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2019: A Shutdown Tax Odyssey

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The 2019 tax filing season is about to begin. IRS will begin accepting returns on Jan 28 and will issue refunds. This is true even if the federal government goes into partial shutdown in a few weeks. The agency is bringing back some of its workers and classifying them as “necessary to pay refunds and process returns”.

HOWEVER, If you have tax questions, expect much longer hold times. These folks are just coming back to work Also, live assistance will be cut back if there is another government shutdown. 

Moreover, there are many new and revised tax forms thanks to the latest tax reform. The IRS Form 1040 might look simpler, but don’t be fooled. Most line items from the old form were simply moved to six numbered schedules. The instructions also include a somewhat complicated worksheet to figure the new 20% pass-through deduction. Moreover, easy to use forms 1040A and 1040EZ are gone. Schedule A has changed to incorporate changes in itemized deductions.

Additionally, there are a few new forms such as IRS Form 8994 that calculates the paid family or medical leave credit and Form 8990 that figures the new limit on deductible business interest.

Finally, there are a number of expiring popular tax breaks such as the write off of private mortgage insurance as interest and the exclusion of up to 2 million in forgiven debt on a home from being taxable, the deduction of up to $4,000 in college tuition and the non business energy saving tax credits. These extenders haven’t been extended ( pardon the pun) for 2018 yet.. If Congress renews these and other provisions, ,it could cause havoc for tax software firms. More on news you can use will be presented on Wednesday.


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