People Prepare for Tax Season - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

People Prepare for Tax Season

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Taxpayers may notice a few changes when filing their taxes. One is the earned income tax credit, which is an important tax deduction for parents. The income limit has gone up and the size of the credit has increased. The IRS made the change to eliminate any confusion about who was eligible. And taxpayers will have to provide extra documentation in order to claim qualifying children.

"Examples of things they can bring in would be a copy of a document from the children's school or a child care provider that shows that child's name and address both on the same document. Another thing they could do is bring in guardianship papers, divorce papers, or any legal document that shows they're eligible to claim that qualifying child," says Kathy Schneider, Liberty Tax Service.

The medical expense deduction has also changed for those under the age of 65.

"Previously, it was 7.5 percent of the adjusted gross income. And any expenses that were above that, you would be able to claim on schedule A as an itemized deduction. That has changed to 10 percent of the adjusted gross income," says Schneider.

The IRS won't begin processing tax returns until January 31st.
But some are filing early.

"Mostly to get it out of the way. Usually by the time the end of April comes, everybody's so busy. So, it's just good to get it done early," says Marilyn Zins.

But it's not just about getting it out the way. Early filing may help protect you from income tax fraud.

"You're getting in ahead of time, completing your return. It reduces the possibility of someone stealing your information and filing ahead of you and causing some problems," says Schneider.

It's also important to protect personal information, such as your social security number, and check your credit score periodically.

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