Dealing with Tax Changes as Deadline Looms

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- Tax Day is less than a week away, and with so many changes to the tax code this year, many people aren't sure how to handle the impending deadline.

Accountant John Georgiou spent much of this tax season explaining new tax laws to his clients.

"They overhauled the whole system," Georgiou said. "The tax forms look different. There are new tax forms. They changed all the tax rates."

Many people were confused because their tax refunds were much lower than usual, about 20 percent less on average.

That's because the new tax laws impacted paycheck withholdings and allowed people more take-home pay.

"An extra 20, 30 bucks in your paycheck is great, but when it translates to $1,000 less in your refund, it just doesn't feel the same," Georgiou said.

Georgiou tells us if you haven't prepared your taxes yet, you should consider filing an extension.

"The last thing you want to do is file your taxes under duress. File the extension. That'll give you some time to sort things out. Hopefully, you don't procrastinate thinking you don't have to file until October 15 and do get it done sooner rather than later."

He emphasizes that the extension gives you more time to file paperwork, but does not give you more time to pay.

"The bad news is it doesn't give you time to pay your taxes, so even if you file an extension, all it does is just gives you time to file, but the tax is actually due on April 15 because interest and penalties start to accrue on April 16," Georgiou added.

If you've already filed and aren't happy with the refund you received this year, you should visit your HR office to adjust your paycheck withholding.

Contact the IRS if you have any questions.

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