Tax filing season is upon us again and the IRS has implemented some changes you should be aware of when filing your return.

First, they continue to tweak the Form 1040.  For the 2018 tax year, it was condensed into 1 page with several new supporting schedules.  For 2019, the form reverts to 2 pages, albeit still quite different from the 1040 many are used to filing.

For the Schedules, Schedule 1 continues to include a variety of other income and adjustment items like capital gains and student loan interest. Schedule 2 now incorporates many of the items from Schedule 4, and accounts for a variety of ‘other taxes’ such as self-employment taxes or taxes for household employees. Schedule 3 pulls in credits and incorporates the now obsolete Schedule 5, including estimated tax payments.

Finally, starting in 2020 the government is rolling out a new Form W-4 for tax withholding. The form is far from straightforward and may lead you to disclose private financial information to your employer. To ease these privacy concerns, the IRS has a W-4 estimator application online you can use.

In addition to the tax form changes, Congress finally passed the SECURE Act at the end of 2019 which makes substantial changes to retirement plan taxation.  See more at Understanding the SECURE Act.