What’s the Deal With the IRS Postcard?

When promoting the recently passed tax bill, advocates claimed that future taxes would be simple enough to fit on a postcard. Now, they report that their promise has come to fruition. A mockup has been delivered (and even kissed by President Trump), but is it as simple as congressional Republicans suggest? Below, we uncover the ins and outs of this future tax form — and what it could mean when you file next year.

The Bad News: It’s a Really Big Postcard

First, the unfortunate news: the so-called IRS postcard is a lot bigger than the postcards you typically send while on vacation. It’s approximately half the size of a sheet of paper — and information must be completed on both sides. Furthermore, the font on the new form is incredibly small.

Another key difference: you’ll need to deliver the IRS version of a postcard in an envelope. This should be a given, however — the last thing you need is to inadvertently share your Social Security Number while filing your taxes.

The Good News: The IRS Postcard Is Shorter Than Previous Forms

The IRS postcard may not qualify as a true ‘postcard,’ but it’s certainly shorter and simpler than its predecessor. The new form has just 23 lines, compared to the previous 79. Unfortunately, not everybody will get off so easy; those who hope to itemize their deductions will still be forced to complete several additional forms.

Removed sections include the personal exemption and one of the previous two signature boxes. The new form has just two spaces for dependents; taxpayers with more than two dependents will need to attach a separate form.

Ultimately, while the IRS postcard is an appealing idea, the physical version won’t actually be used by most people filing taxes. The majority of us are accustomed to filing online, or with help from a tax attorney or service. Still, the basic concept applies to many taxpayers: a shorter and simpler process for completing annual tax returns.

Do you need help filing your taxes? Contact Highland Tax Resolution to learn more about our services.