New tax credits, expanded credits and deductions, adjusted tax brackets, and more forms. What’s a person to do?
All of this talk about new deductions, tax credits, and tax preparation is making my head hurt. Thankfully, last year I established a relationship with an accountant in our area. Trust me, I have already emailed her a few times with questions. All of this craziness is making a flat tax sound all the more appealing. Why do we all have to go through this each year? But that’s another rant for another day. Back to this whole tax mess . . .
You can take more of a standard deduction this year if you paid state or local real estate taxes, bought a new car and paid sales and excise taxes and met the income limits, or if you were a victim of a federally declared disaster. Again, you have to be within the income limits to claim these deductions. There are also expanded tax credits for education and a tax credit for making your home more energy efficient. And if you choose to increase your standard deduction one or more items, you’ll have to file a new form Schedule L.
If you’re the common man (like me), this sounds like a foreign language to you. Don’t give up just yet. You want your taxes done correctly and you want to receive your money without delay. Forms that are filed incorrectly can delay refunds.
All of these new laws and tax credits make it really hard for a person to file their own taxes. I am known for being a thrifty tightwad money saving cheapskate, but here’s one time I say shell out the money to a professional. To me, it’s just not worth it. Of course, there are some ways to save money. Have your papers organized and deductions itemized by category. Don’t make the tax preparer search through your papers. This will only cost them time which costs you money.
Also, if you’re unsure of some things, the IRS has set up a handy YouTube channel. Yes, they’re going high tech.
Are you hiring a professional tax preparer this year?