- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2018

After repeated promises from Republicans during last year’s tax debate, the postcard-sized tax form is soon to become a reality.

The Treasury Department on Friday released a draft version of a new, truncated 1040 form individuals will be able to use to complete their returns starting in the 2019 filing season.

“As part of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this administration committed to making taxes simple and fair for American families. We are delivering on this promise,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The new, postcard-size Form1040 is designed to simplify and expedite filing tax returns, providing much-needed relief to hardworking taxpayers.”

The GOP’s new $1.5 trillion tax law essentially doubled the standard deduction to about $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples, theoretically reducing the incentive for individuals to itemize their deductions on their returns.

The White House has estimated that the new law will increase the percentage of taxpayers who instead opt for the standard deduction from about 75 percent to more than 90 percent.

Treasury said the new 1040 will streamline returns so that “150 million” taxpayers can use the same form, and that the changes consolidate the existing 1040, Form 1040A, and Form 1040EZ into one.

Democrats, meanwhile, have pointed out that the new double-sided form also includes instructions to attach more information in certain cases.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said the administration is simply trying to “cram the same amount of tax math” onto a smaller form and that the new system is likely to generate more errors.

“The new forms are going to, for many taxpayers, be a setup to failure,” Mr. Wyden said.

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