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  • Gregory L Buhrow, MBA,CPA

The Postcard Form 1040?

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

The man below wants you to believe he has YOUR best interests at heart. Rep Kevin Brady displays what he believes to be the next Form 1040 - a postcard-sized tax return that can be dropped into any mail slot to file your taxes.

Brady with postcard 1040
Rep Kevin Brady (R-TX) Chairman of House Ways and Means Committee; Originally published November 3, 2017

What happened to electronic filing?

Despite IRS's stated goal to encourage more electronic filing and the increasing complexity of financial information received and used as a source for your tax return, this man believes a postcard will capture all of that information.

What about confidentiality?

Will whoever sees the postcard 1040 have access to my social security number, income, bank account routing and account number?

The New and Improved Form 1040

In fact, Congress/IRS has redesigned Form 1040 into what they think you will believe is a much simpler and more efficient Form 1040. For 2018, it is still a two-page form but only one-half of each page is used.

However, as you will probably notice, in addition to the two half-page forms, there are SIX additional schedules that apply to Form 1040. Not all taxpayers will use all the schedules and a majority will use only pages 1 and 2.

Further, you will see that Congress/IRS squeezed what was a two-page form (prior year 1040s) into a three-page form, if you place all the additional schedules onto one continuous form.

Sometimes words simply cannot describe what Congress is thinking ...

UPDATE: IRS Cancels Postcard-Sized Income Tax Return

According to the CPA Practice Advisor, August 4, 2019, the IRS has officially scrapped its plan to provide taxpayers with a postcard-sized income tax return that one can simply complete and drop into the mailbox.

IRS states that despite the TCJA (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) it still requires more information in order to file a complete and accurate return than what a postcard-sized form with gather.

"We never believed that it would be a postcard. Never. Not for a moment," House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) told Bloomberg News. "I heard that over and over again during my time and career and I think that makes more for a good photograph than it does for a good policy”

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks ...

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