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Local experts say prepare now for new tax plan changes

Local experts say prepare now for new tax plan changes. // WSBT 22

The new tax bill that Congress passed Wednesday is heading to President Trump's desk for a signature.

That has many of you heading to your phone to call your accountant.

They have a lot of questions. Accountants throughout our area say they've gotten phone calls from clients asking about how this new bill will impact them.

WSBT 22 sat down with a local accountant and financial expert to break down this new bill.

"We've had a lot of clients contact us just this week," said Ryan Fair, CPA.

The calls started rolling in to accountants' offices as Congress passed the $1.5 trillion tax bill that will change the way many Americans file their taxes in the coming years.

Those calls prompted Fair at Korhorn Financial Group in Granger, to send out an email Thursday to his clients.

"That's part of our mission at Korhorn Financial group is to educate our clients so this is a good opportunity to pass along some of the knowledge that we've learned in the last few days and just teach the clients what's in the tax bill and how it's going to affect them," said Fair.

Fair says there are a few ways people can prepare for the new changes and save money.

"Pre-pay some of their stuff that the taxes or the deductions that they can still take on 2017 that they won't be able to deduct in 18. Between the real estate taxes and the state and local income taxes there is a cap of $10,000 so a few families will hit that where it makes sense to prepay," said Fair.

John Cergnul, a Saint Mary's financial professor says overall this tax cut is a positive thing.

"Many people do not itemize their deductions. They take the standard deductions. The standard deduction has essentially doubled for individual tax payers. It went from a little over $6,000 to now $12,000 for a married filing joint tax payers it from a little over $12,000 to $24,000," said Cergnul.

Cergnul says for those who do itemize their deductions they will no longer be able to claim things like alimony or deduct money spent out of their own pocket for work.

Cergnul says many of us could see changes early next year.

"So new W-4s are going to be prepared you should complete those and your withholdings will change and you'll see an immediate benefit of the tax reduction in February," said Cergnul.

The professor says the tax cut has lowered tax rates for businesses from 35 to 21-percent.

About six or seven major corporations have already announced they plan to use that money to give their employees bonuses or raise the minimum wage.

The negative side of the argument is that these tax benefits will only last 10 years. However, some experts believe they will be renewed before the time is up.

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