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How Does a 1040 Work?

1040 Tax FormFor years when our W-2s came in the mail, I just plunked our numbers into Turbo Tax, and out popped a form. We sent that form in (or just e-filed) and then boom…a refund check showed up shortly thereafter. Cool. But I really didn’t have an understanding at all about how the form flowed…I just answered the questions.

Now that I prepare tax returns for a living, I’ve come to appreciate how important it is that a taxpayer really understands what they are reporting on the form and how it all flows together. So, without further ado – here it is – the Form 1040 broken down into manageable chunks. I’ll try to keep it in plain English as much as possible. [Read more…]