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Issue 40751

TAP 2019 F1040 Parent Project

Project Statement:

Determine if the Form 1040: U.S. Individual Income Tax Return clearly communicates appropriate guidance to the public.

Goal Statement:

The goal of this project is to review and make recommendations to the IRS that will enhance customer service and improve the taxpayer’s experience.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR Rename the draft Form 1040-SR to Form 1040 and eliminate the current draft Form 1040. There is no reason to have two identical forms. One of the complaints taxpayers continue to make is the font size is too small and the form is difficult to read. The draft 1040-SR solves this problem. In addition, the draft Form 1040 is no longer a one-half page form so there is no reason to keep it.

IRS Action:TAP reviewing IRS response

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR NOTE: Also Included in Project #36654: F1040SR Non adopt. Form 1040-SR is legislatively mandated (P.L. 115-123, Div. D, Title II, sec. 41106). Because of last year’s Form 1040 redesign, both forms are similar.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

1040 Filing Status If you checked the MFS box, enter the name and SSN of spouse. If you checked the HOH or QW box, enter the child’s name and SSN if the qualifying person is a child but not your dependent. ? To ensure that the IRS can track the proper filing status of the spouse when choosing MFS, it is important to include the SSN. If a qualifying child is not a dependent, in order to ensure the proper claiming of credits available, it is important to include the child’s SSN in order to prevent the credits from being used by another person claiming the child as a dependent. In the 2018 instructions, the SSN is not listed as a required entry on this line. As the EITC is a credit that is frequently abused, just adding the child’s name would not allow the IRS to properly track the credit.

IRS Action:TAP reviewing IRS response

1040 Filing Status

Non adopt.

The instructions tell MFS taxpayers where to include their spouse’s SSN.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

Draft Form 1040, page 1

Foreign country name (if applicable) This addition would make it clear to the taxpayer that the entire line of information can be omitted.

IRS Action:TAP reviewing IRS response

Draft Form 1040, page 1

Non adopt. The line above tells taxpayers “If you have a foreign address, also complete the spaces below.” This is also explained in the instructions.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, lines 4a through 4d Change the line for pensions and annuities such that it is numbered 5a and b, making the social security amounts on line 6a and b. Renumber the rest of the form accordingly. The form is a little confusing because it changes format. Adding a separate number for pensions and annuities makes it consistent with the rest of the current lines 2a through b. It also makes it easier to read and understand.

IRS Action:Not adopted

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, lines 4a through 4d Non adopt. IRA distribution and pensions and annuity payments were reported on the same line in 2018. Programming for the 1040 was well underway when the decision to separate pension annuity payments was made. At that point it was not feasible to add a new line number and thus renumber all subsequent lines because of the additional work that would be required.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

Page 2 Line 12a Change box 12a2 to “Schedule D Worksheet” and move from 4972 to the instructions for insertion on line 12a3.

Format suggestion: Move the box for line 12a to the far-right column and change the wording for line 12b to read “Add the amount on line 12a and the amount on Schedule 2, line 3, and enter the total.” More people will be confused and possibly make mistakes if they are required to fill in the blank for figuring the tax from the Schedule D tax worksheet.

IRS Action:Not adopted

Page 2 Line 12a Non adopt. The Schedule D Tax Worksheet is one of the methods that certain taxpayers use to figure the tax on their taxable income. That amount would be entered directly on the line 12a entry space. The 3 boxes are used to indicate that other tax amounts are included in the amount on the entry space. We indented the entry space as we generally do for intermediate lines

TAP RECOMMENDATION

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, line 12b b Add the amount from Schedule 2, line 3, and the amount from line 12a and enter the total. Adding the words “the amount from” makes it more understandable.

IRS Action:TAP reviewing IRS response

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, line 12b Non adopt. Spacing issue.

TAP Rebuttal to IRS Response: We fail to see the spacing issue. The words “the amount from” could easily be inserted on both Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR. We request this recommendation be reconsidered. Note: This recommendation was also included as part of Project 36654 – Form 1040-SR and should be considered equally applicable to Project 36654.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, line 18d d Enter the amount from Schedule 3, line 14. Adding the words “Enter the amount from” makes it more understandable.

IRS Action:TAP reviewing IRS response

IRS Initial Response:

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, line 18d Non adopt. Follows format of 18a, b, and c.

TAP Counter Response:

TAP Rebuttal to IRS Response: It does not follow the format of 18a, b, and c in that those lines describe the actual credits. Our recommendation makes the wording on the line more understandable. In addition, the insertion of the words does not create a spacing issue. The words “the amount from” could easily be inserted on both Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR. We request this recommendation be reconsidered. Note: This recommendation was also included as part of Project 36654 – Form 1040-SR and should be considered equally applicable to Project 36654.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, line 13b b Add the amount from Schedule 3, line 7, and the amount from line 13a and enter the total. Adding the words “the amount from” makes it more understandable.

IRS Action:TAP reviewing IRS response

IRS Initial Response:

2019 draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, line 13b Non adopt. Spacing issue.

