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Q-A Which Form Should I Use?
Is you taxable income more than $100 000 for the taxable year?

Your taxable income
$100 000





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[Which Form Should I Use] Rule #1:
= "must use Form 1040"
IF
IsTrue: [Form 1040] Is "must use"


[Form 1040] Rule #1:
= "must use"
IF
IsTrue: [Taxable income for 1040A and 1040EZ] Is "is more than"


Publication 17 (2011), Your Federal Income Tax

Form 1040A

If you do not qualify to use Form 1040EZ, you may be able to use Form 1040A.

You can use Form 1040A if all of the following apply.   
  1. Your income is only from wages, salaries, tips, interest, ordinary dividends (including Alaska Permanent Fund dividends), capital gain distributions, IRA distributions, pensions and annuities, unemployment compensation, taxable social security and railroad retirement benefits, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants.

  2. Your taxable income is less than $100,000.

  3. Your adjustments to income are for only the following items.

    1. Educator expenses.

    2. IRA deduction.

    3. Student loan interest deduction.

    4. Tuition and fees.

  4. You do not itemize your deductions.

  5. Your taxes are from only the following items.

    1. Tax Table.

    2. Alternative minimum tax. (See chapter 29.)

    3. Recapture of an education credit. (See chapter 34.)

    4. Form 8615, Tax for Certain Children Who Have Investment Income of More Than $1,900.

    5. Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet.

  6. You claim only the following tax credits.

    1. The credit for child and dependent care expenses. (See chapter 31.)

    2. The credit for the elderly or the disabled. (See chapter 32.)

    3. The education credits. (See chapter 34.)

    4. The retirement savings contribution credit. (See chapter 36.)

    5. The child tax credit. (See chapter 33.)

    6. The earned income credit. (See chapter 35.)

    7. The additional child tax credit. (See chapter 33.)

  7. You did not have an alternative minimum tax adjustment on stock you acquired from the exercise of an incentive stock option. (See Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income.)

  You must meet all of the above requirements to use Form 1040A. If you do not, you must use Form 1040.

  If you meet the above requirements, you can use Form 1040A even if you received employer-provided dependent care benefits.

  
If you receive a capital gain distribution that includes unrecaptured section 1250 gain, section 1202 gain, or collectibles (28%) gain, you cannot use Form 1040A. You must use Form 1040.