Postcard 1040: is it really a possibility thanks to tax reform?

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

1040, Form 1040, tax, filing, postcardIt looks like President Trump wasn’t kidding about wanting to file taxes on a postcard. As a matter-of-fact, the IRS released a proposed draft of the 2018 Form 1040 and it is LITERALLY the size of a postcard. Tax accountants and CPAs everywhere are laughing and thinking this has got to be a joke, right?! How are we going to file our clients’ (mostly complex) taxes on a postcard? The tax law certainly did NOT get simpler but somehow the form got shorter. Or did it?

We don’t know anything officially yet since this is only a proposed draft form, but apparently the 1040 will just have MANY more schedules. Currently, it uses Schedules A, B, C, D, E and F to report deductions, interest, dividends, gains and losses, rents, passthrough income and farm income. As of the 2018 filing season, there may be Schedules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 to go along with the alphabetic ones. That sounds so much better than having a longer form, right?

There is some good news! No place for a stamp in the upper-right hand corner. I guess it isn’t really a postcard. Whew! I was really getting worried about the possibility of increased risk of identity theft with these forms going through the mail but apparently the IRS thinks of everything.

Check out the proposed draft of the 2018 Form 1040, which is in a 30-day comment period. The IRS does anticipate that this draft will change at least slightly before the final version is released. It is possible it may get its bottom half back – then again, maybe not.

Stacy Redmond, CPA