TAP Counter Response:

TAP Rebuttal to IRS Response: We fail to see the spacing issue. The words “the amount from” could easily be inserted on both Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR. We request this recommendation be reconsidered. Note: This recommendation was also included as part of Project 36654 – Form 1040-SR and should be considered equally applicable to Project 36654.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

2019 draft Form 1040, Schedule 1 Add a line 22 as follows: 22 Other adjustments to income. List type and amount ?

……………

Renumber the existing line 22 to 23 and change the first part of the line to read “Add lines 10 through 22 ….” Conforming change to Form 1040, Line 8a: Adjustments to income from Schedule 1, line 23 Assuming the 2019 instructions will be similar to the 2018 instructions, additional types of adjustments to income not otherwise specifically included on the form are supposed to be entered on the dotted line portion of line 22 of Schedule 1. The instructions describe the other types of income and indicate the amount, along with an applicable description, be entered on the dotted line on line 22 and the total in the box for line 22. This is confusing to taxpayers and not consistent with the top part of the form used to report additional income. Making this change will make the “Adjustments to Income” portion of the form consistent with the “Additional Income” portion. It will also make it easier for the taxpayer to understand how to properly report the other adjustments to income.

IRS Action:TAP reviewing IRS response

IRS Initial Response: 

2019 draft Form 1040, Schedule 1 Non adopt. Will consider for 2020 revision.

TAP Counter Response: 

TAP Rebuttal to IRS Response: You failed to provide any reasoning for not adopting this recommendation for this year. Acceptance of this recommendation makes the Form much more understandable, provides consistency with Part I of Schedule 1, and easier to use for the taxpayer. If necessary, you could use the existing line 21 Reserved for future use, which has no functional use. The conforming change to Form 1040, line 8a is a very simple change and there does not appear to be any spacing issue on either Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR. We request this recommendation be reconsidered. Note: This recommendation was also included as part of Project 36654 – Form 1040-SR and should be considered equally applicable to Project 36654.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

2019 Draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, Schedules 1, 2, and 3 Increase the font size on all three of these forms so it matches the font size on the Form 1040- SR. One of the complaints taxpayers continue to make is the font size is too small and the form is difficult to read. The font size used on the Form 1040-SR is much easier to read. All three forms take up less than a page and there should be plenty of room to increase the font size, especially since they will be commonly used forms.

IRS Action:TAP reviewing IRS response

IRS Initial Response: 

2019 Draft Form 1040 and 1040-SR, Schedules 1, 2, and 3 NOTE: Also Included in Project #36654: F1040SR Non adopt. We are unable to make this change for 2019.

TAP Counter Response:

TAP Rebuttal to IRS Response:

You have not provided any reason for not adopting this recommendation. It would seem to be an easy and logical change. This is especially true since none of the three Schedules takes up more than two-thirds of the page and would still easily fit on one page with the increased font size. As mentioned in our original recommendation, one of the significant complaints we continue to get from taxpayers is that the fonts are too small, and the forms are difficult to read. This recommendation would remedy that complaint. We request this recommendation be reconsidered. Note: This recommendation was also included as part of Project 36654 – Form 1040-SR and should be considered equally applicable to Project 36654.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

Form 1040, Third Party Designee section and Paid Preparer Use Only section Third Party Designee

(Other than paid preparer)

Do you want to allow another person (other than your paid preparer) to discuss this return with the IRS? See instructions.

?Yes. Complete below

?No

? No

? Yes

? Paid preparer

-or-

? Other third party. Complete below

Paid Preparer Use Only

Check if:

? 3rd Party Designee

The addition of the “third party designee” section while leaving the checkbox on the “Paid preparer Use Only” section is confusing. The taxpayer has three choices: allow the paid preparer to be a third-party designee; selecting a person other than the paid preparer to be a third-party designee; or not having a third-party designee at all. Providing for all three alternatives and moving them all to the same section of the form will make it much easier for the taxpayer to understand their three alternatives and to indicate their choice.

IRS Action:Partially adopted

IRS Initial Response:

Form 1040, Third Party Designee section and Paid Preparer Use Only section NOTE: Also Included in Project #36654: F1040SR Non adopt. Although the use of the checkbox will be clarified in the instructions and we will consider this suggestion for the 2020 revisions of Forms 1040 and 1040-SR

TAP Counter Response:

TAP Rebuttal to IRS Response: You have not provided any reason for not adopting this recommendation for 2019. As stated in our recommendation above, providing for all three alternatives and moving them all to the same section of the form will make it much easier for the taxpayer to understand their three alternatives and to indicate their choice. We request this recommendation be reconsidered. Note: This recommendation was also included as part of Project 36654 – Form 1040-SR and should be considered equally applicable to Project 36654.

 

IRS Final Response:

Partially adopt for TY2020. We will delete the checkbox in the “Paid Preparer Use Only section of the return.

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2019 TAP Annual Report

The 2019 TAP Annual Report highlights our key recommendations to improve IRS customer service and summarizes our key accomplishments and activities, including the 224 recommendations submitted to the IRS in 2019.

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