IRS Announces Increase in Interest/Dividend Threshold

Internal Revenue Service tax form Schedule B, "Interest and Dividend Income," will become a distant memory for more than 15 million taxpayers starting with the 2002 tax returns that will be due in the Spring of 2003. The IRS announced on Thursday that the supporting schedule on which individual taxpayers list interest and dividend income will no longer be required of taxpayers whose income from those sources is $1,500 or less.

Interest and dividend income will continue to be taxable, but such income that does not exceed $1,500 in any given year will need only to be reported on page one of the individual tax return instead of Schedule B, or Schedule 1 for those taxpayers who normally file Form 1040A. Previously, taxpayers with interest and dividend income exceeding $400 were required to file the extra schedule.

In addition to the millions of taxpayers who will no longer need to file Schedule B or Schedule 1, the IRS estimates that an additional 800,000 taxpayers will be able to use Form 1040EZ or the TeleFile system for filing their income tax returns instead of the more complicated 1040A or 1040 tax forms.

"We will continue our efforts to reduce the burden on taxpayers and simplify the tax code," said Pam Olsen, acting assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy.

The change will not affect taxpayers who are required to give positive answers to the questions about control over foreign bank accounts in foreign countries. These taxpayers will still be required to file Schedule B with their income tax returns.

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