The ‘Postcard’ 1040 Has Arrived

The ‘Postcard’ 1040 Has Arrived

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The Treasury Department and the IRS released the revised 1040 tax form Friday, questionably fulfilling a long-running Republican pledge to fit your taxes on a postcard.

The new form, which will replace the 1040, 1040A and 1040 EZ, is indeed smaller, though it’s not clear that it really qualifies as a postcard. For one thing, as Lisa Desjardins of PBS NewsHour pointed out, the two-sided form is too big for US Postal Service postcard rates – that is, assuming you were daring enough to send a postcard with your Social Security number and sensitive financial data through the mail for all to see. For another, the smaller form will require “another envelope full of worksheets,” according to Tim Steffen of Robert W. Baird & Co., referring to the many lines of calculations that have simply been moved to new supporting documents.  

Whatever the size, don’t expect to see an avalanche of the new 1040s at your local post office come April, since more than 90 percent of individual tax forms are filed electronically.

You can inspect the new form on the U.S. Treasury website