Dollars and sense: Important tips for accurate tax returns

By BARRETT CUMMINGS / Guest Columnist

As the April 15 tax deadline draws near, you will hear ads from tax professionals offering a variety of services for numerous taxable entities. Under U.S. tax law, there are five basic taxable entities: individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts. Each taxable entity must file its own tax forms and schedules. Below is a summary of the major tax forms and schedules:

-1040 EZ: Individual return for single and joint taxpayers with no dependents.

-1040A: Individual return for taxpayers who are not self-employed and do not benefit from itemizing deductions.

-1040: Individual return for all taxpayers who do not qualify to file Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A.

-Schedule A: Itemized deductions.

-Schedule B: Interest and dividend income.

-Schedule C: Profit or loss from business or profession.

-Schedule D: Capital gains and losses.

-Schedule E: Rent and royalty income.

-Schedule F: Farm income.

-1120: Corporate tax return for large corporations.

-1120A: Corporate tax return for small corporations.

-1120S: S Corporation tax return.

-1065: Partnership informational return.

-Schedule K-1: Partner’s share of partnership results.

-1041: Estates and trusts tax return.

All tax forms and schedules listed are available at www.irs.gov. This website also contains information on multiple tax issues (corporate formation, deductions, depreciation, exemptions, income limits for dependents, partnership formation, etc.)

Although the IRS website will provide you with pertinent information, always consult a tax professional with specific questions.

Each state also requires the five basic taxable entities to file tax forms and schedules. Different states have different filing requirements.

Once again, be sure to consult a tax professional with questions. Individual and corporate tax forms for Alabama can be found online at http://www.revenue.alabama.gov/incometax/icindex.cfm.

If you cannot file a complete and accurate tax return, an extension is required. For individuals the extension filing deadline is April 15. Be sure to keep all tax documents for no less than five years in case the tax return is audited. Happy filing!

Barrett Cummings is an accounting instructor at Jefferson State Community College. She can be reached by e-mail at mailto:bschober@jeffstateonline.com