New Tax Form for Senior Citizens

Brooklyn elder law lawyers can help seniors understand the new tax form.Senior citizens will soon have a new resource for filing their taxes. At the direction of Congress, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced plans to release a 1040 form specifically for those aged 65 and older for filing 2019 taxes. Though it is still being finalized, the form will address concerns specific to older Americans, making it easier for them to file accurately.

A 1040 for seniors was initially proposed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of late 2017, but it did not make it into the final version of the bill. The Act did eliminate the 1040EZ, replacing it with a newly designed 1040 that was intended to make filing easier for everyone. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 mandated a form specifically for seniors so that they could file easily on their own, without needing to hire an accountant.

Format Designed for Seniors

The 1040-SR is similar to the 1040EZ but with key differences to address feedback from older Americans. It is two pages long and uses a larger font than the regular 1040. Some of the shading around the boxes has been removed as well, making the form brighter and easier to read. The Standard Deduction Table is included on the form, so seniors do not have to reference a separate document to see what refund they are eligible for, if any.

To be eligible to use the form, taxpayers must turn 65 before January 1, 2020. Many seniors are still caring for dependent children or grandchildren, and they will now be able to take a child tax credit. Unlike the 1040EZ, there are no income requirements or limits on the types of income that can be declared, so seniors who receive income from capital gains, Social Security benefits, pensions, or other sources common for retired individuals will not have to use a different form. It does not give taxpayers the option to itemize deductions, so it can only be used by those taking the standard deduction. Seniors with business expenses or substantial charitable giving may need to fill out the standard 1040.

The AARP has endorsed the 1040-SR form, which could be used by up to 15 million qualifying taxpayers. More than other groups, seniors may be inclined to fill out their tax forms by hand, rather than through a tax software; the IRS hopes that the new form will simplify the process. The agency is still accepting feedback on the form, but they plan to have it finalized and available in time for the 2019 tax season.

Brooklyn Elder Law Lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Help Seniors Plan for Their Future

Seniors have specific financial needs and face unique challenges. The Brooklyn elder law attorneys at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP help seniors understand these challenges and provide comprehensive representation in financial matters, including estate planning and assistance with government benefit programs. With offices conveniently located in Brooklyn, New York, and Lakewood, New Jersey, we help seniors and their families throughout Long Island, Manhattan, and Westchester, New York. Call us today at 212-495-8133 or contact us online for an initial consultation.