How to fill out IRS Form 1040 for 2020

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hi this is form 1040

individual income tax return for the

year 2020.

i want to show you how this form works

as you can see i've already

filled in some information for sam smith

his name and his address

and his social security number is right

here he is a single person

so his filing status is going to be

single i'll check that box just like


and then down here these boxes can be


blank he doesn't want a contribute to


election campaign fund but uh down here

he needs to

answer this question about virtual

currency and he doesn't have any virtual

currency so he's going to say

no and then down here for the study


he's not a dependent and he doesn't have

a spouse so those are going to be blank

and he wasn't born before this date and

he's not blind so those are

are blank also no dependents so no

entries in there

but uh scrolling down here to the uh

income he has a job and we're gonna say

that he

made twelve thousand nine hundred

dollars this year

so his total income on line nine is

twelve thousand nine hundred

and his adjusted gross income is also

twelve thousand nine hundred

but i'm going to change that just a bit

here i'm looking at line

10 b which is a new line for 2020

for charitable contributions a single

person can

deduct up to three hundred dollars for

cash paid to a qualified organization

uh for twenty twenty and i'm going to

say that sam

um contributed twenty fifty dollars of


to uh such an organization so i'll put

that there and that changes his adjusted

gross income to twelve thousand

eight fifty now the next thing we wanna


is find the standard deduction over here

for a single person it is twelve


four hundred so i'm going to put twelve

thousand four hundred on line eleven

just or line twelve rather just like


and that gives them a taxable income

of 450 dollars so

the next thing we need to do on this

next page is figure out the tax

on this 450 dollars and to do that we

need to go to the tax table

for 2020 which is in the 1040

instructions and i just happen to have

a copy of that attached to this file

and you see i've highlighted some fields

to help us

uh these this is the tax table from uh

the 1040 instructions for 2020

and uh line 15 which

again was 450 dollars um

is right here and it is at least

450 but less than 475 so this is the

line we want

and his tax is 46 dollars

so on line 16 we're going to put 46

right there and his total tax on line 24

is also 46

now let's um look at some of the credits

that he qualifies for

first of all he has a job and on his w-2

he had eleven hundred dollars

withheld that's for

uh withholding so

his total withholding is uh eleven 1100

and then um if he qualifies for the

earned income credit he would put that

right here

now to qualify there's some uh

qualifications that you need to look at

on the

instructions um and we're going to say

that he does qualify

so we need to figure this out and to do


we need to go to the earned income

credit table

which is down here and i've highlighted

these fields for you

he's a single person and with no

dependence so he's going to be looking

at this column here

you'll see that i've highlighted two

rows and the reason i've done that is

because he actually needs to look this


look this up twice one for his adjusted

gross income and one for his

earned income so let's go back here and

find those numbers

his adjusted gross income on line 11 is


and his earned income on line one is 12


so go back down to the table here

and twelve eight fifty is this line and

the credit is 225

and 12 900 is this line and the credit

is 221.

now he needs to choose the smaller of


two numbers which is according to the

instructions for the earned income


and going back up here to line 27

he's going to enter 221 right there

on that line and that gives him a refund

of uh 1275 on 35a

so um uh he uh

is ready to file this form but before we

do that let's look at

one other line this recovery rebate


that is the stimulus check that he would

have received

you might remember back in april the


mailed out stimulus checks to everybody

that qualified

and for a single person that would have

been 1200

and then a second stimulus check was

recently mailed out in january of 2021

for a single person that would be 600

for a total of eighteen hundred

so uh probably he's already received

that and if that's the case he would

just leave this blank

but if he hadn't received it he can

still get a credit for it

by putting in eighteen hundred dollars

right there

um and then um that would bump him

up to a refund of 3075

so that would be a pretty nice refund

for him now if he's ready to

to file this form he would first print


the page one and page two of 1040 here

and then he would put in his signature

right there

and date and occupation right there and

then he'd be ready to mail this to the

irs so let me show you where he would

mail this form to

down here this is also from the 1040


and he's got a refund so he's going to

be in this column he lives in washington

state so he's going to be on this row

and for this time period this is the

address that he would

file that he would send his forms to so

that's uh what he would do and that's

how that works about and in about four

to five

six weeks he would get a refund

for that amount on 35a whether it's uh

whether it is 3075

or whether it is 1275 he'd get a refund

for that

so that's how that works so thanks for