Interactive Tax Forms
This interactive tool tells you a little about what is behind the tax forms. What does each line mean? How many people make an entry? How does it affect revenues and the distribution of tax burdens across income categories?
This year’s version covers the 2014 Form 1040—the most common return—and Schedule A, where taxpayers tally up itemized deductions. The biggest change from 2013 is the addition of three lines related to the Affordable Care Act that reconcile subsidies used to purchase health insurance on the federal or state exchanges or collect penalties from people who failed to obtain required coverage.
Click on a link to bring up a form. Then hover your cursor over a line to see basic information and click to bring up a box with additional information.
This year, we also offer a new feature that explains in broader brush strokes how the federal income tax works. The new presentation talks about different aspects of filling out your return—who count as dependents, what income do you report and what is left out, what deductions and credits can you claim, and how do taxes affect education, retirement, and health expenses. Check it out here.
Unmarried individuals without dependents or who do not maintain their own household file as single.
In 2012, 66.7 million taxpayers filed as single, accounting for 46 percent of all returns.
Married couples generally file one joint return that combines the income and expenses of both spouses.
In 2012, 53.7 million married couples filed joint tax returns, accounting for 37 percent of all returns.
Married couples may file two tax returns, reporting each spouse's income and expenses separately.
In 2012, 2.7 million married individuals filed separate tax returns, accounting for 1.8 percent of all returns.
An unmarried individual who maintains his/her own household and has dependents may file as Head of Household.
In 2012, 21.8 million taxpayers filed as head of household, accounting for 15.0 percent of all returns.
A widow(er) may file a joint return as married in the year of a spouse’s death. For the next two years, the surviving spouse may continue to file a joint return if s/he maintains a household and has a dependent son or daughter.
In 2012, 77 thousand widow(er)s filed as surviving spouses, accounting for less than 1 percent of all returns.
A taxpayer may claim an exemption for him/herself, his/her spouse, and all dependents.
In 2012, 94 percent of tax filers claimed exemptions for themselves. Tax filers who are claimed as dependents on another person’s tax return may not claim exemptions for themselves.
A taxpayer may claim an exemption for his or her spouse, and all dependents. A widower whose spouse died during 2014 may also claim a spousal exemption.
In 2012, 37 percent of taxpayers claimed a spousal exemption.
A taxpayer may claim exemptions for children who were 1) under age 19 at the end of 2014 2) under age 24 if they were at least half-time students, or 3) were totally and permanently disabled as well as for other dependents.
In 2012, taxpayers claimed a total of 98 million dependent exemptions, 86 percent of which were for children.
Income earned from job(s).
In 2012, nearly 120 million tax returns reported $6.3 trillion of earnings.
Interest earned on bank accounts and bonds.
In 2012, nearly 48 million tax returns reported $112 billion of taxable interest.
Interest paid on municipal and state bonds on which individuals pay no federal income tax.
Nearly 6 million taxpayers reported $71 billion dollars of tax-exempt interest in 2012.
Dividends paid to shareholders by corporations or mutual funds.
Almost 28 million taxpayers reported $260 billion dollars of ordinary dividends in 2012.
Dividends that are subject to a lower tax rate than ordinary income. Qualified dividends are identified separately on information returns provided by payers.
In 2012, 25 million taxpayers reported $204 billion in qualified dividends.
Some or all of any refund of 2013 state and local income taxes. The amount of any refund included as income on 2014 tax returns is determined using the State and Local Income Tax Refund worksheet.
In 2012, 22 million taxpayers reported nearly $27.5 billion dollars in state and local income tax refunds.
Alimony or separate maintenance payments received in 2014. The person making these payments may subtract them in calculating adjusted gross income (AGI) on his/her income tax return.
More than 440 thousand tax returns reported receiving $8.9 billion dollars in alimony payments in 2012.
Income (net of expenses) earned from a business or sole proprietorship as reported on Schedule C or C-EZ.
In 2012, over 23 million taxpayers reported net business income of $304 billion. Approximately 5.5 million taxpayers reported $54 billion in net business losses.
Gain or loss from the sale of an asset such as a stock or bond.
Over 20 million taxpayers reported net capital gains of $621 billion in 2012.
Gains or losses from the sale of assets used in a trade or business.
In 2012, 2 million taxpayers reported other gains or losses that added to a net loss of $9.4 billion.
