Taxpayers aged 65 or older now have the option to use Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors, thanks to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which required the IRS to create a new tax form for seniors. Here are six facts you should know:
1. Form 1040-SR is designed with larger font size (i.e., “large print”) as well as a standard deduction chart, both of which make it easier for older Americans to read and use. Taxpayers who electronically file Form 1040-SR may notice the change when they print their return.
2. Both the 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. Many taxpayers with basic tax situations can file Form 1040 or 1040-SR with no additional schedules.
3. Taxpayers born before January 2, 1955, have the option to file Form 1040-SR whether they are working, not working or retired. The form allows income reporting from other sources common to seniors such as investment income, Social Security and distributions from qualified retirement plans, annuities or similar deferred-payment arrangements.
4. Seniors can use Form 1040-SR this year to file their 2019 federal income tax return, which is due April 15, 2020. All lines and checkboxes on Form 1040-SR mirror the Form 1040 and both forms use all the same attached schedules and forms. The revised 2019 Instructions cover both Forms 1040 and 1040-SR.
5. Eligible taxpayers can use Form 1040-SR whether they plan to itemize or take the standard deduction. Taxpayers who itemize deductions can file Form 1040-SR and attach Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, when filing a paper return. For those taking the standard deduction, Form 1040-SR includes a chart listing the standard deduction amounts, making it easier to calculate. It also ensures seniors are aware of the increased standard deduction for taxpayers age 65 and older.
6. Married people filing a joint return can use the Form 1040-SR regardless of whether one or both spouses are age 65 or older or retired.
If you have any questions about Form 1040-SR, don’t hesitate to call.