2008 Instructions for Federal Tax Form 1040

| February 4, 2010

Each year tax filers complete the IRS 1040 tax form. This form is entitled U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Each year the government makes changes to the form so if you have not filed your 2008 tax returns, you may not use the instructions from 2007 or 2009. You must use the 2008 instructions which are specific to the 2008 1040 tax form. Keep in mind that as tax laws change, it becomes even more important to follow the instructions for the appropriate tax year.

  • Complete the mailing address and identifying information. You must fully complete your name, address, zip code and Social Security information at the top of the form. Improperly completing this information may result in a delayed tax refund.IRS-Tax-Form-1040
  • Fill in your deductions/exemptions. You can claim yourself, a spouse and several dependents as long as you have the names, social security numbers and relationship information.
  • Insert your income on line 22. The next section of the 2008 Federal 1040 form involves calculating your total income. Pull out your W2, 1099 and W-2G to calculate your total income. In addition to those forms include income such as alimony received, farm income, unemployment compensation and any other income received in 2008.
  • Calculate the adjusted gross income and insert it on line 37. The adjusted gross income is determined by taking your income and deducing expenses such as tuition fees, alimony paid, moving expenses and a few other expenses. To find out which expenses qualify for 2008 tax credits, visit the IRS website and insert “2008 qualified expenses” in their search function.
  • Deduct tax credits and tax prepayment credits. Tax credits include standard and itemized tax deductions, credit for child or dependent care, retirement savings contribution credits and more. In addition to tax credits, tax filers can deduct prepaid tax credits such as Federal income tax withheld as indicated on forms W-2 and 1099 and any additional taxes paid throughout the year.
  • Calculate the difference between your income tax liability and the amount of taxes you actually paid to determine if you will receive a refund or have to issue a check to the government. On the 2008 1040 tax form this is calculated by taking the difference between the amounts on line 61 and line 71. If Line 71 is more than 61 then you are due a refund. If 61 is larger than 71, then you owe the IRS money.

Tip: Always remember to sign and date your tax return. If you file a joint return, the form must have the signatures of you and your spouse.



Category: Form 1040, Tax Forms

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Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits About Money.

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