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The new Form 1040 comes with 6 schedules -- here's how to use them

When can you expect your tax refund?

The new Form 1040 that all tax filers will file this year is a one-page document with just 23 lines. It replaces the old 1040 as well as the Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ, and for most tax filers with simple situations -- income from one job, no children, one Form W-2 and no other deductions or credits to claim -- the new one-page Form 1040 is all you'll need to prepare and file your taxes. 

If your situation is more complicated -- because you claim deductions or tax credits, for example, or have additional income, paid estimated tax or owe additional taxes – then you'll need to also complete one or more of six schedules that go along with the new Form 1040. 

And in certain situations -- say you claim itemized deductions, have income from investments or report net income from self-employment -- you'll also have to complete Schedule A (Itemized Deductions) Schedule B (Interest and Dividend Income) Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business) or Schedule D (Capital Gains and Losses).

Here are the things to know about the first six schedules you'll need to use and what you'll need to report on them:

Schedule 1 – Additional Income and Adjustments to Income

If you received a taxable refund, have additional income from the sale of investments (capital gains or losses), have income from self-employment, income from the rental of real estate or received unemployment compensation, then you'll need to report those sources of income on this form. 

Why your tax refund might be smaller this year

But you'll also need to use additional schedules to calculate certain sources of income to list on Schedule 1. For example:

  • If you received income from self-employment and have deductions for business related expenses, then you'll need to use Schedule C to calculate your net income from self-employment. 
  • If you have realized capital gains from investment sales (or capital gains distributions from mutual funds) then you'll also need to complete Schedule D and report your net gains (or losses) on Schedule 1. 
  • If you need to report income from rental real estate, or income from royalties or partnerships, you'll also need to complete and attach Schedule E (Supplemental Income and Loss).

You also need to use Schedule 1 if you're claiming additional adjustments to income such as contributions to IRAs, Health Savings Accounts, interest paid on student loans or educator expenses.

Schedule 2 – Tax

if you had to pay additional taxes such as the Alternative Minimum Tax, or taxes on other forms of income, such as a child's unearned income from investments, then you'll need to complete this schedule. If you owe the Alternative Minimum Tax, you'll need to use Form 6251 to calculate that special tax, which is then listed on line 45 of the Schedule 2.

Schedule 3 – Nonrefundable Credits

This is for tax filers claiming nonrefundable tax credits, which includes the credit for retirement savings (calculated using Form 8880), credits for education costs you paid (using Form 8863), credit for foreign taxes paid (Form 1116) and the credit for residential energy equipment and home improvements (Form 5695).

Schedule 4 – Other Taxes

You'll use this schedule to list and total all other taxes that may apply to your situation, which would include the self-employment tax (use Schedule SE to calculate this), uncollected Social Security or Medicare taxes (use Forms 4137 and 8919) and additional penalty taxes owed on IRA withdrawals (Form 5329.) 

Schedule 5 – Other Payments and Refundable Credits

Folks who use this schedule will use it to claim additional refundable tax credits (other than the earned income credit, American opportunity credit, or the additional child tax credit), such as the net premium tax credit, excess Social Security tax withheld, and the credit for federal tax on fuels. 

You'll also use Schedule 5 to report the estimated tax payments you made for 2018 and the portion of any 2017 tax refund that you applied to your 2018 tax.

Finally, if you file an extension, you'll use this schedule to report the amount of tax you paid with your request for extension to file.

Schedule 6 – Foreign Address and Third Party Designee

You'll need to file this schedule if you use a foreign address or want to designate a third party (such as your tax preparer) to discuss this tax return with the IRS.

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