PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–2020 tax season is upon us and that means it’s time to file your returns. Local experts say it’s important to get organized as Hurricane Michael may affect the way in which you file.
The IRS will begin accepting 2019 returns on January 27th. And some say it’s better to file sooner rather than later.
“The sooner you file, the sooner you know what your liability is and you don’t actually have to have that money sent to the IRS until the April 15th deadline,” said Jessica Carnell, the Area Manager for Jackson Hewitt Tax Services.
Carnell also says it’s important to be aware of any new expenses you had since last tax season.
Taxpayers should also familiarize themselves with the filing forms, the 1040 form has been changed yet again.
“The numbers for what lines coordinate with what deductions or credits have also changed,” Carnell said.
Taxpayers can also start adding uninsured and unreimbursed Hurricane Michael damages to their tax return whether they happened in 2019 or mid-2018.
“The restrictions that were on that have changed and that opens the doors for a lot of people who had substantial losses to get some of that back,” Carnell said.
When filing, if you’re asked if you live in a federally declared disaster zone, Carnell recommends saying yes if that is the case.
In the past, taxpayers could write off casualty losses like house fires and stolen property. But now you only can if they are a result of a federally declared disaster.
“Because if you try to write off any losses like that, it’s automatically gonna kick it out and say ‘no I’m sorry you don’t qualify for that,” Carnell said.
Regardless of your income, tax experts say it’s important to file in order to keep your identity safe.