Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin released his statement that the “new” individual tax return for 2018 will be released in its draft form this summer.
Touted as the postcard tax form, it is decidedly not a postcard. But it is simplified, taking over the old 1040EZ/A for simple filers. Going away are the areas for exemptions and itemized deductions but credits remain. For most individuals, next spring will find them finishing their returns without assistance of software or store front preparers. A calculator and your pen will be all the “hardware” needed.
During the April 2017 filing season, the IRS received approximately 137.5 million, of which approximately 52 million were prepared by individuals. The final numbers for this past spring are not yet complete but I see no significant changes.
What will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act see? Probably more people trying to do their returns themselves, but I doubt the people who go to the storefront operators will change, as they are lo- income earners who more than likely visit these places for the refund loans and not tax advice.
For those taxpayers with stocks, bonds, large state taxes, either in withholding or real estate taxes, credits, tuition and child care, for example, they will still seek professional assistance.
The role of your tax preparer will change to be more of your tax savings advisor, assist with your withholding or estimated payments and always steer you and your business in the best situation possible to legally pay less in taxes. While tax returns that have been on extension come due beginning Sept. 1, I am seeing clients now to double-check their withholding so there are no nasty surprises next spring.
You can visit the IRS website and look for the withholding calculator to see how 2018 is shaping up for you.
Karen S. Durda, EA, President of Century Accounting and Tax Services, Inc., has been in the profession since 1984. As an Enrolled Agent credentialed by the Treasury Department, she has the rights as afforded by Congress to represent individuals and businesses before tax authorities. Since May 2012, she has also had the distinction of being a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider, assisting in budgeting and financial peace for a four-county area and parts of Myrtle Beach.As a Qualified Business expert with the New Hanover County courts, she has experience and knowledge of various scopes of professions and industries, such as medical, health services, legal, construction, retail, real estate, auto sales and service, insurance and restaurant. Continuous tax law courses throughout the year keep her up-to-date on all tax rules, regulations and law changes, as well as business trends, to better serve her clients.
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