LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Jaimie Nourie spent the first day of the tax filing season at an H&R Block in Las Vegas eager to file her income tax refund.
"Trying to get it done early” said Nourie. “Because I get a refund because I have kids."
46,000 IRS employees were called back to work without pay during the shutdown but on this first day of the tax filing season the agency said it will take time to get up and running again. And another shutdown could delay taxpayer refunds.
"Up until last week we were pretty much told we would get a recording saying there is no one available," said Kyle Tingle, a Las Vegas CPA, who spoke with 13 Action News about changes in tax laws that could affect your return.
"Get your stuff in early,” said Tingle. “Because the earlier it's in even if there are delays you will still be the first batch getting out."
And be prepared for some changes. The $1.5 trillion tax overhaul took effect at the beginning of 2018 giving the typical taxpayer a lower tax bill, but your refund may be lower because you had more money in your paycheck all year long.
"Someone who is used to getting a $2,000 tax refund because they are paying lower taxes, " said Tingle. "But they had less withheld they may only get a $1500 or $1800 tax refund because they didn't pay as much and they didn't have as much withheld."
The standard deduction doubled.
"So over half of the people that were itemizing before will probably not itemize this year,” Tingle said.
And it got rid of or capped a lot of personal exemptions.
“And the people that are going to see the impact most are someone like me. I have four children,” said Tingle.
"Between my itemized deductions and all those personal exemptions for six of us we had more than $40,000 worth of deductions. And now we are going to have the $24,000 standard deduction.”
While most people are excited for the extra money in their pockets; financial experts suggest you be smart with your money.
Here are some suggestions:
*Pay off debt.
*Put it in savings
*Create an emergency fund
Or put it toward something you really need like Jaimie,
"We're looking at putting it toward a down payment for a new house this year!"