The New 1040 Form for 2018 Taxes

February 06, 2019 : Jackie Perlman

If you haven’t checked lately, the 2018 Form 1040 looks very different from its older relatives, Forms 1040-A and 1040-EZ. The new form is just one of the changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Before describing the new Form 1040, what happened to the old “short” forms, 1040A and 1040EZ? The short answer is that they were eliminated with tax reform, so you can’t use them to file your 2018 return. Everyone will now use the new form 1040, which is now more of a summary form, with six new supporting forms. If you previously filed your return with a 1040A or 1040EZ, you probably won’t need more than one or two of the new supporting schedules.

First, let’s review the base 1040 form for 2018:

  • Page 1 of the form has all of your personal information, such as your name and SSN, filing status, dependent information, and so on. (Actually, the new 1040 form would have been 29 lines if these items were on numbered lines as in the past but, overall, the new form would still be shorter.) Your signature and your tax preparer’s information now appear on the front of the form too. And that’s it for page 1.
  • Page 2 has everything that goes between your personal information and your signature. Well, not exactly everything. Yes, you’ll find most of the basics such as wages, income and dividends, a place to put the standard deduction or itemized deduction total, the child tax credit and earned income credit and, most important, lines for your total tax and refund or balance due.

But what happened to everything else? Details such as business income, capital gains, self-employment tax, and several other kinds of tax credits, just to name a few? Answer, there are six new schedules that contain the detail that is summarized on page 2 of the redesigned 1040 form for 2018.

Form 1040 for 2018: Schedule Information

Schedule 1: Additional Income and Adjustments to Income. This schedule has everything else that used to be on page 1 of the old 1040. It includes business, farm, rental, and many other forms of income. It also includes “above-the-line” deductions such as for contributing to an IRA and the deduction for one-half of self-employment tax.

Four things to note about this and the other five schedules.

  • The line numbers on the new schedules correspond to the line numbers on the old 1040. For instance, capital gains go on line 13 of the Schedule 1; health savings account deductions go on line 25. Line 21 is still “miscellaneous income;” these are all just on Schedule 1 now.
  • The 1040 form for 2018 has dedicated spots to put totals from the new schedules. For instance, total income on Schedule 1, line 22 rolls to the new Form 1040, line 6, and is added into your gross income total.
  • Other sub-schedules are still there. A sole proprietor must still complete Schedule C, but net business income now transfers to line 12 of Schedule 1 instead of directly to Form 1040, with the total income shown on Schedule 1 then being transferred to Form 1040.
  • Finally, if nothing on a particular schedule applies to you, you do not need to fill it out. So, if your only income is from wages and you have no adjustments, you can enter your wages directly on the 1040 and you can skip Schedule 1.

Schedule 2: Tax. The name is a bit confusing because your regular tax still goes on the main form. Schedule 2 is used only for alternative minimum tax and repayment of any excess advance premium tax credits. Again, if these additional taxes don’t apply to you, you won’t need this schedule. Still, there are other types of taxes that you report on Schedule 4, described below.

Schedule 3: Nonrefundable credits. Here’s where most of the personal credits go, including education credits, the child and dependent care credit, the saver’s credit, and the foreign tax credit.

Schedule 4: Other taxes. Schedule 4 is used for additional taxes and penalties that may be more common, including self-employment tax, the 10% early withdrawal penalty on IRAs, and the shared responsibility payment for not having health insurance coverage. That last one does go away in 2019 but it’s still around for your 2018 tax return if you didn’t have health insurance or didn’t qualify for any of the many exemptions.

Schedule 5: Other payments and refundable credits. This one includes estimated tax payments and any additional premium tax credit you’re due. It is also used for some less common credits, such as the federal fuels tax credit and the health coverage tax credit.

Schedule 6: Foreign address and third-party designee. As its title indicates, use this schedule to show a foreign address if you live and work abroad and, no matter where you live, to designate someone else to speak to the IRS on your behalf if necessary.

Need Help with the 1040 Form for Your 2018 Taxes?

Does all of this still seem confusing? Check out page 3 of the new Form 1040 instructions. It’s a handy summary of what goes on each of the schedules. Pages 13 and 14 have a more detailed explanation and includes all forms and schedules.

More to the point, H&R Block’s tax software knows where to make the right entries, so you don’t have to. Still, if you have questions, our Tax Pros are here to help. Visit one of our tax offices for assistance.

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Jackie Perlman

Jackie Perlman

Jackie Perlman is a principal tax research analyst within The Tax Institute at H&R Block.

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