Senior News Line

Thanks to The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the Internal Revenue Service has come up with a tax filing form just for us: Form 1040-SR, the tax return for seniors.

This is an alternative form for those of us who are age 65 or older and replaces the 1040-EZ form. If you have a straightforward, uncomplicated tax situation, this could be the form for you.

Compared to the 1040EZ form, however, this one allows reporting of more types of income, and there is no limit to interest income. You can list your Social Security income as well as interest, dividends, pensions and more.

You don’t need to be retired to use this form, but you need to have turned 65 by the end of 2019 (born before Jan. 2, 1955). If you’ve already retired and receive Social Security, but are under age 65, you cannot use this form. But you can use it if you file jointly with a spouse, even if only one of you is age 65 or older.

It looks generally like the standard Form 1040, but the print is bigger, the text boxes are bigger and there is more space between the lines of print. The instructions are the same as for Form 1040.

You can take the standard deduction or itemize your deduction, and it uses the standard 1040 forms. If you have extra income, such as prize money, you need to add Schedule 1. If you’re going to owe other taxes, such as household employment or self-employment tax, you’ll need Schedule 2. Schedule 3 is new, for additional credits and payments.

Remember that our standard deduction is larger this year.

If you usually take advantage of free tax preparation by AARP volunteers, they’re sure to have these new forms already.

© 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

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