The new 1040 tax form: What you need to know


With the simplification of the tax code brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS has revised Form 1040 into a simpler and shorter form.

RELATED: How one call to the IRS could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars

Have a look at the draft of the streamlined IRS Form 1040

The new form replaces the three versions of the 1040 — the standard form 1040, the 1040-A short form and the 1040-EZ for the simplest of tax situations — into just one version.

Here’s what the new form looks like:

New 1040

New 1040
New 1040

The new streamlined version is down to just 23 lines, from the 79 lines on the old 1040.

In addition, you’ll notice several other things missing that you’re used to from the traditional 1040 form.

For example, gone are line items for the personal exemption, alimony deduction, the deduction for moving expenses and a variety of other miscellaneous deductions.

New schedules

It’s worth noting that many of the things that were removed from the draft of the 1040 were simply offloaded to one of six new schedules.

“For the most part, the new Form 1040 will contain all of the same information as the prior version but in a more condensed form,” Sara Gabrell, a CPA with metro Atlanta tax firm Value Added Inc., tells “For taxpayers with more complex returns, the IRS has added a series of Supplemental Schedules for reporting additional information.”


Here are those schedules:

  • Schedule 1 – use this to report additional income or adjustments to income like IRA contributions, student loan interest, health savings account contributions, etc.
  • Schedule 2 – use this for alternative minimum tax
  • Schedule 3 – use this for nonrefundable tax credits such as child and dependent care expenses
  • Schedule 4 – use this to report self-employment tax, uncollected Social Security and Medicare taxes
  • Schedule 5 – use this to add up estimated tax payments or amounts paid with an extension
  • Schedule 6 – use this to appoint a third-party designee to discuss your return with the IRS on your behalf

According to the IRS, “The new design uses a ‘building block’ approach. Form 1040, which many taxpayers can file by itself, is supplemented with new Schedules 1 through 6. These additional schedules will be used as needed to complete more complex tax returns.”

The standard deduction for 2018 has been increased to $12,000 for people who are single or Married filing separately; $24,000 for those Married filing jointly; and $18,000 for Head of household.

Returns this year are due April 15, 2019, unless you live in Maine or Massachusetts, where you have until April 17 because of the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states.

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