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Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, holds a tax filing postcard in November 2017. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

The New York Times obtained a draft of the new 1040 income tax form Tuesday, and, as the Trump administration and Congressional leaders promised, it's smaller.

Why it matters: Some taxpayers will spend less time filling out the new 1040 form. Others, particularly those who need to tally business income, capital gains and other forms of income, will likely still face a mountain of paperwork.

The details: The main form has shrunk from two full pages to a double-sided half page.

  • More than half of the line items from the previous form are gone.
  • Several deductions — such as student loan interest or teaching supplies — that were on the old 1040 have been removed.
  • Those deductions haven't been eliminated — they've just been offloaded to six different accompanying worksheets that many taxpayers will also have to fill out.

The bottom line: The IRS releases the new form this week. Though it is designed to be close to "postcard" size, it still needs to be mailed in an envelope to protect Social Security numbers and other private information.

But, but, but: More than 90% of taxpayers file their taxes online, according to efile.com. If the postcard encourages more people to file their taxes through the mail, the IRS could face extra work processing all that paper.

What they’re saying:

  • “It will be a postcard as we've promised, and hardworking taxpayers won't have to spend nearly as much time filling out their taxes,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said about the new form.
  • The new form “only adds needless complexity and confusion. The longer Form 1040, which all taxpayers have used for decades, is being replaced with Republican mythology that will only complicate tax filing,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Tax Policy, per NYT.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

More surprises await scientists at Antarctica's "Doomsday Glacier"

Cliffs along the edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Photo: James Yungel/NASA

Researchers like David Holland, an atmospheric scientist at New York University, are in a race to understand the fate of a massive glacier in West Antarctica that has earned a disquieting nickname: "The Doomsday Glacier."

Why it matters: Studies show the Thwaites Glacier (its official name) could already be on an irreversible course to melt during the next several decades to centuries, freeing up enough inland ice to raise global sea levels by at least several feet.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Omicron's blitz around the world has underscored the need for a new arsenal of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, experts say — and that may require an effort akin to Operation Warp Speed 2.0.

Why it matters: The virus will continue to evolve, potentially in a way that further escapes vaccine protection, and the best way to prevent more global disruptions to everyday life is to have tools ready to combat whatever comes next.