Tax Forms History - Form 1040 through the Years
Federal Income Tax Form 1040 for Every Tax Year
Since 1913, American taxpayers have used Form 1040 to prepare and file their tax returns. With the ratification of the 16th Amendment, which allows the collection of income tax, IRS Form 1040 became commonplace (learn more about the history of taxes in the United States).
Through the years, Form 1040 has been revised until it evolved into its present state. Here is every IRS Form 1040 since 1913:
*- The 1913 form was used for years 1913-1915. The IRS did not begin to release versions for every year until 1916.
Historically Significant Tax Returns - Tax Returns of the Presidents and Presidential Candidates
Presidents of the United States make their tax returns a matter of public record. However, the practice of releasing returns as president or when running for office didn't become commonplace until the late 1960's. In the run-up to the 1968 presidential election, George Romney (the governor of Michigan at the time) released 12 years of his returns from 1955-1966 after being pressed by reporters. This set the precedent for presidential candidates to release their tax returns. Every president from Richard Nixon onward has made their tax returns public. The only exception was Gerald Ford, who kept his tax returns private.
The tax returns of the presidents and presidential candidates presented below are publicly available and are of historical interest (we at efile.com never share your personal information).
1969 1970 1971 1972
Nixon signed the Tax Reform Act of 1969, which essentially eliminated taxes for those living in poverty and raised taxes on certain wealthy taxpayers by closing loopholes. However, he reduced the highest tax rates for the richest Americans from 70% to 50% during his presidency.
1977 1978 1979
Carter supported lowering taxes for the middle class. He was also for eliminating tax shelters and loopholes.
1981 1982 1983 1985 1986 1987
Under Reagan, a number of important tax reforms occurred. In 1981, he signed a law was at the time the largest tax cut in U.S. history, which cut approximately $750 billion in seven years. He also signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
George H.W. Bush
1989 1990 1991
H.W. Bush is known for his famous line “Read my lips: no new taxes." However, he didn't keep that promise and had to raise taxes during his presidency.
George W. Bush
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act in 2001. This tax cut reduced taxes by $1.3 trillion over ten years. The Act was extended in 2011.
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
The president supports higher taxes for the wealthy as a way to reduce the national deficit, while keeping taxes low for the middle and lower classes. In 2011, Obama signed a two-year extension to the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act after it passed both the House and the Senate, keeping taxes low for all tax brackets.
Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates
The 2000 and 2008 presidential candidate supports lowering taxes and simplifying the tax code.
The 2008 vice presidential candidate is known to oppose increasing taxes for the wealthy. She also supports removing the estate tax (also known as the "death tax"). While governor of Alaska, she imposed new taxes on the oil industry, generating substantial revenue for her state.
The 2012 Republican presidential candidate favors lowering tax rates for individuals. As governor, he proposed lowering the Massachusetts state tax rate, but state and local tax rates actually increased.
The 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate is best known for his budget plan that attempts to broaden the tax base and reduce tax rates across the board. His proposed plan was coupled with spending cuts aimed at reducing the national budget deficit.
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
The 2008 and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate favors increasing taxes for the wealthy while providing tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses.
The 2016 Democratic vice presidential candidate favors increasing the tax rates of wealthy taxpayers. As governor of Virginia, he cut state and local taxes to stimulate the economy. As Senator, he advocated for simplifying the tax code.
Trump is the first Republican presidential candidate since Ford to not release his tax returns during an election. He said he will release them once his IRS audit is completed. We will update this page once (or if) this happens!
The 2016 Republican presidential candidate favors reducing taxes at all income tax levels. He is also for eliminating the estate tax (which he considers double taxation), reducing the tax brackets from seven to three, and making the child and dependent care tax credit an above-the-line-deduction.
The 2016 Republican vice presidential candidate favors cutting taxes for all individuals. As governor of Indiana, he signed legislation to cut the income tax rate by 5 percent (from 3.4 to 3.23 percent). As a representative, he advocated for replacing the current income tax code with a fair tax.
Related Information on Tax Forms and Tax History
Find a list of more federal IRS tax forms.
Detailed overview of the tax history in United States and the world.