TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

NY Times: The New Tax Form Is Postcard-Size, But More Complicated Than Ever

New York Times, The New Tax Form Is Postcard-Size, but More Complicated Than Ever:

The Trump administration’s new “postcard” tax form still must be mailed in an envelope, unless you want your neighbors to see your Social Security number. It will save a little bit of time for some taxpayers but could add pages more paperwork for millions of others.

A draft copy of the new version of the standard 1040 income tax form, obtained by The New York Times, shows the administration has succeeded in its goal of shrinking the form that most Americans send to the Internal Revenue Service every year. The new form eliminates more than half of the 78 line items from the previous form, reducing it from two full pages of text to one double-sided half page.

New 1040

Smaller is not necessarily simpler. The new form omits a variety of popular deductions, including those for student loan interest and teaching supplies, forcing taxpayers to search for them — and tally them up — on one of six accompanying worksheets. ...

Administration officials have said they will unveil the new form this week. A person with knowledge of the new form said on Monday that it was meant to replace not just the 1040, but the 1040A (the “short form”) and the 1040EZ (for filers without any dependents). The new form “will be a postcard as we’ve promised,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week, “and hardworking taxpayers won’t have to spend nearly as much time filling out their taxes.” ...

Democrats say there’s nothing in the draft form, by itself, that will simplify tax season for most Americans. The new form “only adds needless complexity and confusion,” said Representative Lloyd Doggett of Texas, the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Tax Policy. “The longer Form 1040, which all taxpayers have used for decades, is being replaced with Republican mythology that will only complicate tax filing.”

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It looks like an improvement to me.

Posted by: mike livingston | Jun 27, 2018 4:14:38 AM