Postcard-size 1040 tax form to be released next week
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his department will be releasing a postcard-size Form 1040 next week, fulfilling one of the promises of last December’s tax overhaul.
“Next week, we will be unveiling the new 1040, and it will be a postcard as we’ve promised, and hardworking taxpayers won’t have to spend nearly as much time filling out their taxes,” Mnuchin said at an event Wednesday marking the six-month anniversary of the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, according to The Hill.
The tax overhaul doubled the standard deduction and eliminated a number of tax deductions, including the deduction for moving expenses that has been on the traditional two-page Form 1040. However, many tax deductions were only limited by the tax reform law, like the deduction for state and local taxes, and deductions are typically itemized on Schedule A, not on the Form 1040 itself. The doubling of the standard deduction and limitations on other deductions are expected to encourage a growing number of taxpayers to just opt for the standard deduction.
The tax code remains complex, and last December’s reforms still did not go very far in the way of tax simplification. In February, Congress actually renewed dozens of tax breaks that had expired at the end of 2016 and made them retroactive for 2017.
After the passage of last December’s tax law, skepticism abounded that a postcard-size Form 1040 was possible, even though the Internal Revenue Service has offered the shorter Form 1040A and 1040EZ versions for decades for taxpayers with relatively straightforward tax situations. During press conferences leading up to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Republican lawmakers spearheading the effort like House Speaker Paul Ryam, R-Texas, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, showed a mockup of what a postcard-size tax form might look like. But an actual draft of the Form 1040 for next tax season has not yet been posted by the Internal Revenue Service to IRS.gov. To fit it all on a postcard, the font size might have to be reduced.