Biggest tax code change in 20 years - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Biggest tax code change in 20 years

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Procrastination alert! As you know, April 15th is right around the corner so you only have a few days left to settle up with Uncle Sam. There are some big changes to the tax code you may need to know about before you file and as you know missing that deadline is costly.

More than 25% of tax returns are filed in April. Office Manager Tina Brossia says that means it's always a busy time at H&R Block, "Even if you don't have the money to pay your taxes come in and file an extension by April 15th. The penalty for not filing your taxes is ten times higher than the penalty for failure to pay."

According to H&R Block the biggest change to the tax code in the last 20 years is the affordable care act, "Next year if you did not sign up for health insurance by March 31 of this year you will be penalized through your tax return. I tell people it's like if you want your trash picked up you have to pay your water bill and vice versa."

When it comes to your return there are some education credits you should be aware of, "If your child lives on campus at school people don't think they can still claim them as a tax deduction, but parents can deduct up to $2,500 and the students can only get $1,000 because of the age, so you mine as well get that extra $1,500."

One of the deductions that's set to go away is the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit, "People who get things like new windows, doors, furnaces and roofs can get a deduction but that credit is set to go away next year."

If you feel like you may have made some mistakes on recent filings, there is a way to go back and check it out, "We have a free second look program where we can go back up to three years and look at your returns that were either done on line or by another tax preparer. We do find errors and deductions missed so we can amend those returns and get the money back."

The average return is about $2,300. The vast majority of returns are filed and deposited electronically. A lot of tax offices extend their hours in the days leading up to the deadline so no need to panic just yet. Of course if you owe the government money you may not want to mail it in until the last minute.

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