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IRS Releases Draft Instructions for 2018 Form 1040

The IRS has released draft instructions for the 2018 Form 1040. Additionally, the IRS has cautioned taxpayers that the draft instructions are subject to change.

Generally, the IRS does not release draft forms but has done it in this case as a “courtesy,” the instructions state. “Do not rely on draft forms, instructions, and publications for filing,” the IRS wrote. Further, drafts of instructions and publications generally undergo some changes before being finalized, the IRS noted.

2018 Form 1040

Starting with the 2019 tax filing season, many taxpayers will be able to file federal income taxes on a new postcard-sized Form 1040. The IRS planned to finalize the new base 2018 Form 1040 this summer, an IRS spokesperson previously stated. “This early release is part of our standard process to invite stakeholder input into draft forms before finalizing them,” the IRS spokesperson said after the official release of the draft 2018 Form 1040.

Shorter Form, Six Schedules

The new, two-sided Form 1040 is intended to replace and consolidate current Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ. “This new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form,” the IRS said.

The shortened form reflects many of the changes to the tax code enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Some of these changes include the higher standard deduction and the elimination of certain deductions and personal exemptions. The new form now has 23 lines, decreased from 79. However, there are now six separate schedules that some taxpayers who continue to itemize will need to include with their returns.

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