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Originally published Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 10:00 PM

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Choose the tax form that best fits your needs

To file your 2009 individual tax return, you'll have to decide which form to use—unless you e-file.

To file your 2009 individual tax return, you'll have to decide which form to use ... unless you e-file.

If you file electronically, the software automatically selects the simplest and best form for you.

Whether you use e-file or prepare on paper, using the simplest form will help avoid costly errors or processing delays.

And remember, if you file electronically, it speeds up the processing of your tax return and the delivery of your refund.

Here are things to consider when deciding which IRS form to file.

Use the 1040EZ if:

Your taxable income is below $100,000. Your filing status is single or married filing jointly. You and your spouse — if married — are under age 65 and not blind. You are not claiming any dependents. Your interest income is $1,500 or less. You are not claiming the additional standard deduction for real-estate taxes, taxes on the purchase of a new motor vehicle or disaster losses.

Use the 1040A if:

Your taxable income is below $100,000. You have capital-gain distributions. You claim certain tax credits. You claim deductions for IRA contributions, student-loan interest, educator expenses or higher-education tuition and fees. If you cannot use the 1040EZ or the 1040A, you'll probably need to file using the 1040.

You must use the 1040 if:

Your taxable income is $100,000 or more. You claim itemized deductions. You are reporting self-employment income. You are reporting income from the sale of a property.

All IRS forms, instructions and information about filing electronically can be found at

— Internal Revenue Service

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