Tax filing season is underway, and you may notice some changes


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Tax filing season is now in full swing and this year, people will notice some changes that aim to make the process a little less complicated.

Tax professionals say they’re still getting new information about the changes brought about by the 2017 federal tax overhaul but in general, they expect more people will be able to claim the standard deduction, which has been increased to $24,000.

“There’s been a limitation put on real estate taxes,” Greg Cabral of accounting firm BlumShapiro said Tuesday. “$10,000 is the limit and if you’ve got mortgage interest, that’s still deductible, and then you’ve got your charitable donations. So when you add those three up, if you’re a married couple and those three items don’t get to $24,000, you’re not even going to itemize this year.”

Another big update is the elimination of the 1040EZ and 1040A forms, which means everyone will instead use a redesigned 1040 form.

“I would say, for the average family, it is [simpler],” Cabral said. “But if you’re a business owner with some type of a flow-through entity that comes onto your tax return, it’s more complex.”

More than 150 million individual tax returns are expected to be filed for the 2018 tax year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says about 90 percent will be filed electronically, and refunds will be issued in less than 21 days for a vast majority of filers.

Some people have reported seeing larger refunds than expected while others have been surprised to find out they actually owe money.

“People started seeing more money in their paycheck because their withholdings went down,” Cabral explained. “That’s going to impact what they get back at the end of the year.”

The deadline to file taxes is Monday, April 15.

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