Tax Season officially began January 23rd. For most people, tax season can be a stressful time spent gathering documents and working to prepare their tax returns as accurately as possible. There are several changes that have occurred that may affect your 2017 tax return. By being aware of the challenges that may occur, you may be better prepared to handle them.
In 2017, individual taxpayers must file their income tax returns by April 18th instead of April 15th. The due date is April 18, 2017, because April 15, 2017, falls on a Saturday which would normally result in a move to the following Monday (April 17, 2017). However, this year, Emancipation Day falls on Monday, April 17. Since that’s a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, the tax filing deadline will be pushed ahead for all individual taxpayers to Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
Business partnerships deadline has been pushed up to March 15 instead of April 15. C-corporations, by contrast, now have an additional month to file their returns. Under the law, C-corporations must file their returns by April 15.
FreeFile is now open
The program, available through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, partners with commercial partners to provide free filing software for about 100 million taxpayers with incomes of $64,000 or less. Seven in ten of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS FreeFile.
Expect Refund Delays
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, which became effective on Jan. 1, 2017, may result in delayed refunds for millions of Americans. Under Sect. 201 of the law, people who claim the Earned Income Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit on their returns will not receive refunds until after Feb. 15, 2017. Early filers who claim either of the two tax credits will be affected. The law is intended to reduce identity theft and fraud. The Internal Revenue Service intends to take a closer look at taxpayers who claim these two credits. Besides expecting delays in receiving their refunds, taxpayers may also expect to be asked to supply additional documentation to support the validity of their claims of the credits.
New Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers
All Individual Taxpayer Identification numbers not used least once in the last three years, or issued before 2013, are no longer valid. The number is typically required by people who do not have a Social Security number and are not eligible to obtain one.
NYC Craft Breweries Get Tax Credits
Beer makers in New York City will be eligible for a beer production credit this year. The breweries will get 12 cents per gallon for the first 500,000 gallons of beer they produce, then 3.86 cents each for the next 15 million gallons made. However, only breweries making fewer than 60 million gallons annually will be eligible for the credit.
Start preparing for tax season now. Begin by gathering and organizing your receipts to support any tax deductions that you plan to take. Take note of any life changes. You might also want to review the returns you filed for the 2015 tax year. Tax legislation changes surprisingly often, consider getting the help of a professional tax preparer or accountant to make certain that your taxes are done correctly and submitted on time.