The King is Dead! Long Live the King!
Out with the old and in with the new. Old reliable Form 1040 has gone through an overhaul. Farewll to the long-form, short-form and EZ form. We have now a "postcard" sized tax return. It is two half pages, which can be supplemented by additional schedules if the taxpayer's situation is more complicated.
For example, if you have a sole proprietorship (Schedule C) than you have to fill out Schedule C (as normal) which flows to Schedule 1 and then finally ends up on page 2 of Form 1040.
Form over function. The new 1040 pushes items off the old 1040 to a series of schedules. Folks who could kinda find their way around the old return now have a completely new system to figure out. Yesterday, a CPA who knows her way around the form admitted she wasn't sure where certain items were supposed to go.
Honestly, I thought nothing was wrong with the old system (and it was certainly not perfect). Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A were simple enough. I hate to say it but politics won over common sense.
This is merely a political move to say: look Mom, I make form 1040 shorter. All this did was make tax prep fees higher for taxpayers in 2019 as all tax preparers software has to be coded for the new system. So expect a higher bill from your accountant in 2019 and potentially lots of errors which will generate nasty letters from the IRS. Uggh.
Still, there is something to this change. Maybe the key to making taxes simpler is to remove the clutter. So let's not stop with merely the tax form. Let's declutter the tax code next! Postcard sized tax code anyone?!
If you or someone you know in the Portland, Maine area is just plain lost or confused about the 2018 tax law changes, please feel free to contact me directly at 207-299-0515 or by filling out my contact form.
James D. Wade, Esq.
Law Office of James D. Wade
53 Exchange St., Ste 400
Portland, ME 04101