The New Postcard Size IRS Form 1040 for 2019

The Internal Revenue Service has released a prototype of the new Form 1040 that hundreds of millions of Americans use to file their annual taxes. The new "postcard sized" form will be used for the 2018 income tax year.  A full-size PDF draft version of the new 1040 form can be viewed from the IRS website.

Theoretically, the new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million individual taxpayers can use the same form. The new form consolidates the three versions of the 1040 (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) into a single, simplified form, while giving the IRS the information it needs from each taxpayer needed to verify their tax liability or refund.

Although the form is postcard sized, taxpayers with common deductions things like mortgage and student loan interest, education credits, charitable deductions and business expenses will need to complete additional worksheets and schedules. Additionally, the form should not be mailed as a postcard, since the taxpayer's Social Security Number would be visible.

According to the IRS, the new Form 1040 uses a “building block” approach, in which the tax return is reduced to a simple form. That form can be supplemented with additional schedules if needed. Taxpayers with straightforward tax situations would only need to file this new 1040 with no additional schedules.