Fall isn’t just for pumpkin spice lattes anymore.

If you’re used to only seeing your accountant once a year during tax season — Peekz ConsultiN owner Amy Peek says this is the year to make an exception.

She’s advising taxpayers to meet with an accountant as soon as possible this fall while there is still time to make changes that will help them have a smoother 2019.

“It’s really important to just sit down with your tax preparer to review what you can do in 2018 to help your tax position or get a heads up on what your position will be with the new changes,” Peek said.

She’s referring to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code that Congress passed in late 2017. Most of those changes will take effect in the 2019 tax season.

How will the new tax changes affect my return next year?

Some of the biggest factors that will affect the returns of  individuals with families next year are the elimination of personal exemptions and the ability to claim dependents on employers’ W-4 forms.

“The standard deduction doubling” is another example, she said. “None of their itemized deductions will matter.”

All summer, the IRS asked taxpayers to use the agency’s online calculator to see if they needed to update their withholdings as a result of the changes.

RELATED: IRS strongly urges taxpayers to do a paycheck checkup 

Peek warns that many economic forecasts indicate individuals will owe more in taxes in 2019 compared with prior years.

What can you do to offset these changes?

Peek stresses that every taxpayer’s situation is different, but increasing contributions to nontaxable retirement, savings and health savings accounts are some ways to decrease taxable income and help prevent jumping into a higher tax bracket.

But for a more personalized approach, it’s important to see your accountant soon, she said.

If you have any questions about your tax position, Peekz can help. Make an appointment online here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Alyson Raletz

Peekz ConsultiN LLC is a Pittsburgh-based accounting firm, located in the West Side, that caters to individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. We aim to empower clients to help them take control of their finances and achieve their dreams.


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