The 1040A is a simpler version of Form 1040. You can use it if you meet the less-complex 1040A requirements. If you're filing a paper return and meet the requirements, using the simpler 1040A reduces the chance for both:
A delay in your return’s processing
Your taxable income must be less than $100,000 to use the 1040A.
Your income can only come from these sources:
Wages, salaries, and tips
Interest and dividends
Capital gain distributions
Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants
Pensions, annuities, and IRAs
Taxable Social Security and railroad retirement benefits
Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
You can claim these adjustments to income:
Tuition and fees deduction
Student-loan interest deduction
You can only claim these credits:
Child tax credit
Additional child tax credit
Earned Income Credit (EIC)
Credit for child- and dependent-care expenses
Credit for the elderly or the disabled
Retirement savings contributions credit
You can also use a 1040A if either of these is true:
You receive dependent-care benefits.
You owe tax from the recapture of an education credit or the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
Restrictions for using a 1040A include:
You can’t itemize deductions. So you can't deduct charitable donations or mortgage interest paid.
You can't claim an AMT adjustment on stock you acquired from exercising an incentive stock option.