Taxpayers born before Jan. 2, 1955, those 65 and older, can now use an alternative to Form 1040 when they file their 2019 federal income tax return, which is due April 15.
In response to a requirement in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the Internal Revenue Service created a tax form for seniors called Form 1040-SR, which features larger font and better readability when printed.
According to the IRS, the form allows senior taxpayers — whether they are working, not working or retired — to report income from other sources common to older filers, such as investment income, Social Security and distributions from qualified retirement plans, annuities or similar deferred-payment arrangements.
All lines and checkboxes on the alternative form mirror the Form 1040, and both forms use all the same attached schedules and forms. In addition, the revised 2019 instructions cover both forms.
Eligible taxpayers can use Form 1040-SR whether they plan to itemize or take the standard deduction. Itemizers 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 that lists the standard deduction amounts, making it easier to calculate. It also ensures that seniors are aware of the increased standard deduction for taxpayers age 65 and older.
Married people who file a joint return can use the Form 1040-SR regardless of whether one or both spouses are 65 or older or retired.
The IRS said both the Forms 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. It noted that many taxpayers with basic tax situations can file Form 1040 or 1040-SR with no additional schedules.
— Check out 10 Investment Income Tax Questions, Answered on ThinkAdvisor.