The new tax reform laws that were implemented as part of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," signed into law by President Trump in December 2017, continue to be confusing for most people and even professional tax preparers.
According to Christopher Fabian at EG Tax in Amherst, the IRS just recently sent out notification that it is changing Form 1040 into two half-sheets of paper with several other schedules.
"It is the same thing. They are making it look simple but it is not. It is still just as complicated as ever," said Fabian.
A big concern for EG Tax is the change in withholdings from a employees paycheck. Fabian said he is finding that many people are not having enough money withheld and that will mean a big surprise next year when it comes to a planned-on tax refund.
"They might be expecting a $3,000 refund and they are only going to get a $1,000 refund. Or, they might be thinking they will plan it so they just break even, maybe getting a $500 refund - they are going to end up owing $500," explained Fabian.
There is still time to make adjustments to your withholding with a Form W-4.
You can estimate your tax liability using a worksheet posted online at EG Tax:
The IRS also has a withholding calculator that is available here:
"There are tools out there and you have to use them. Don't wait until January of next year because it will be too late," emphasized Christopher Fabian.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his report.
If you have not received your New York State tax refund, Fabian said you should call NYS to see why there is a holdup. In some cases, NYS requests a copy of a W-2 before issuing a refund. It is important that you don't forget to follow-up because NYS will keep your refund.
For people in those situations, Fabian suggests adjusting your withholding for NYS to avoid having your money held longer in the future. Even if you have to pay a small amount, it is better than not getting your refund for a long period of time, added Fabian.
If you filed an extension because you owed taxes, you will face added penalties and interest. Fabian encourages people with this situation to try and pay as soon as possible to avoid accruing more fees. The same advice goes for people who did not file an extension and owe taxes to the IRS or NYS.