We May Be Headed for a Less Stressful Tax Season

Tax Season

With tax season gearing up, you can almost feel the stress level rise all around.

However, if the new President is able to fulfill his promise to American taxpayers with his “Middle Class Tax Relief and Simplification Act,” tax season could take on a whole new feeling. The details are outlined in Trump’s “Contract with The American Voter”, and he says it’s his plan to get things done in his first 100 days in office.

According to an article at AccountingToday.com about the new “Contract”, the author writes, “The details are sparse, but according to the description, the bill would entail “an economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief and lifting the restrictions on American energy.”

Sounds great, right? Especially this part, “The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with two children will get a 35% tax cut.” The article continues, “The current number of brackets will be reduced from seven to three, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35% to 15%, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10% rate.”

Plan to Reduce Stress This Tax Season

None of this means anything to tax payers for the upcoming tax season, so even while it may be stressful, you can do a few things to reduce the stress. Start by locating and gathering together all of the information you’ll need to file your tax return on time.

While we might have a simplified tax season to look forward to sometime in the future, we still have to be alert to the ever-growing scams that seem to multiply at the first hint of the tax season.

In addition to the usual scams where people call and pose as IRS representatives, I’ve read about a brand new scam targeting tax preparers. So everyone in my practice must be on high alert too.

You may wonder how tax professionals are getting scammed. There are a few ways this is happening. Forbes.com recently published an article that explains it well.

“Sometimes, the tax professional is tricked into responding because the emails appear to come from a legitimate source, including a friend or colleague. That’s because, the IRS warns, the friend or colleague has already become a victim. The scammers are accessing that friend or colleague’s account in order to send phishing emails.” They go on to explain ‘phishing’. “Phishing is an attempt to get you to disclose your personal or financial information. Scammers pose as legitimate sources – as here – and try to get you to turn over information or, in some cases, install malware so that the scammers can steal your information directly from your computer.”

Be Prepared and Be Alert

We may have some relief when it comes to taxes if Mr. Trump’s plans go into effect. During his inauguration speech he said, “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.” He added, “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

In the meantime while we wait and see what happens, be prepared early for this tax season and be on the alert for tax scammers. If you get a phone call or email from anyone saying they are with the IRS and you owe taxes, just hang up the phone.