What is a 1040?

In the US, the income tax return is also called a 1040, based on the number of the form that must be completed and submitted annually. It is one of the three forms, namely the 1040 (extended version), 1040A (abridged version) and 1040EZ (simplest version). In the Netherlands, this is similar to a P-form. If you are going to file for the first time, a single 1040 won’t suffice. You then need to fill in several years. Read more on how to file the first time under Streamlined procedure.

The IRS provided these forms in the past, but nowadays, you must download the forms yourself or acquire them through other channels (e.g. US tax advisers or make an on-line declaration).

1040 income tax return

The annual income tax return by individuals in the US must be submitted by 15 April of the following year. If 15 April falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a national holiday, the filing date will be shifted to the next business day.

You can request an automatic delay up to 15 October, but this postponement only applies for the submission of the U.S. tax return and not to pay the tax due. For Americans who are living abroad on 15 April, an automatic postponement of 2 months applies until 15 June. For this, you need only make an entry on your US tax return that you resided abroad on 15 April.

Form 1040 only consists of 2 pages, but it should be accompanied by many additional annexes (Schedules) and additional forms as your situation becomes more complex. You can’t (nor should you) send any background documents, such as your Dutch annual statement or your Dutch tax return. These documents are not read by the IRS, so these should only be provided at the express request of an IRS employee at the time of an audit (“tax audit”). Should this situation arise, we can support and assist you.