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Tax Reform for US Expats

For many years, virtually everyone recognized the look of the iconic tax return form – the Form 1040. It was complicated, yet consistent. But that changed with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – the most significant tax reform to occur in over 30 years.

The 2018 tax season introduced the postcard sized Form 1040 for some taxpayers, but for others this new form only moved questions from the Form 1040 to new attachments and schedules. Many taxpayers and tax professionals were upset that it didn’t get simpler, only different.

The 2019 Tax Draft

The IRS has released a draft of the 2019 Form 1040, and it is once again different. While some of the 2018 changes to the form remain, you will notice that it has returned to a more familiar look and feel. Some of the changes for 2019 include:

  • Income and tax deductions are on the first page
  • Capital gains and losses are on the first page rather than on a schedule
  • Better description of the requirement to name the spouse who is filing separately or a non-dependent child if filing as head of household
  • The Earned Income Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit sections are highlighted. Incidentally, if you are an expat be sure to claim your Additional Child Tax Credit.
  • Foreign addresses are now entered on the main form instead of in Schedule 6
  • The checkbox to note your health insurance coverage is not on the form since it is not required any longer

Whole Story at TFX.

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