Updated individual returns – new “easy” return for seniors

The IRS has released a draft of the new simplified individual income tax form, Form 1040-SR. This form may be used by taxpayers 65 and over (senior taxpayers) for the tax year 2019 and future returns. It is similar to Form 1040-EZ but without the limitations that restricted the use of Form 1040-EZ.  

The new form is two pages long and has larger font sizes. It also removes the shading around some of the boxes to improve contrast for taxpayers with declining vision. It is available for seniors of any filing status and with dependents. There is also a chart at the bottom of page 1 that includes a list of standard deductions and instructions for how to claim the additional standard deduction.

In addition to the new 1040-SR tax return, the IRS has also issued draft versions of the 2019 Form 1040 and the accompanying schedules. Some of the notable changes for these documents include streamlining the six schedules that existed in 2018 down to just three schedules in the 2019 drafts. Also, the checkbox for health care coverage has been removed because health care coverage is not required in 2019 in order to avoid a tax penalty.