The New 1040 Form for 2018 Taxes

February 06, 2019 : Jackie Perlman

Form 1040 2018

You’ll see the 2018 Form 1040 looks very different from prior years’ forms. That’s because in 2018 was the first year Form 1040 changes appeared due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

This post covers the Form 1040 for 2018, so if you’re amending or filing an original tax return for a different year, you can look to the information specific to that year. If you’re filing your 2019 Form 1040, you should use the Form 1040 for 2019.

new 1040 form 2018

What Happened to the Old “Short” 1040 Forms?

In 2018, short 1040 forms like the 1040A and 1040EZ were eliminated with tax reform, so you can’t use them to file any longer (for your amended or an original 2018 return). The 2018 tax form is a summary form, with six supporting forms.

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. 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 the rest of the return, unless you need the other Schedules—nearly everything that goes between your personal information and your signature. 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 is, 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

Four things to note about the schedules:

  • 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, for example.
  • 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 “other 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 remain the same. 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.

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.

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 creditthe 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.

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.

More Help With Amending Your 2018 1040 Form

If you need help amending your 2018 1040 form, our tax pros are here to help. Visit one of our tax offices for assistance or to drop off your return.

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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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