interest deduction, etc.).

10. You will not claim any credits other than the earned income credit. One of the biggest reasons NOT to use the 1040EZ is stipulation #10 as listed above. Basically, by using the 1040EZ, the only tax break you're eligible for is the income tax credit (EITC), which is a credit for low-income taxpayers. If you think you may be eligible for any other tax breaks, use a different form. You don’t want to miss out on your well-deserved deductions. But, if you have absolutely nothing to claim, the 1040EZ is a quick, one-page shortcut designed to reduce the hassle of filing taxes.