Local tax experts break down big changes for tax reform

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - January 29th marked the official start to tax season. The Internal Revenue Service is now accepting tax returns electronically and by mail.

In the Brazos Valley, accountants are starting to get busy. Many are getting phone calls asking about the new tax reforms.

"We've got to worry about this year, though, before we go into next year," said Brenda Owens, president of B-CS Tax Group, Inc.

While the filing process stays the same this year, big changes are in store when people file their 2018 taxes next year.

"This coming April 15th is the last time you'll ever file your taxes under that old complex, ugly tax code. In future April 15th's, it'll be a new, simpler tax code, which is what we think the American people deserve," Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas said.

The Congressman led much of the effort on tax reform in Washington, D.C. Brady serves as Chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. He said filing next year will be simpler.

"We focused on middle class families. We want a tax code that creates jobs, that grows paychecks and leapfrogs America back to the lead around the world," Brady said. "That’s exactly what we achieved in this. It’s not perfect tax reform, there is no such thing, but, boy, we got the fundamentals right, I think, in a big way," he said.

Owens said they've had around 30 to 40 customers come in so far. She and other experts recommend you file as early as possible, in case someone has compromised your identity and tries to file a fraudulent return.

"If someone has your information, believe me, they're going to file as early as possible. Then, when you get ready to file, yours gets rejected," she explained. Owens said many people won't see a big change in how they file taxes until next year.

"I think the majority of the people are going to see an increase in the refund when they file their 2018 tax returns," Owens said.

Starting in February and March, workers will start seeing larger take-home pay as part of the tax reform. Texas A&M University Accounting Professor John Robinson said it will be modest for most people.

"Because it's spread out over the entire year, it's not going to be a dramatic change in anyone's take-home pay," said Robinson, "but I think they will see it when they file their taxes next year. I think a lot of the filing will be simpler and hopefully it will go much more quickly and efficiently and people will be satisfied with the result," said Robinson.

"I really think that the average person is going to see a benefit to the tax cuts. I really really do I think '18 will be a happier year for the taxpayers," added Owens.

Robinson told KBTX people operating businesses and corporations should see a big reduction in their taxes. Tax Day has been extended to April 17th this year due to a federal holiday in Washington on April 15th. Experts also suggest you find a licensed tax professional if you are going to pay someone to prepare your taxes.

Nearly 155 million individual tax returns are expected to be filed in 2018 according to the IRS.