Amount withdrawn from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) during the tax year.
Almost 14 million tax returns reported more than $272 billion in IRA distributions in 2012.
Amount of withdrawals from IRAs that is subject to income tax.
In 2012, 13 million taxpayers reported $231 billion in taxable IRA distributions.
Amounts received from pensions or annuities.
29.5 million taxpayers reported more than $975 billion in pensions and annuities income in 2012.
Amount of pension or annuity payments that is subject to income tax.
In 2012, more than 27 million taxpayers reported $613 billion of taxable pensions and annuities.
Income from rental property, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, estates, trusts, and other entities, net of expenses.
In 2012, 17.2 million taxpayers reported Schedule E income of $613 billion.
Profit or loss from farming.
In 2012, 600,000 taxpayers reported farm income of $14.5 billion, while almost 1.3 million reported farm losses totaling over $24 billion.
Total unemployment compensation received, net of contributions to unemployment or family leave programs, and repayment of excess compensation in prior years.
Over 11 million taxpayers reported more than $71 billion in unemployment compensation in 2012.
Total Social Security benefits received.
26.5 million taxpayers reported nearly $527 billion in Social Security benefits in 2012.
Taxable amount of Social Security benefits. Between 0 and 85 percent of benefits are taxable, depending on the recipient’s income.
Nearly 18 million tax returns reported a total of $224 billion of taxable social security benefits in 2012.
All taxable income not reported in other categories, including most prizes and awards, gambling winnings, pay for jury duty, canceled debts, and other income.
In 2012, 6.6 million tax returns reported $37.4 billion of other income.
Total income subject to income tax, before adjustments.
Total income for nearly 145 million taxpayers was $9.2 trillion in 2012.
Educators may deduct up to $250 spent on qualified education expenses, such as books, supplies, equipment, and other materials used in the classroom.
Nearly 4 million taxpayers reported slightly less than $1 billion in educator expenses in 2012.
Expenses incurred as an employee that are not reimbursed by employer.
Over 143 thousand taxpayers reported $521 million of certain business expenses of reservists, performing artists, and fee-basis government officials in 2012.
Contributions made to an Archer health savings account (except those made by employers) for individuals and families with high-deductible health plans.
Roughly 1 million tax returns reported $3.4 billion of health savings account deductions in 2012.
Unreimbursed moving and travel expenses.
Approximately 1 million taxpayers reported just over $3 billion in moving expenses in 2012.
People with business, sole-proprietorship, or farm income may deduct half of the self-employment tax paid to fund Social Security and Medicare.
In 2012, 18.7 million tax returns reported deductible self-employment tax payments totaling $27.5 billion.
Contributions by self-employed individuals to qualified retirement plans.
In 2012, 923,000 taxpayers reported $20.9 billion of contributions to self-employed Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), Savings Incentive Match Plan for Empoyees (SIMPLE), and qualified plans.
Premiums paid for health insurance by self-employed individuals, net of deductible self-employment tax and deductible contributions to retirement plans.
Almost 4 million taxpayers reported more than $25.7 billion of self-employed health insurance deductions in 2012.
Penalty imposed on early withdrawals from deferred-interest accounts.
In 2012, 769 thousand returns reported paying more than $456 million of penalties for early withdrawal of savings from retirement plans.
Taxpayers who make alimony or separate maintenance payments may deduct those payments from income. Recipients of these alimony payments must report them as income on their income tax returns.
In 2012, 623 thousand tax returns reported alimony payments totaling more than $11 billion.
Contributions made to deductible IRAs.
2.6 million returns reported $11.8 billion in contributions to IRAs in 2012.
Taxpayers may deduct up to $2,500 of interest paid on student loans, subject to income and filing limitations.
Eleven million returns claimed nearly $10.7 billion in student loan interest deductions in 2012.
Taxpayers may deduct up to $4,000 of qualifying tuition and fees, subject to income limits.
In 2012, over 2 million taxpayers deducted $4.7 billion in tuition and fees.
Taxpayers may deduct up to 9 percent of income from qualified domestic production activities.
In 2012, nearly 660,000 individual income taxpayers reported more than $11 billion of deductible income from domestic production activities.
Total deductions allowed against total income in the calculation of adjusted gross income.
Thirty-seven million tax filers claimed a total of over $134 billion of “above-the-line” deductions in 2012.