Let’s Talk About the Tax Changes

We’re starting a new series this week about taxes. Don’t panic, you still have a few weeks until they’re due in April (April 15th this year). Thanks to new legislation signed by Congress in 2017, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, there are big changes for the 2018 tax filing year intended to simplify filing your taxes. In addition to lowering the tax rates, there is now only one form, the 1040 (no more 1040A or 1040EZ), the standard deduction was increased, personal exemptions eliminated, the child tax credit increased, some deductions were reduced or eliminated, and more. For the next four weeks, we’ll break these down starting with your filing options.

You may have completed your own taxes in the past, but if you’ve had recent changes in your life (married, divorced, new baby, started a business, etc), you may want to consider some assistance this year. What are the filing options available?

Paper manual filing: You print off form 1040, fill it out and mail it yourself. If you plan to do it this way, be careful not to make any math errors and be sure to mail it on time. There is no charge for this type of filing.

E-file / Tax Preparation Software: These programs will ask you a series of questions about events in your life and complete and (usually) file your taxes for you. It’s probably the simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return because it guides you through the process and does all the math for you. The cost varies, but several do offer a free option if your income is under a certain amount.

Engage a tax professional to prepare:  Tax preparation services and CPAs (certified public accountants) are available if you need help or have a more complicated return. You’ll collect all your documents to share with them and answer a series of questions. They will complete and submit the necessary forms for you. This type of service will cost the most since you are using the services of a tax professional.

Still not sure which method is right for you? Read the full article here. BrightDime coaches are also available for questions, just login and chat.