Tax Man LLC

Tax Changes 2018 - The Post Card Myth

Sometimes it is just better to keep one’s mouth shut.  When Paul Ryan said that many people can file their taxes on a post card, someone at the IRS decided that they suddenly had a mandate to do just that.  Oy!

Here’s the post card reality - The first page of the form is no longer 8.5" x 11" - They cut it in half to 5.5" x 8.5" - That’s your post card.  Just curious, does anyone have a printer that prints postcard size paper?  I don’t.  So your “post card” will be 8.5 x 11 with half the page blank.

The old Form 1040 was two pages as was Form 1040A (which is gone) and Form 1040EZ (also gone). However, to get all of the relevant information needed, the post card will often need several supplements.

You can actually use the Form 1040 post card if you have only wages, interest, dividends, pension, and/or social security . . . and . . . don’t itemize or have kids.  If you have anything else, you’ll need more schedules.

You’ll need Schedule 1 if you have any of these sources of income:

  • Alimony
  • State tax refund
  • Self-employment income
  • Capital gains
  • Rental income
  • Unemployment
  • Partnership or Corporation Distributions

You’ll also need Schedule 1 for the following deductions:

  • Teacher expenses
  • HSA
  • Retirement Contributions
  • Student Loan Interest

If you have:

  • Dependents
  • Tuition credits
  • Any other credits

You’ll need Schedule 3.

If you have any other taxes you’ll need Schedule 4 such as:

  • Early distribution penalty
  • Self-employment tax
  • Obamacare surcharge taxes
  • Health care subsidy repayment.

If you paid estimates including an extension payments, or have a health care penalty, you’ll need Schedule 5.

If you want to authorize me to handle things with the IRS if there’s a questions, you’ll need Schedule 6.

Post Card?  Seriously.  This “post card” will undoubtedly cost more in postage than the old approach.

Randall S. van Reken, EA, CFP, ATP