When to file and what big changes to expect


Sitting down to do your taxes in the next few weeks — or talking with your tax preparer — will involve tackling the most sweeping changes in the federal income tax rules in more than 30 years.You’ll need to keep in mind that more than 600 rule changes took place under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed by Congress in late 2017.

All those changes even drove some industry experts to raise concern early on about possible delays to the typical, late January start of the tax season — and that was long before the federal government shutdown hit on Dec. 22. President Trump announced a deal on Friday to temporarily end that shutdown.

Even with that disruption, the Internal Revenue Service promises to kick off tax season as of Jan. 28, the earliest date you can file your returns. Will things end up being simpler? Maybe — if you’re able to tap into a substantially expanded standard deduction and you no longer must string together all sorts of receipts and paperwork to itemize deductions.

Or maybe, if your upper-income household can now skip the highly complex and much-dreaded alternative minimum tax.Tax filers need to realize, though, that it won’t be business as usual when it comes to filing their 2018 tax returns. Far from it.

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