A new tax law could affect how much money you get back this year on your refund.
Consumer Investigator Lindsay Bramson has everything you need to know before you get your taxes done. And how it could impact your favorite charities.
Tiara Brown doesn’t usually look forward to tax time. But thanks to a new tax law, this year is different.
“I got more back this year than last year,” said Tiara Brown while getting her taxes done at H&R Block.
And part of that is due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which is a new law that takes affect this year that will impact how much money you either owe Uncle Sam…or get back from him.
Accountants say nearly all taxpayers will benefit from reduced tax rates on everybody’s income.
“So that alone will mean people should pay less taxes,” said Patrick Min who is the founder of Beacon Accounting and Tax.
The standard deduction, which is the portion of your income that cannot be taxed, is a bit more generous this year, doubling for both single and married taxpayers.
For example, if you're single that standard deduction goes from $6,000 to more than $12,000.
If you're married…$12,000 to $24,000.
And changes to how much you withheld from your paychecks last year should mean you're getting more money each paycheck.
But Min, an accountant says the new law also has some strings attached to it.
“I think there could be some challenges still,” said Min.
Here's what else to keep an eye out for.
The new law eliminates itemized deductions including moving and business expenses. Also, mileage and how much you give to charities.
However, that doesn't apply to people who are self-employed.
“The thought was that by lowering the tax rates, people would have more money in their pockets, they'll be able to spend more, and consumer spending would go up,” said Min.
But will people continue to give to charities?
Some nonprofits, like Goodwill worry if people can no longer deduct every amount they donate…will donations go down?
"It's something we've certainly been monitoring because we're aware that the increase in the standard deduction may affect the number of people who itemize,” said Chris Fletcher with Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee.
But some donors we spoke with say they still plan to donate even if it doesn’t help them on their tax refund.
"To do it for tax purposes would just be a crime,” said Susie Callen who was donating some stuff she no longer needed.
Because of these new changes you may want to consider getting someone to help you with your taxes this year.
Accountants say for the most part, these changes should help the average taxpayer get more money back on their refund.
A couple other things to tell you about…the new law also increases the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000.
And there’s also a $500 credit that will help families caring for elderly parents.
And in case you're wondering how the government shutdown will affect your refund, tax experts tell us as long as the government remains open...it shouldn't affect it at all.
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