A New IRS Form 1040 in 2019

Who here thinks that IRS forms are too short? That the current IRS Form 1040 doesn’t ask enough questions?

Not me that’s for sure, so I was pretty pleased to read that the IRS Form 1040 is going to be sliced in half for 2019. Lengthwise, rather than vertically – they’re not going to just let you fill in the left hand side and leave the numbers out.

This is the statement directly from the tax horse’s mouth – the IRS say there will be a new Form 1040. It’s rare to hear “IRS” and “simpler” in the same paragraph, so excuse me if I take it all with a pinch of salt.

Given that 90% of filers use a filing company or filing software to simplify their tax return process, this is going to mean a big shakeup at the software providers. So I imagine that they’ll pass along their costs to the taxpayers.

There are currently three versions of the 1040  – the vanilla hyper complex, all encompassing 1040 long form, the 1040A and the 1040EZ. They’re going to be scrapped in favor of a single 1040 – one ring to rule them all. I imagine it won’t be long before this uber-1040 is itself scrapped, or sent back to Mordor to be incinerated.

Of course, just because there’s one main form, that doesn’t mean that all the schedules go away. These additional 14 forms account for life’s rich earnings tapestry.

All I know is that my UK tax return is about a third of the length of my US tax return, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

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