Q:

Is it difficult to file taxes following the 1040 instruction booklet?

A:

Quick Answer

Although some taxpayers find Form 1040 difficult to fill out, the instruction booklet provides detailed information about definitions, regulations and other factors to help make it easier, according to TaxHow. Filling out the form requires some math skills and attention to detail.

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Full Answer

People who struggle with math or are intimidated by Form 1040 can choose to use software that fills it out automatically, notes the Internal Revenue Service. As of 2015, people with incomes under $60,000 qualify for the federal free file program, which handles almost everything. In most cases, taxpayers simply have to enter the appropriate number for the software to calculate and files their taxes for them. Some states even offer a similar program for state taxes.

People who make over $60,000 can still qualify for some free software programs, according to the IRS. This software offers less guidance, but it still does the math and offers some basic help. However, this is not available for state taxes.

Some of the most difficult parts of filling out Form 1040 involve figuring out exemptions and calculating the actual tax, according to Intuit. The accompanying instruction booklet helps taxpayers calculate the correct amount. Exemptions are complex because taxpayers can choose to itemize or take a standard amount. The standard exemption is a basic amount that is usually easier to use, but people who make large donations or have other exemptions may benefit from itemizing.

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