Ho, ho, ho, your tax forms are in the mail

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says all is well with its plan to begin the mailing today of 101 million individual tax forms. For some taxpayers, Uncle Sam's annual after-Christmas greeting will contain a surprise. They will be getting a different, simpler form than the one they received a year ago.

It is part of an IRS effort to encourage taxpayers to use the form most appropriate for their tax circumstances.

The 1986 Tax Reform Act made a variety of sweeping changes, including reducing tax rates, raising the standard deduction and eliminating a variety of deductions.

Taxpayers who once found it beneficial to file the long Form 1040, used by taxpayers who itemize deductions, may now be able to get by with the simpler Form 1040A, or the simplest form of all, the 1040EZ.

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