Filing your 2018 tax return? How's it going?

Filing your 2018 tax return? How's it going?
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#1

I just went through the new Form 1040 and reviewed the new numbered schedules. Quite a lot is somewhat different than in past years.

If you have not as yet taken a gander at the “new look” forms and schedules you might want to do so earlier rather than at the last minute.

I suppose many folks use tax preparation software today, or else hire a tax preparer. I still do everything myself, manually. So it will be a bit of extra effort this year to learn the new filing scheme.


#2

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#3

Agree, the forms are awful for 2018. I really hope they go back to the prior year forms for 2019.


#4

I’m not prepared to go that far. But for certain there will be a learning curve, more burdensome for some individuals, less severe for others.

I called earlier and tried to order my forms. Yes, I realize I could “just” download them and print them out. But I prefer the professional looking IRS stuff. Anyway, they do not have the new 1040 form, which is rather essential at this point, and they could not take my order for a copy either.

So I went online and used the IRS’s forms ordering page. It was no trouble at all ordering a 1040 form there. Should have taken that approach in the first place. There is no need to wait on hold for forty minutes when you order online. :grinning:

Anyway, here is the website in case anyone else is interested in ordering IRS forms quickly and easily:

2018 IRS forms, schedules, and publications available for order here


#5

Time for the annual plug for free fillable forms to allow e-filing while still doing your own tax return line by line.


#6

Wow. That 1040 is…um…streamlined. A whopping 19 lines total. But, how much of the old form has been hidden on separate schedules/sub-forms that still need to be filled out?


#7

Exactly. Those new “numbered” schedules will be a first experience for everyone who now must file them.

It’s also noteworthy that pretty much everybody will now be filing a 1040. The 1040EZ is gone; discontinued. So is the 1040A.


#8

I havent looked in depth But it looks like the new 1040 is basically the old 1040EZ, with schedules 1-6 adding the additional information previously included on the old 1040. But now you only need to fill out the schedules that apply to you, if any. It’s definitely going to take a lot of getting used to, but I could see the changes ending up being a net positive. Unless I’ve overlooked something(s).

FYI, my city’s library has a bunch of tax forms available.


#9

No, I agree and I think you are correct. But there will be that learning curve which will most likely annoy some taxpayers until they become accustomed to the new approach.


#10

A few of the problems I have:

It’s a lot more difficult to determine if you need to file a schedule, and flip back and forth between the front page and the schedule.

When you reference a number it’s much easier to say “1040 line 25” then “1040, schedule 3, line 25” (making the schedule number up).

For paper filers (yes, if you can you should efile, but not everyone can) you’re wasting a lot more paper, and could be more expensive to mail due to weight/thickness.

In each individual instance this may not matter that much, but in the aggregate, it’s not beneficial.


#11

Looks like broker 1099s should start to be available in a few weeks, Feb sometimes, for many brokers, so you’ll be able to get a start on that pretty soon as well.


#12

I don’t see a field on 1040 or the numbered schedules for the filer’s phone number. It was replaced with a second “Identity Protection PIN” field. I’ve always thought it was a terrible idea to give your phone number to the IRS, and if IRS never asked or people never provided, maybe there’d be fewer victims of the “IRS” phone scam. I’m pretty sure TaxCut required the phone number for e-filing, and it’s one of the reasons I still paper-file. Maybe I don’t have to be a dinosaur anymore…


#13

Did you seriously CALL the IRS during a government shutdown to ORDER BLANK FORMS FOR YOURSELF and then post on here about it?


#14

Yeah, pretty cheeky, eh? :grinning:

Seriously, old habits die hard. This is something I have done over the last number of years since the IRS regrettably ceased mailing me the tax form booklet upon which I had relied for so long.

As I wrote up thread, I’m well aware many folks today rely on internet-related means of one sort or another to assist in filing their taxes. Else they hire the job out. I have made a lot of money, in the past not recently, from knowing the tax law doing my own taxes forced me to learn. I suppose the internet actually did assist me in that regard, but in terms of facilitating tax law research, not the filing of my return. There was this one great Revenue Ruling that . . . . uh . . . . well, perhaps a story for another time.

Now insofar as the shutdown goes, I sensed scant impact. The person taking my order was measured, thorough, and courteous. And the long wait merely indicated a great many other folks were needing to access the service at the same time as myself. However, as I wrote up thread, that will be my last telephone call to request IRS forms, schedules, and instruction booklets. It’s easier and far quicker today to order them online.


#15

I agree with knowing the whys/wherefores of filling out the tax return, which may be murky among those who rely on the question/answer format of tax software. That’s why I’ve taught my kids how to use the free fillable forms linked above, and to file electronically.

However, as for ordering forms, if you have a printer, most should be printable from the comfort of home.


#16

Cheeky is generous. More like a huge d*** move.

The cognitive dissonance in these sentences is astounding.

Good. But you already knew that before you called this year.


#17

Actually I did print out a copy of the new, very short, Form 1040 . . . just to get a look at it and the changes . . . not to file.

After I saw that form I realized I for certain wanted a copy of the new instructions for the form. I was not up for printing out 117 pages on my dime, when the instructions were available for free from the IRS, so I ordered a copy at the same time I ordered the other schedules and forms I needed. And, yes, I do have a PDF copy of those instructions saved “just in case”. But working with a paper copy is my personal preference.


#18

It’s not entirely clear to me why you have a problem with my personal approach to tax filing, including ordering of schedules, forms, and instructions. To me you are more than welcome to approach the matter in the way which works best for you, and which is easiest for you. All I ask is to be granted, from you, precisely that same consideration.

Also, if you had read carefully my post up thread you would have learned I became aware of the online forms ordering facility only within the last day. That is why I called instead. Candidly, it was an offhand mention by the IRS rep who took my call that clued me in to the possibility of ordering forms online.


#19

I’m speaking only for myself. I grow impatient with someone who feels the need to reply to EVERY.SINGLE.COMMENT. when the replies appear to add little to nothing to the discussion. It smacks of having to have the last word in every matter, no matter how trivial the subject. Or of someone who is an attention-seeker.

My comment in particular, was meant to be helpful, not just specifically to you, but to anyone else who might be reading this topic. As far as I’m concerned, my comment didn’t even warrant a reply.

I realize that you did start this topic. However, It feels to me that even when you don’t start a topic, at some point, the topic starts becoming all about you and your endeavors in excruciating detail. IMO, some of the topics have become near useless as a consequence, when they didn’t use to be.

Awaiting my mod slapdown, if they feel I deserve it. :neutral_face:


#20

My apologies. I thought you meant you downloaded the forms online. I didn’t realized you ordered them to be mailed to you.

I don’t have an issue with you filing your taxes on paper. I have a problem with you tying up an IRS phone agent with a task that can be completed yourself when we are in the middle of a government shutdown and there are people calling the IRS that actually need to talk to a human. Saying you’re too cheap to print out the 117 page instruction book, yet you still HAVE to have it in your hands doesn’t elicit any sympathy from me.