The 2019 Form 1040 – Drafts Show Improvement July 25, 2019

The IRS has released drafts of the 2019 Form 1040. Say bye-bye to the “postcard” — sort of.

For 2018, the idea of a postcard tax return resulted in the old and trusted Form 1040 transforming into an eight-page problem. The first two pages were each printed on a half sheet of paper to resemble a postcard-sized Form 1040 (although many software companies received IRS permission to cram the two half pages into one). Six schedules to support the “postcard” followed.

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For 2019, there have been some improvements. First, the six 2018 schedules have been cut to three for 2019. Schedule 1 reports additional income and adjustments to income. Schedule 2 reports additional taxes, and Schedule 3 reports additional credits and payments. Pages one and two of the Form 1040 each take up 2/3rd of a page because of added lines. Here are a few changes of note to the 2019 Form 1040.

  • In the filing status section, lines have been added to report the spouse’s name for the married filing separate taxpayer, and nondependent child’s name for the taxpayer claiming head of household or qualifying widow(er).
  • The check box for health insurance coverage has been removed since there is no individual mandate penalty for 2019.
  • A line has been added to report foreign address information.
  • A line has been added to report capital gain or loss. Capital gains were reported on Schedule1 last year.
  • A line has been added to report the QBI deduction. The QBI deduction was reported onSchedule 1 last year. Also see the drafts of new Form 8895 and Form 8895-A required to beattached to the 2019 return when claiming the QBI deduction.
  • Separate lines have been added for the Earned Income Credit, Additional Child Tax Creditand the American Opportunity Credit.
  • The signature lines were returned to page two of the return.
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New Form 1040-SR draft released. Although the IRS eliminated the Forms 1040EZ and 1040A beginning for 2018 returns, legislation required the IRS to provide a “short” form 1040 for seniors beginning in 2019. Thus, IRS has released a draft of its proposed 2019 Form 1040-SR. If you look at the Form 1040-SR, the first thing you’ll notice is the font size. Yes, that is meant to help seniors who might have failing eyesight. Does the Form 1040-SR mean anything to us? Probably not. Office practice is often to force all returns to the Form 1040 to make review easier.

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