1040-SR: What you need to know about the new tax form for seniors

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IRS form 1040-SR
Image Credit: Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is showing off how it hopes to simplify the federal income tax-filing process for around 15 million senior-aged households with the release of the second draft of new tax form 1040-SR, the U.S. Tax Return for Seniors.

The form — with its larger print and simplified boxes — is a welcome development, according to money expert Clark Howard. Here’s what you need to know.

New IRS tax form 1040-SR could simplify federal tax filing for senior Americans

The new tax form, which is intended to be used by tax-filers ages 65 and up, is similar in a lot of ways to the no-longer-in-use 1040EZ, which was a simplified version of the 1040 form most commonly used to report income.

Here are the two pages of form 1040-SR. Keep in mind, these are draft samples only and not to be filed.

Tax Form 1040-SR

The 1040-SR form differs from the old 1040EZ form in a few notable ways:

  • Where the 1040EZ could be used by anyone who met certain income requirements, the 1040-SR is only for use by taxpayers who turned 65 or older in the taxable year.
  • Unlike the 1040EZ, there are no limits on the amount of income that can be reported on the 1040-SR.
  • There are also no limits on the types of income that can be reported on the 1040-SR, though certain types of income may require the taxpayer to attach schedules.

As with the 1040EZ, however, you must take the standard deduction when filing the 1040-SR.

While the IRS could still make changes to the form (remember, this is only the latest draft), Clark is a fan.

“The is great for older people who only have a few income streams — like Social Security, a pension from an old job, and maybe a little investment income,” he says. “I really like the larger print and that they got rid of the coloration on some of the boxes. That makes it a lot easier for some of us to see!”

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