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What Are The Most Common Tax Forms?

April 16th, 2012 Personal Finance

If you've been thinking about doing your taxes, you may be confused about the number of forms that seem to be are out there. However, the process doesn't have to be so difficult. In fact, the most common tax forms are fairly simple to understand, and once you do, you may find that filing your taxes on your own is actually pretty easy. Here are some of the most common forms you're likely to fill out and what they mean.

1. W-2. The W-2 form is used to report wages paid to employees and the taxes withheld from each paycheck. Your employer must provide this to you, as it's a necessary part of filling out your tax return. At some point, you'll have to report your wages earned in the last year, and the W-2 form makes finding out that information a breeze.

2. 1099. The 1099 series of forms is used to report income that you have received beyond your wages, salary or tips. For instance, if you were paid to perform a construction job as an independent contractor, this would be where you would put that information.

3. 1040. Form 1040 is the income tax return itself. This is where the majority of your personal information goes, including your marital status, any dependents you may have and how much money you made in the last year (other than the 1099).

These are three of the forms that you'll be most likely to see when filing your taxes. There are others for more specialized cases - if you think you may need one, head to the IRS website and see what it has to say.