Lots of confusion from tax filers about tax reform

Posted at 4:28 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 18:21:31-05

E.G. Tax Service in Amherst tells 7 Eyewitness News it is being flooded with calls for help from taxpayers who want to file their 2017 returns but are confused by the changes brought about by Federal Tax Reform that was enacted in December.

Christopher Fabian, company vice president, said the biggest question he is getting is whether the new tax laws will affect how a 2017 return is filed.  "The answer is no," said Fabian.

However, it will affect how you calculate withholdings from your paycheck in 2018.

Many deductions that were popular in the past have been eliminated in 2018 (such as interest on a 2nd home, RV or Boat, home equity loans and lines of credit).  Fabian said he now advises people with home equity loans to refinance them as traditional mortgages so the interest will be deductible going forward.

Even though tax reform has doubled the standard deduction, some tax payers could still find they need to have more money taken out from their paycheck to make up for the lost deductions.  Calculating the correct amount is complicated and that's why Fabian is recommending that people consult with a tax professional.

Another complication that will affect early filers is the IRS delaying the start of electronic filing.  The IRS was supposed to start accepting e-filed returns on January 22nd.  It has now been pushed to January 29th. Especially for people who qualify for an Earned Income or Child Tax Credits, those refunds will not go out until the last day of February, explained Fabian.

You can hear more in the attached clips.