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IRS issues draft updates to Form 1040, Form 1040-SR, schedules

The proposed updates for the 2019 tax returns have been released, including a new Form 1040-SR for seniors. The new form for seniors was required by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

The new 1040-SR will look visually different from past forms. The font size is larger and it is designed with high contrast in mind, which is useful for people with declining vision. In connection to the new 1040-SR, the standard deduction chart includes the instruction to "add the number of boxes checked in the 'Age/Blindness' section of Standard Deduction." Additionally, the IRS updated Schedule R, "Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled."

The new 1040 will have several small changes, as well. For example, the signature line will now appear on the second page. Spaces have been added where the taxpayer can list the names of their spouse and children. And, since the Affordable Care Act has been modified to no longer require every individual to obtain health coverage, the checkbox indicating the taxpayer had such coverage has been removed. And, several line items such as those for the Earned Income Credit, American Opportunity Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit have changed position.

In addition to the 1040 form itself, the IRS has also issued draft versions of two schedules that were required by the 2017 tax law. These were:

  • Schedule 1 (Additional Income and Adjustments to Income)
  • Schedule 2 (Additional Taxes)
  • Schedule 3 (Additional Credits and Payments)

These new forms reflect changes to our tax law mandated by Congress in recent laws. It is possible, although unlikely, that the final forms will differ from these drafts.

For questions about the tax law changes themselves or how to use the new tax forms, contact an experienced tax attorney.

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