Monday, July 2, 2018


The IRS draft of the new “post-card” sized tax return has been released.  The idea of a tax return the size of a postcard is ridiculous. 

Like everything else connected with the Donald T Rump Administration, the rule is form over substance.  The photo-op and perception are the only thing that is important – and “substance”, any actual accomplishment or anything of real value, is not at all important or necessary.  Trump himself has no substance, so nothing he does has any real substance.

The new 1040, that will be able to be folded and mailed as a postcard, contains substantially less lines than the current return – but it is not a simpler return.  It creates an extra level of complexity with 6 new schedules needed to complete the “post card”.   

Previously if you had income from a sole proprietorship you would complete a Schedule C, or C-EZ, and carry the number over to Line 12 on Page 1 of Form 1040.  Now you must carry the net earnings from self-employment calculated on Schedule C or C-EZ to a new Schedule 1 “Additional Income and Adjustments to Income”, where it would be added to taxable refunds, alimony received, capital gain or loss, farm income, income from rents, royalties, partnerships, S-corporations and estates, unemployment, etc., and then carry the total of all these categories of income over to the 1040.  Two steps replace one.

There would also be a Schedule 2 for one group of other taxes, a Schedule 3 for nonrefundable credits, a Schedule 4 for another group of other taxes, a Schedule 5 for refundable credits, the totals of which would be carried over to the “post-card”, and a Schedule 6 for a foreign address and the information for a third-party designee,

What once could be fit on two pages must now be entered on 7 pages.

The Form 1040 used for 2017 and before was well crafted and competently provided for an excellent summary of all income, deductions, credits, taxes, and payments on 2 pages.  If less information was needed there was the Form 1040A or the 1040EZ.  The “old” 1040 or 1040A worked well for taxpayers, tax professionals and the IRS.  The new system just makes more work for all involved.

I doubt very much that the new “1 form into 7” was the idea of the IRS.  It makes no sense for administration and processing of return filings.  The Service was told to create a post card and it did.

Trump promised his core cult a post-card sized 1040, so he must deliver a post-card sized 1040, regardless of whether it, or anything else he promises, has any real value, legitimacy or appropriateness.

As always, your thoughts?


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