Tax preparers going nonstop for tax season

Published 7:28 pm Thursday, March 8, 2018

The busiest time of the year has come for accountants and tax professionals throughout the country.

From the first of February through this year’s deadline April 17, they are working nonstop to help people prepare and file their taxes.

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Carlis Abney, who owns Taylor’s Audit and Tax Services in Vicksburg, said things got started a little later this year as a lot of people waited until after Feb. 27 to start filing their taxes, but that just means she has been even busier in the past week.

“Very busy,” she said. “It seemed to get started a little later than usual. I think people knowing many of theirs wouldn’t be processed until Feb. 27, we had the beginning crowd coming in a little slower.”

Abney said the busiest time of the season comes before March 15, the deadline for businesses to file their returns. It will then slow down a little for a couple weeks before, “it picks up with a bang April 1.”

This year’s tax season has an added wrinkle as Abney is helping people file their taxes, while also helping them get ready for the changes that went into effect Jan. 1.

The new tax bill passed Dec. 19 and included sweeping changes including large increases in the standard deductions, changes to the tax rates and new rules for what can be included in itemized deductions.

Abney said the biggest change she is letting her clients know about — and hoping they prepare for — is the removal of itemizations for employee expenses not reimbursed by their employers.

“I think as they do their taxes, they ought to look at what impact the new tax law is going to have on them,” Abney said. “The majority of people are saving taxes, but I am seeing many clients the law hurts. Especially due to their itemized deductions.”

Items that are no longer deductible include non-reimbursed mileage and travel expenses, uniform costs, union dues and more.

“I would say it is going to be a new ball game,” Abney said. “Right now, people are used to and pretty much have their deductions set and pretty much know how their taxes are going to come out. Some people, it is going to have a disadvantage. They should want to look at that and know what is coming and how it’s going to be next year.”

She said married couples will also need to be on the lookout for how the increase of the standard deduction from $12,000 to $24,000 will impact their returns next year.