Beginning with the 2018 tax season, taxpayers here in Massachusetts and across the country began encountering the changes in the Internal Revenue Code. This involved more than just the elimination of exemptions and deductions, and the increase in the standard deduction. The IRS also changed various forms.
One of the next form changes relates to the IRS "postcard-sized" tax return. Even though it really is not the size of a postcard, it is significantly shorter than other forms -- or is it? It should remain shorter than other forms, but it will get longer.
The goal is to simplify the old form, which still came with a number of schedules for taxpayers to fill out. Those six original schedules will be reduced to three. For those who still file paper returns, the old form caused a great deal of confusion, which may have contributed to the decision to create the new form. The new form is hoped to alleviate some of that confusion. As is the case with most form changes, the public will have the ability to comment on the new form, in this case until the middle of August.
Tax time is nearly always frustrating, not only for Massachusetts taxpayers, but for everyone. Even when it seems as though filing tax returns should be an easy process, it often helps to have experienced help, especially when complex tax situations arise. Regardless of how the IRS changes its forms, help is always available to those who need it. In the meantime, tax attorneys across the country will more than likely be scrutinizing this and any other new forms as they look toward the next tax season.