New Federal Tax Return for Seniors Is in the Works

Seniors working on taxes
Photo by Dragon Images / Shutterstock.com

Uncle Sam hopes to offer some relief soon to seniors who hate poring over federal tax forms crammed with words and boxes.

The IRS recently released the second draft of a new federal tax return, called Form 1040-SR or “U.S. Tax Return for Seniors.”

The new form features large print and streamlined boxes in an effort to simplify the tax-filing process for Americans ages 65 and older.

In the past, the government has touted this new tax form as being similar to Form 1040-EZ, which was the simplest tax form available for filing a return prior to 2017’s federal tax reform but has since been discontinued.

According to a recent report in Forbes:

“Unlike the old form 1040EZ, there are no income limits or restrictions on the kinds of income that can be reported on form 1040-SR. But unlike the old form 1040EZ, the draft form 1040-SR allows taxpayers to claim the standard deduction or itemize deductions.”

For the curious, the latest draft — which runs two pages — can be found at the IRS website.

If you like what you see — or even if you loathe it — you can let Uncle Sam know your thoughts by emailing comments to [email protected]

To get an idea of how the latest draft of Form 1040-SR compares to a standard tax return, Form 1040, you can find the latest available Form 1040 at the IRS website, too.

You are unlikely to need any version of the 1040 if you rely on software or a professional to file your federal income taxes, though. The software or pro would fill it out your return for you.

“While 15 million taxpayers could benefit from the new form — approximately 10% of taxpayers — that number is likely on the high end,” the Forbes report notes. “Many seniors don’t file their tax returns by hand.”

Getting ready for tax season

Even though the year is not yet over, you can get a jump on your 2019 tax return by educating yourself about changes in store for next year’s tax season.

For starters, don’t count on taking the alimony deduction. As we reported earlier this year:

“A spouse who gets divorced this year and pays alimony this year cannot write the payments off on a tax return in 2020. That also means that a spouse who gets divorced this year and receives alimony this year will not count the payments as income on the tax return filed next year.”

For more about such changes from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other adjustments that will impact your 2019 return, check out “7 Ways Your Taxes Will Change in 2020.”

Looking ahead to the next tax season is probably the last thing you feel like doing if you still have tax debt looming from previous years. But while you can run from Uncle Sam, you can’t hide.

So, instead of fleeing your obligations, try sprinting toward some expert help. Stop by the Money Talks News Solutions Center and look for qualified tax-debt pros who can help you develop a plan to put your tax-debt problems in the past.

What do you think of the proposed Form 1040-SR? Let us know in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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