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The New Simplified 1040 Tax Form

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act brought several changes to individual and business tax filers. Perhaps the most notable was the consolidation of three different 1040 forms into a single tax form. US taxpayers no longer need to determine which form they qualify to use. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 required the IRS to create a 1040 Form just for seniors (1040SR). So, now we have two 1040's: a 1040 and a 1040SR.

The newly released 1040 form is intended to simplify the standard filing process for all households. The form itself has been shortened, however, you may need to include schedules if you have income from certain additional sources (such as capital gains) or if you want to claim particular deductions and/or credits.

Major Changes to the 1040 Form

There are some changes to the 1040 form that could make part of the filing process easier. There were a few items deleted, allowing for simpler filing for some taxpayers. The four major deletions are the personal exemption, the alimony deduction, miscellaneous deductions, and moving expense deductions. That may seem like a lot of deduction opportunities to eliminate, but these may be balanced out for many taxpayers with a large jump in the standard deduction.

If tax payers don't normally claim many additional deductions, they could end up benefiting from this change in terms of your tax liability (or return, if you qualify for one). Even if you do typically claim one or more of the existing deductions, you could still potentially lessen your tax liability.

Questions on the New 1040 Form

The 2018 redesigned 1040 form is only half a page long on two sides. The first part covers your personal information, while the second part calculates your income information and shows whether you can expect a refund or owe taxes.

A taxpayer may need to complete one or more schedules to calculate and report various taxable items. The total computed on all schedules is then transferred to and filed with the Form 1040. When using our online tax software, if we determine that these are necessary for your filing our software will include them with your tax return at no additional cost to you.

What if you need to amend a return?

If you want to correct an error or oversight that you made when you filed a tax return using Form 1040 you will need to use a Form 1040X to amend your return. There are several reasons for amending a tax return. You might need to change your filing status from single to married or alter the number of dependents that you claimed. Discovering an additional Form W-2 or Form 1099 may make it necessary for you to report additional income or withholding. Making changes to the tax deductions, personal exemptions or tax credits that you claimed would also require you to file an amended return.

If you decided to amend your tax return with a Form 1040X, remember that this 1040 form can only be filed after your initial tax return has been processed. If you need to fix your returns for multiple years, you will need to file a separate Form 1040X for each year that you are correcting. You can download the Form here.

A quick note regarding printed formsĀ - The Treasury may modify it's form requirements from time-to-time. If this occurs and you do not plan to use an electronic tax software program such as ours, you'll need to verify that the Treasury has not issued replacements for the forms you are trying to prepare.