Income tax – Tax declaration in the USA

As in other countries, in the United States you must make your tax return or income tax every year.

As an individual or as a company, the income tax is a duty of every person resident in the country.

Then I tell you about the tax declaration in the United States.

income tax

Income tax – Tax declaration in the USA

Submitting a tax return in the United States is what is called to the action of sending the authorized forms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) online or by mail based on the calculation made.

The income tax for an individual is obtained from the percentage of a person’s income for wages and salaries, after deduction of allowable deductions.

It is what is usually called “The more you earn the more you pay”.

The law for the declaration of taxes in the United States allows to make deductions based on the dependents and exemptions that are had at the moment of declaring, donations, taxes paid for real estate, among other deductions.

To this declaration should be attached the forms required by law to support the information that is declared there.

The information reported there based on income determines whether more taxes should be paid or if the IRS will return the difference paid for more.

Form 1040

The form 1040 is the one that summarizes all the information of the declaration in two sheets.

It is the one that provides a summary of everything indicated in the attached subsequent sheets.

form 1040

This form contains all the necessary information to determine the amount to pay or to return to the taxpayer.

The 1040 form changes every year so you should make sure that you are making the declaration in the current form for the year of your declaration.

The current form 1040 to declare your income tax can be found on the irs page by clicking here

To know it better we will see each section of the form.

Fiscal year (Tax Year)

The fiscal period that most people declare is from January 1 to December 31.

If it is a different period, it is indicated in the cell indicated for that purpose.

It is important that you verify that the form says the year you are declaring.

Name, SSO or ITIN address.

In the following section you will indicate:

  • Your first name
  • Initial of your middle name (if applicable)
  • Last name
  • Your Social Security Number (SSO) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • The first name of your spouse and initial of the second (in case you declare sets)
  • Your spouse’s last name
  • SSO of your spouse
  • Address of room or home where they live, indicating apartment, city, state and zip code.


The first and last names must be the same as indicated on the SSO or ITIN card

Civil status

Your marital status will be determined by what you were the last day of the fiscal period to be declared.

The civil status that you declare there will determine the amount of deduction that will be applied later, your tax rate to pay and your eligibility for certain deductions or credits.

There are 5 civil status defined by the IRS.

These are:

  • Single
  • Married declaring jointly
  • Married declaring separately
  • Head of household
  • Widow with dependent child.


The exemptions reduce the amount of your income to be taxed.

In the case of tax returns in the United States, the only exemptions allowed are the declarer and his spouse.

This exemption will allow on page 2 of the return to subtract a certain amount depending on the exemption and dependents you claim.

The permitted dependents are children, parents and other family members as long as they qualify as dependents through compliance with certain guidelines.

These dependents must have social security number or ITIN as the case may be.


If you are an employee who receives a salary from an employer, you must receive the W-2 form that specifies the payments received during the previous year, that is, the year to be declared.

If you work for different companies then you will receive several W-2, one for each company.

If you work on your own, or what is the same, you get your own job instead of receiving a salary from an employer, then you should receive the 1099-MISC form that reports your income during the fiscal year.

If you do not receive any document in the same way you must report your income.

If you receive bank interest or dividends for property or investments you must also include them in the income section.

Income from property sales, income from property rental are also income that you must report.

Some income, such as child support, is not taxable, so most of the time it is not reported. However, there are several ways that are used to determine the amount that should be reported.

Adjusted gross income (Adjusted Gross Income or AGI)

There are some income that are taken as a deduction, that is, they subtract from the income reported in the previous section.

An example of this income is moving expenses, taxes already paid for self-employment, interest paid for student loans, among others.

The result obtained is what is called AGI.

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Taxes and credits

This is where we get the taxable income.

The taxable income or taxable income is obtained by subtracting the standard deduction or detailed deduction and exemptions to your AGI.

Therefore, the taxable income would be:

Taxable income = AGI – Deductions – Exemptions

This taxable income would be reflected on line 44 of form 1040

Tax credits can also reduce your taxes. These credits are reflected from line 48 to 54 and refer to taxes paid that are not reimbursable.

If you have tax credits, these credits are subtracted from the tax to be paid even until your balance to be paid reaches zero.

Other taxes

income tax in united states

These other taxes refer to additional taxes such as those caused by own account employment.

These taxes are added to your taxable income to obtain your total tax.

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This section reflects taxes already paid during the fiscal year.

For example, the taxes your employer discounts every time you make a payment.

These taxes are deductible tax credits so they will reduce your amount to pay.


If your taxes paid are greater than the total tax payable, then you will be entitled to a refund.

Amount payable

If, on the other hand, you have paid during the year less in taxes than you have to pay, then you will have to pay an additional amount.

Third authorized person

You can authorize the IRS to discuss your tax information with a third party by completing and signing this section.

This authorization will be valid for one year. For the following year you must authorize again if you wish.

Finally sign in the document. There you must sign you and your conjugate

And if someone else made the statement for you, you must fill out the last section of For Taxpayer Use.

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