Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
CLOSE ×
Search
Brought to you by
Leaving AARP.org Website

You are now leaving AARP.org and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Senior Tax Form Could Simplify Filing

People age 65 and older can use the form to file their 2019 taxes

New IRS 1040-SR tax form
IRS

The IRS has unveiled the final version of a new, simplified income tax form that people 65 and older may use to file for the 2019 tax year.

Drafted to be easier for aging eyes to read, the two-page Form 1040-SR uses a bigger font than the standard Form 1040 and includes a prominently displayed chart for calculating taxpayers’ standard deduction, IRS spokesperson Eric L. Smith says.

member card

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now

Congress directed the federal tax agency to create the new form when it passed a budget bill in 2018.

To use the new form, filers, including both spouses, must be at least age 65 though they don't have to be retired. They also must use the standard deduction rather than itemize.

"A lot of our senior clients, because of charitable giving and state and local income taxes, qualify to itemize, so this form is a no-go for them,” says Jay Porter, an associate accountant with Porter & Associates in Huntington, West Virginia.

Lines for various sources of retirement income such as Social Security benefits, IRA distributions, pensions and annuities are displayed on the first page of the form.

Tax-preparation software will be able to generate a 1040-SR, but the new form will provide the most significant benefit to some of the fewer than 10% of taxpayers who still fill out and file their returns on paper, Smith says.

Form 1040-SR may feel more comfortable to some seniors and will make it easier for them to calculate the standard deduction, says Porter, who is a member of the American Institute of CPAs. However, people who file electronically or use a tax preparer won't benefit as much from the redesign.

membership-card-w-shadow-192x134

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.