The forms were restructured.
All people now file on the same Form 1040. No 1040-A. No 1040-EZ.
There is rumor of a new form for seniors (1040-SR,) but nobody really knows why. If both rich and poor non-seniors can file on the same 1040, why can’t rich and poor seniors file on the same 1040. Maybe 1040-SR will have larger type? Or bigger spaces to write in?
What happened to the postcard? Think about it – do you really want your SSN sent by postcard through the mail? Ted Cruz may be a helluva guy, but this was not a good idea.
Instead, we have 2 half-pages, which are thankfully being printed on 1 side of 1 piece of paper.
The top half is the demographics, in this order:
Your filing status
Your name and SSN
Your spouse’s name and SSN
Your dependents with SSN, etc
Your signature (and mine)
The second half of the page is a quick recap of your income, and how it’s taxed.
The most basic income information (totals for wages, interest, dividends, IRAs and pensions, and Social Security benefits) comes first. The rest of the information has been organized into 6 sections, which are called Schedules 1, Schedule 2, Schedule 3, Schedule 4, Schedule 5, and Schedule 6. (Clever.) Pretty much all of the forms and schedules we used to file have been coordinated into these 6 schedules, and their totals flow to the second half of the 1040 page.
But some information appears on its own line, with no help from a newly numbered Schedule. This includes your deduction (standard or itemized,) the new QBID, any withholding totals, and various refundable credits, plus the math. I think they could have done a better job.
It is interesting to note that they managed to highlight the refund section by putting the word “Refund” in large, bold type, offset to the left, while they downplayed any amount you might owe by using a smaller font and tucking this information at the very bottom.
And did you notice the very first line, up at the top, was your filing status? Now we know what they’re really interested in.