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The new 1040 form may not make tax filing easier

Despite promises to simplify the filing of taxes, reporting your income to the IRS may now be even more complex. With the passing of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, there are also a number of other complexities that accompany the filing of taxes.

While the Form 1040 is now shorter, it requires greater use of schedules. One tax preparer notes that there are now “six additional schedules” accompanying this form. This does not include additional schedules required for reporting self-employment income and for other sorts of filing.

A shorter form may not make filing taxes easier

Taxpayers do need to remember that significant changes to the tax code occurred. This makes it impossible for the taxpayer to use last year’s forms as a model for filing this year’s taxes. There are not the same exemptions available as in the past. On the other hand, there is a higher standard deduction.

One interesting note about use of a shorter form: the form may not list available credits and deductions a taxpayer can take. This can leave the impression that a particular deduction is not available for a taxpayer and will not attempt to take it.

The changes in the law also resulted in different tax withholding tables. And while the standard deduction is higher on federal forms, it may not be higher on state forms. Thus, some taxpayers may see their state taxes increase.

Certain tax deductions will go away including a deduction for moving expenses and the alimony deduction. Other deductions will remain or even increase.

There will be continuing developments concerning the new tax laws. At some point, we hopefully will receive additional clarifications from the IRS and other federal authorities. In the mean time when facing tax charges, it is always good to have attorneys who can defend your rights in tax court and appeal tax matters. It’s best not to negotiate with the IRS on your own.

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