Seniors getting ready to file or at least work on taxes shouldn’t panic.
That’s because the Internal Revenue Service wants all seniors to know about the availability of a new tax form, Form 1040-SR, featuring larger print and a standard deduction chart with a goal of making it easier for older Americans to read and use.
New Form 1040-SR
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 required the IRS to create a tax form for seniors. Taxpayers age 65 or older now have the option to use Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors. Form 1040-SR, when printed, features larger font and better readability, it said in a news release.
Taxpayers who electronically file Form 1040-SR may notice the change when they print their return. More than 90% of taxpayers now use tax software to prepare and file their tax returns.
The IRS states taxpayers born before Jan. 2, 1955, have the option to file Form 1040-SR whether they are working, not working or are retired. The form allows income reporting from other sources common to seniors such as investment income, Social Security and distributions from qualified retirement plans, annuities or similar deferred-payment arrangements.
Seniors can use Form 1040-SR to file their 2019 federal income tax return, which is due April 15, 2020. All lines and checkboxes on Form 1040-SR mirror the Form 1040 and both forms use all the same attached schedules and forms. The revised 2019 Instructions cover both Forms 1040 and 1040-SR, the release added.
Eligible taxpayers may use Form 1040-SR whether they plan to itemize or take the standard deduction. Taxpayers who itemize deductions can file Form 1040-SR with a Schedule A, Itemized Deductions when filing their return. For those taking the standard deduction, Form 1040-SR includes a chart listing the standard deduction amounts, making it easier to calculate. It also ensures seniors are aware of the increased standard deduction for taxpayers age 65 and older, the release explained.
Married people filing a joint return can use the Form 1040-SR regardless of whether one or both spouses are age 65 or older or retired, the release said.
Both the 1040 and the 1040-SR use the same “building block” approach introduced last year that can be supplemented with additional Schedules 1, 2 and 3 as needed. Many taxpayers with basic tax situations can file Form 1040 or 1040-SR with no additional schedules.
Keep in mind the deadline to file your 2019 taxes is April 15, 2020. Whether you do your taxes yourself or have some help from a CPA or other financial professional make sure you have the latest information to get it done in a timely manner.
Source: Internal Revenue Service