Washington (Sept. 27, 2002) -- The Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department have increased the threshold for filing a separate schedule for interest or dividend income, reducing the number of schedules more than 15 million taxpayers will have to file with their tax return.

For 2002 tax returns, most taxpayers will no longer have to file a separate schedule if they have interest or dividend income of $1,500 or less. Form 1040 filers use Schedule B, Interest and Ordinary Dividends, to list the names of those who paid them along with the amount; Form 1040A filers use Schedule 1. The new IRS standard replaces the existing reporting threshold of $400.

Without the shift, more than 40 million taxpayers would have to file Schedule B or Schedule 1 next year, according to IRS estimates. The $400 figure has been in place since 1974.

This change will also enable another 800,000 taxpayers to use the shorter Form 1040EZ or use TeleFile to file their tax returns by telephone by increasing the maximum amount of interest income they can report to $1,500.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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