This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Tax Tip: What's New on Form 1040

Editor's Note: This article is part of our 2013 Tax Tips series. Robert Flach is an expert with almost 40 years of experience as a tax professional and also blogs as The Wandering Tax Pro.

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- There is not much new for the 2012 federal income tax return - other than the annual indexing for inflation.

The personal exemption is $3,800.

The standard deduction amounts are:

Single (and married filing separate) = $5,950
Married filing joint = $11,900
Head of household = $8,700
Dependent = the greater of earned income plus $300 or $950, not to exceed $5,950.

The additional standard deduction amounts for taxpayers age 65 and older or blind are:

Single or head of household = $1,450
Married (joint or separate) = $1,150

The 2012 Form 1040 and 1040A are the same as their 2011 counterparts. Certain lines are marked "reserved," though. Lines 23 and 34 on the 2012 Form 1040, and Lines 16 and 18 on the 1040A, are "reserved" for the deductions for educator expenses and tuition and fees, respectively. Similarly, item b of Line 5 under "Taxes You Paid" on the 2012 Schedule A is "Reserved" for the option to deduct state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes.

These deductions expired Dec. 31 but were extended as part of last-minute compromise tax legislation after the IRS "went to press" with 2012 forms.

Thankfully the tax compromise bill also permanently extended the Alternative Minimum Tax "patch" retroactive to 2012. Even so, because Congress waited until literally the very last minute to pass the extensions, the processing of 2012 income tax returns and the issuance of tax refunds will be delayed.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,399.67 +19.26 0.12%
S&P 500 1,904.01 +17.25 0.91%
NASDAQ 4,316.0740 +57.6360 1.35%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs