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Form 1040-SR A cropped image of the top of Form 1040-SR. Courtesy IRS

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IRS Introduces new Form 1040-SR designed for seniors

The new form features larger text and a standard deduction chart, with the goal of making it easier for over 65s to read and understand

Published on February 6, 2020

The IRS has introduced a re-designed version of Form 1040 which has been altered to make it easier to read and use for those aged 65 or over.

The new form, named 1040-SR, has been introduced as a requirement of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which demanded that the IRS offer a form which is designed specifically for seniors. US Taxpayers who are 65 or over are eligible to use the new form to file their 2019 Tax Returns, which are due on April 15 (extended to June 15 for Americans living overseas). The new form features a larger font and a standard deduction chart, but according to the Tax Advocacy Panel (TAP), both the new 1040-SR and the existing 1040 forms "use the same "building block" approach introduced last year that can be supplemented with additional Schedules 1, 2 and 3 as needed".

TAP also explain that:

- "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.

- "Seniors can use Form 1040-SR 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."

- "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 with a Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, when filing their 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."

- "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."

For more information on the new form, go to https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-1040-sr. You can also check out further developments intended to support US Taxpayers via the Tax Advocacy Panel website at https://improveirs.org/tap-news/.

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