File Your Tax Return on the New Form 1040 Post Card Size

File Your Tax Return on the New Form 1040 Post Card SizePin

The IRS New Post Card Size Form 1040

By now, most of you have either seen the new Form 1040, or have read a lot of comments on the Internet. Is it really the size of a post card? Can you file your tax return using just this new form?

Pretty much. (See the front and back below)

Some may. Probably not for most.

What is the Form 1040?

This form was first introduced over a hundred years ago as the primary summary form for individual tax returns. In the beginning, all Form 1040 returns were done by hand. Eventually when computers came upon the scene, a few outside vendors were preparing tax returns for accounting firms.

These returns, however, had to be mailed in by the taxpayer. Then in 1986, e-filing was introduced by the IRS, and this was the point that forever changed the method you could file your tax return.

Today, almost all taxpayers use some form of software to file their taxes. Tax returns are filed individually or through professional tax preparers. Many others take advantage of online tax filing sites such as ours at

As a result, most taxpayers don’t interact with the Form 1040 directly. This is probably a good thing because electronically filing tax returns is a more efficient and accurate method to file tax returns.

The post card size Form 1040 is still a two sided form, just shorter. The logical question that arises is, if the actual form itself isn’t used, why was there a need to shorten it?File your taxes now with easePin

file your taxes onlinePinWe’ve been told that the form was shrunk in order to simplify the tax filing process. But, if as we say above that most individuals don’t directly interact with the form itself, the computer takes care of that. What difference does it make then? If the Form 1040 were made even longer than before, would it matter? The answer is probably not.

The next question is didn’t the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act simplify taxes enough to cut the Form 1040 in half?

We do know that the increased standard deduction will allow more individuals to use that and not have to file a Schedule A to claim itemized deductions. However, don’t just take the larger standard deduction automatically. Keep track of all of your deductions as before, and use the method that helps you the most.

The Form 1040 really didn’t change all that much. There are at least six schedules that may be used and several other tax forms that will tie back in.

Is the new tax form really that simple?

Unfortunately not.
For some individuals who file a very basic return with no schedules or tax forms, it will be easier to read since there are now less lines on the form that were never used.

For most individuals who don’t file these basic returns, one or more of those six schedules will come into play, depending upon your individual tax situation. Adding schedules in this manner may very well increase the number of errors or omissions. Time will tell.

Does this mean you can file your tax return using just the Form 1040?

We have very good news for you who file your tax return online at our site. Our simple interview style will lead you through the entire maze and you’ll see no difference. You’ll answer the questions as before and our intuitive software will prepare all of your required forms in the background.

After your return is completed for you, you’ll be asked to review the forms and schedules like before. Thanks to “tax simplification”, you may end up with a few extra schedules that were prepared for you.

For those of you who still want to file a paper return, doing your taxes might be a little easier and it may not. It’s possible that you may have a smaller return to review before you file. But then again, you may have one or more of those six schedules that need to be completed and carried back to the 1040 form on the appropriate line. You’ll need to be careful about math errors again.

Filing your taxes using a professional preparer will involve additional work for him due to the additional schedules. but not all that much. You’ll still receive your copy of the Form 1040 with all schedules attached for your file.

Just remember, E-filing your tax return is still the best and easiest way to file your tax return. It probably won’t change just because the Form 1040 did.

We encourage everyone to do a proforma of your 2018 tax return ASAP to be sure your current withholding is okay. If not, you will have some time to adjust. Try our Tax Calculator App to see just how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects you, at no charge.


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30 responses to “File Your Tax Return on the New Form 1040 Post Card Size”

  1. Avatar of Lisa R. Lisa R. says:

    I heard a lot about this new form, and after seeing it in your post about the extra schedules and forms that may have to be attached, how is it easier? You can always count on the IRS to mess things up.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks for your comment Lisa. Unfortunately, not many individuals will really benefit from this new simplified form. When you file your taxes, you may have to fill out a schedule or two.

  2. Avatar of Brett W. Brett W. says:

    This is called tax simplification? I thought the idea was to make tax filing so easy that just about anyone could file their taxes without going to a professional tax preparer. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Yes, Brett, I was hoping the IRS would come up with a short form that many taxpayers could use without any hassle.

