Every year, as business owners enter into the final stretch of tax season, tons of people and small businesses scramble to make sense of their financial statements, figuring out their own deductions, and, well, struggling with some “free” tax prep software. Maybe you have just gone through that this year.
The current government shutdown is affecting all kinds of nationally funded programs, but nowhere is it more evident than how it has shaped tax season this year. Already different because of the passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the real monkey wrench comes from the fact that 800,000 federal workers in nine different departments aren’t able to work. These departments include Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation, and Treasury
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Sure, sort of. At the end of the year, charitable donations soar, as individuals scramble to get them in before the end of the tax season. Sure, it feels good to give (really, you should do this. Giving is its own reward.) it doesn’t hurt that in year’s past you’d also get a big fat deduction for doing the right thing.
We know nobody really likes tax season. Here’s the thing, the work you do now could be the difference between saving money or spending money in March and April. We’re willing to bet that you don’t want to pay more in taxes, so why are you acting this way? Yes, it helps to have a good accountant, but if you wait until the last minute a tax accountant can only fill out your tax filings according to what’s already happened.
Tax law isn’t static, it’s constantly changing. Deductions that were available last year aren’t available this year, the amount you can deduct changes, even changes in how dependents work for deductions. We’re asked all the time about this, so here’s what you need to know about the three biggest changes to tax deductions in 2018.