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KPBS Evening Edition

Counting Down To Tax Day: Tips For Procrastinating Taxpayers

File photo shows a portion of the 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form for 2018 in New York, July 24, 2018.
Associated Press
File photo shows a portion of the 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form for 2018 in New York, July 24, 2018.

More than half of all taxpayers pay to have their tax returns done according to the IRS. Therefore, who better to go to for last minute questions than an IRS representative?

KPBS Evening Edition Anchor Ebone Monet met with IRS spokesperson Raphael Tulino to discuss changes to this year's returns.

Q: What are the biggest tax changes since the new tax plan was rolled out?

A: Fundamentally we saw taxes change. The 1040 form has changed, there are six new schedules. The 1040A and EZ, familiar forms to a lot of people, they’ve been eliminated. The standard deduction has been nearly doubled, personal exemptions have been suspended, if you will, or eliminated at least until Congress addresses them because this law is in place at least until 2025.

Q: How has the tax reform impacted charitable donations?

A: If you want to take a charitable contribution and see a tax benefit on a tax return, you have to be doing that on schedule A because that’s where it goes. But if the standard deduction has been doubled and you take the standard instead of the itemized, then really you’re not going to find a tax benefit because you want to take the greater of the itemized and the standard deduction that you get for filing.

Q: When should someone file for an extension?

A: Anybody who can’t get it together. We don’t take a stance and say you should file at this time we basically say file when you’re ready. If you can’t get it done you don’t want to file an inaccurate return out of haste, so take your time. Take the extra six months if you need it. Here’s the thing about it. It’s an extension of time to file not to pay, so if you owe or think you owe then the deadline is Monday. That way you avoid any penalties that can accrue on your account. If you have a requirement to file and you can’t pay, let’s work something out.

Video: Counting Down To Tax Day: Tips For Procrastinating Taxpayers