Tax expert amid shutdown: Do them as early as possible

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- This year's tax season may be extra complicated for some Americans as the government shutdown continues and several changes to the tax laws go into effect.

"Do it early. As soon as you can get all of your tax documents, put them all in and don't wait until April 17," said Douglas Hord, of My Tax Guy in Houston LLC.

One of the first noticeable changes is the 1040 form, which is now divided into six sections and has a new look.

The 1040A or 1040EZ will no longer be used.

The standard deductions have increased for most tax brackets, but to offset that change, there will be no more personal exemptions.

"A single parent with multiple kids now has no personal exemptions," Hord said. "So you're used to having $12,000 of taxable income excluded. That's gone."

Itemized deductions are also being impacted with a $10,000 cap on the amount of property and sales taxes that can be itemized.

Those with kids can expect an increase this year in credit.

"The child tax credit went from $1,000 to $2,000," Hord said.

Other items that have changed include:
  • No more moving expenses.
  • No more un-reimbursed employee expenses.
  • More documentation required for head of household and earned income credit.


Tax return submission begins on Monday and the deadline to file is April 17.

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