Tax Season Is Underway — With Some Changes
Tax season kicks off in Illinois today, and taxpayers may notice some differences in the filing process.
Last year’s changes to federal tax law could have huge effects, both in which forms are used and how much money taxpayers get back.
Forms 1040-A and 1040-EZ are no longer available. Jim Hogge, an account and partner at Eck, Schafer & Punke, LLP, said that means it is important to be diligent about entering your information on the correct document.
“The whole spirit of the new tax forms was almost breaking these forms down to postcard-sized individual forms,” Hogge said. “It’s going to take a little bit longer to process or to prepare your own return this year.”
For individuals who usually itemize, Hogge said, the new system may actually be easier.
“However, if you’ve got a business, or you’ve got any sort of flow-through activity generated from business interests, your return got significantly more complicated,” he said. “There are additional deductions that are available that are new, and calculating that deduction is pretty complicated.”
According to Hogge, the biggest difference in filing Illinois state income taxes will be a full year at the higher rate of 4.95 percent. That’s up from the 3.75 percent rate in effect for the first half of 2017.
Hogge also said he does not anticipate returns will be delayed by the temporarily-halted federal government shutdown.
“There is a percentage of the IRS that, even [if] the government is technically shutdown, continues to operate,” Hogge said. “Their resources ... this year will be focused on processing the electronic returns that are received, issuing refunds for those returns, and also making sure that they process any paper returns.”