Local experts offer advice for last-minute tax filers

Answer Desk

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The deadline to file taxes is fast approaching. CBS 17 has information filers may like to know so they may file on time and correctly under the new tax code.

Local experts encourage those who haven’t yet filed to first get organized. That means to gather up any and all documents related to taxes and put in one place.

“Keep in mind, the person filing your taxes has to file a lot of these, so you don’t want to cut it too close to the wire,” said Life Plan Group President Alex Sutherland. 

The standard deduction has increased to $24,000 for married couples, $12,000 for singles, and $18,000 for head of household. So, many who used itemized deductions in previous years will not be able to itemize this year. 

“So your 1040 is going to look a little bit different than you’ve seen in the past, and that’s because the tax acts and job cuts that got past in December of 2017. This is the first tax year that started. So when you get your 1040 back from your tax preparer, don’t be surprised but it is going to look a little different,” Sutherland said.  

A higher tax credit is also available for all children younger than 17 as part of a $2,000 dollars credit per child. But, personal exemptions for dependents also have been eliminated. Those looking for last-minute ways to save, IRA contributions may be the way.

“So if you do get a surprise with your tax bill, you can still do deductions into IRA accounts, HSA accounts until April 15. So talk with your CPA or tax preparer about that so you can lower your tax bill and you can still do that,” Sutherland said.

Filing your taxes online makes it a lot easier and you get your refund quicker. Refunds may even be set up to direct deposit.

The deadline is April 15. 

For last-minute filers who feel rushed, Sutherland recommended making sure to check for math errors and that correct information is entered into the system. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a tax preparer.

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