The new 1040: Two pictures are worth 1,000 words

One of Congress’ sales pitches for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was that you’d be able to file your income taxes on a postcard. Never mind that filing your taxes on an actual postcard would mean that anyone who handles the mail could see your most intimate financial details.

The IRS has now released a draft of the 2018 Form 1040. And while computing your taxes may indeed be simpler, mostly because of the almost doubled standard deduction, the form, like the draft of the W-4 that preceded it, is anything but simple.

Oh, and you will need an envelope.

Three forms into one

The draft 1040 is intended to take the place of the long-form 1040, and its two shorter siblings—the 1040-A and the 1040-EZ.

The new 1040: Two pictures are worth 1,000 wordsThe new 1040: Two pictures are worth 1,000 words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s a copy of the IRS’ draft.

The new 1040: Two pictures are worth 1,000 words

The new 1040: Two pictures are worth 1,000 words

So instead of filing one two-page form (assuming you didn’t itemize your deductions), you’ll still be filing one two-sided 1040, plus several other schedules, plus schedules to the schedules, if you itemize or you have self-employment income.

The six new schedules are available at the IRS’ draft form web page.

The IRS says that only 8% of taxpayers file on paper. But even e-filers will need to be aware of these changes.

If you care to put your two cents in, the IRS is taking comments through July 29. Email WI.1040.Comments@IRS.gov.