Tax time: How to help your readers save this season

18 Dec Tax time: How to help your readers save this season

The season for stressing over taxes is nearly here and readers are looking for expert help. Whether preparing to take on the task of filing, or looking for the best professional for the job, assistance is always appreciated. With tax code changing for every American in 2018, more people need help than ever before.

It is important to understand the main changes and how they affect people individually. No matter what bracket your readers fall into, they’ll appreciate candid, trustworthy advice. The new Taxes 2019 special section is a perfect source of information for readers and a great place to find expert help through advertisements. Here are 4 reasons why recent tax reform has bolstered the market for tax professionals.

  1. Homeowners will see major tax changes

Homeowners should know whether or not taking the standard deduction over itemizing is good for them this year. Among the tax code changes is a law that nearly doubles the standard deduction. The change also limits itemized deductions such as property taxes. The new standard deduction sits at $12,000 per individual and $24,000 for married couples. So depending on the number of itemized deductions a couple has, the itemized limit could mean that the standard $24,000 deduction could be preferable.

Additionally, standard deductions are easier and cheaper for a tax professional to prepare. The tax pro might even be able to provide tips on when to itemize based on charitable donations. The preparer might suggest taking the standard deduction this year, and going with itemized the following year and saving all of your donations for that year.

  1. Maximizing deductions can be complicated

One of the biggest changes to the tax code was the removal of many deduction options. Readers want these options broken down for them, either in written form or with the help of a tax assistant. Some of the removed deductible expenses include union dues, investment advisory fees, alimony and work-related moving expenses. The ability to deduct state and local taxes over $10,000 has also been removed. These restrictions mean that the majority of people would be better off using the standard deduction. With the large amount of work that goes into filing taxes, choosing whether or not to itemize is an important decision. Even though choosing the standard deduction means less work, people need help deciding what option is best for them. Professionals can guide that process. Find out where you fall in the new tax brackets to decide which deduction is best this year.

  1. Knowing where to keep your money is more important than ever

Meeting with a tax professional to plan your annual money management can be beneficial for everyone. Even if you end up preparing your own taxes, a professional can project your income and suggest changes to reduce taxable income. Putting money away for the future can help drop the cost of being a citizen. IRAs, 401(k)s and flexible spending account for health care are all great places to save money from being taxed. Even though the rates are lower this year, a professional can recommend where and when to save.

  1. If something goes wrong, the tax pro can save you

Hypothetically, if something gets filled out incorrectly and you need to speak with someone at the IRS, a professional can and should represent you. There are even cases where the IRS computer system sends a message saying that the taxpayer underpaid and owes money and interest. This notice may actually be wrong and a tax professional can recognize this. Some tax programs feature the option to pay someone to speak to the IRS on your behalf. But letting a personally-hired assistant take care of this for you is the wiser option, especially if this is someone you have built a relationship with over years of filing. The sooner a tax professional is hired to help, the easier future tax seasons will be.