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January 2019 Archives

IRS must recover from government shutdown

Although the most recent government shutdown is over, there may be some long-term impacts for Georgia residents. For example, the IRS says that it is weeks behind in hiring and training staff for the upcoming tax season. It also says that there are millions of unanswered letters from taxpayers that will need to be addressed. The number of letters it received during the shutdown increased because it was the only way for taxpayers to reach the agency.

The new tax season and the government shutdown

With the new tax season almost here, the citizens of Georgia should get ready and take the time to make sure that all their financial matters are in order. However, it is also worth noting that this year should be a particularly strenuous year for the IRS. On the one hand, the government shutdown has left this agency severely understaffed, where almost 90 percent of the employees have not shown up to work at some point during the past 25 days. On the other hand, there are new tax laws that are scheduled to go into effect this year, meaning that the agency has to deal with one of the largest changes in the tax code while being severely understaffed.

Tax deductions individuals can take in 2019

While the tax law has changed in recent years, there are still many deductions that Georgia residents may be entitled to in addition to the standard deduction. For example, it may be possible to take a deduction for student loan interest up to $2,500. This is true for single filers who have a modified adjusted gross income of $80,000 or less. The amount increases to $165,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Keeping tax records forever isn't a bad idea

Georgia residents and others are advised to keep a physical and digital copy of a tax return for as long as they live. This can be helpful in the event that the IRS claims a person hasn't filed a return in a given year or filed a fraudulent return. Furthermore, the government generally has no deadline to come after a taxpayer who understates his or her income on a tax return.

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