Tax Filing Season Begins
January 28, 2019, marked the start of this year's tax filing season, and it's the first time taxpayers will be filing under the new tax reform laws, most of which became effective in 2018. Complicating matters is a newly revised Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, as well as the partial shutdown of the federal government. With more than 150 million individual tax returns expected to be filed for the 2018 tax year, here's what individual taxpayers can expect:
Government Shutdown; Filing as Usual, Tax Refunds on Schedule
Despite the government shutdown (referred to by the IRS as the lapse in appropriations) in December and January, all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations as per the normal time frame. That is, individuals and businesses should continue to file tax returns and make payments and deposits with the IRS, as required by law. For taxpayers receiving tax refunds there are no anticipated delays due to the lapse in appropriations.
New Design for Form 1040
The new Form 1040 has been redesigned for 2018. It is now "postcard sized" and gathers information about the taxpayer(s) and dependents. It's also the form you need to sign and date when filing your return. The new Form 1040 can also be filed by itself; however, more complex tax situations will generally require using one or more of the supplemental Schedules 1 through 6 (also new for 2018), which are briefly described below.
Note: Forms 1040A and 1040EZ no longer exist for tax year 2018. Instead, use the new Form 1040.
Schedules 1 through 6
As mentioned, these supplemental schedules are to be used as needed and are generally for those with more complex tax returns.
Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments To Income - Report income or adjustments to income that can't be entered directly on Form 1040.
Schedule 2, Tax - To be used if you have additional taxes that can't be entered directly on Form 1040. These include alternative minimum tax and excess advance premium tax credit repayment.
Schedule 3, Nonrefundable Credits - Used to report nonrefundable credits other than the child tax credit or the credit for other dependents.
Schedule 4, Other Taxes - If you have other taxes that can't be entered on Form 1040 such as additional tax on IRAs or other qualified retirement plans or household employment taxes.
Schedule 5, Other Payments and Refundable Credits - If you have other payments or refundable credits such as any estimated tax payments for 2018 or the amount paid when requesting an extension to file.
Schedule 6, Foreign Address and Third Party Designee - If you have a foreign address or want to allow another person (other than your paid tax preparer) to discuss this return with the IRS.
For most taxpayers the filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019; however, due to the Patriots' Day holiday on April 15 in Maine and Massachusetts, and the Emancipation Day holiday on April 16 in the District of Columbia, taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, 2019 to file their returns.