  3. Avatar of Kellie O. Kellie O. says:

    I’m glad I file my taxes with you on the website. Using your interview system like before will prepare my return for me I’m sure. See you next year.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks Kellie. You can be sure you won’t have to be concerned with how easy or how hard any tax forms will be when you file your taxes with us. Same interview method!

  4. Avatar of Rebecca M. Rebecca M. says:

    My personal tax return is really simple, just one W-2. So I shouldn’t have any problem doing it myself. I like what I see for now.

  5. Avatar of Larry Larry says:

    I’m not too sure that this simplified form is going to help me. I won’t be using any deductions, but I do have a few sources of income besides my W-2. I guess I’ll find out when I file my taxes.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks for your comment Larry. Let’s hope that there aren’t too many surprises when tax time rolls around.

  6. Avatar of Sam R. Sam R. says:

    I looked at the form and still wonder if the average taxpayer will be able to file their taxes without help from someone else. It didn’t look too complicated to me, but I guess time will tell. If the IRS really wants tax simplification, go for a low flat tax. That way, everyone pays the same rate.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      We had very similar feelings too Sam. As soon as some filers see that a schedule is needed, they may be calling a tax preparer.

  7. Avatar of Nicole S. Nicole S. says:

    I read a lot of negative comments here, but I suppose those people have tax situations that are probably too involved for this simple new form. For me, I think it will be good. A couple of W-2’s and dividends from mutual funds that I inherited from my grand father.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks for your comment Nicole. Glad to hear that you won’t be having a hard time with the new form.

  8. Avatar of Cynthia K. Cynthia K. says:

    Looks okay to me since about 90% of the tax filers will be using the increased standard deduction anyway. It shouldn’t take more than a half hour to file your taxes now.

  9. Avatar of Justin R. Justin R. says:

    Most of the people e-file their returns so they couldn’t care less how short or how long the tax form is. If you’re using tax software to file your taxes, you’ll just answer the questions as before and your return is done. No big deal.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      You’re correct Justin, those who are e-filing their return, like the ones that use out site at, won’t notice any difference.

  10. Avatar of Bill T. Bill T. says:

    The first page looks like the same information, just placed different. You’ll use the second page to file your taxes and since many more will not be itemizing deductions, it should be simpler.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks for your comment Bill. The form is simple and can be used by taxpayers with a very basic tax situation.

  11. Avatar of Richard Y. Richard Y. says:

    What always made me wonder is why people who have very simple returns, like only a W-2, take it to an accountant or buy over priced software. They could do it in a few minutes. I doubt if this form will cause them to file their taxes themselves.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks for your comment Richard. Yes, there are some folks who are afraid of taxes and go to a tax preparer for fear that they may not do it correctly.

  12. Avatar of Angela M. Angela M. says:

    The old forms had way too many lines that most people didn’t use, so this new form helps that. However, on page two where you will have to interact with the tax schedules, it is going to cause some people to omit things since they won’t be familiar with it.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks Angela. We also feel that there will be a learning curve on page two with the various schedules.

  13. Avatar of Mike S. Mike S. says:

    This new form will make it very clear if you are able to file your taxes by yourself. I believe a lot of people will continue to take their returns to a tax preparer, even though they can do it.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks Mike. Our initial comment when we first saw the form, was that a few more taxpayers would tackle the new form, but many will continue to take their returns to a professional.

  14. Avatar of Ellie P. Ellie P. says:

    Without seeing what the instructions and schedule 1 look like, I’m not sure what to make of this. It seems like maybe they shortened it primarily by calling a big chunk of it “schedule 1” rather than “The middle half of page 1”

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks for your comment Ellie. Many taxpayers feel as you do, that the IRS shortened the main 1040 form and then added the removed lines to various schedules. That’s not considered simplification.

  15. Avatar of Allan J. Allan J. says:

    Signing at the top rather than the bottom seems a bit weird. The most obvious change to me is the IRS no longer asks for your telephone number, even though they told us over and over that they would never use it.

    • Avatar of Gust Lenglet Gust Lenglet says:

      Thanks Allan. You brought up a good point regarding a telephone number. With all of my clients, I am the third party designee and I list my name and business phone number in case the IRS should have any question. I never have the client list his/her telephone number. I feel that I am in a better position to answer any questions as I have copies of all tax information with the return in my file, and every client agrees.

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