By Stacey Gorowitz, CPA, MBA
In March 1913, Form 1040 as we know it today was first issued for income tax reporting. Here’s a basic 1040 income tax return history from the Library of Congress:
“The origin of the income tax on individuals is generally cited as the passage of the 16th Amendment, passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913… March 1st was the [filing deadline] specified by Congress in 1913, after the passage of the 16th amendment. In 1918 Congress pushed the date forward to March 15th, where it remained until the tax overhaul of 1954, when the date was again moved ahead to April 15th.”
Included in this post is an image of the first page of the original form from 1913, as supplied via OurDocuments.gov through the National Archives & Records Administration. Additionally, here is a link to a recreated pdf of a complete 1913 1040 form that is, get this, a whopping four pages long including the form and all instructions. Today’s form and instructions total over 200 pages, to give you some perspective. If you need help deciphering those 200 pages, feel free to give us a call.