Tax season starts in days, and relief for parents remains in limbo.
In days, Americans can file their taxes. One way to get relief is with the child tax credit, which is currently $2,000 per kid. However, this could change just as taxes are being filed.
"Some people are saying, 'Should I wait to find out?' Well, Congress doesn't always move real fast," Ed Gardner, a certified public accountant, explained.
Gardner runs Edward M. Gardner, PC, and he said you should move fast when it comes to filing your taxes.
If Congress does make changes, it's possible they could issue a refund if you've already filed. You may also, he says, have to file an amendment.
As far as what kind of savings parents could see, Gardner said it's unknown if it would be a larger credit or monthly payments like parents received a couple of years ago.
"It's too soon to tell," Gardner explained. "I hate using the term, but there's still horse-trading in Washington. If they do this, what are they going to give up?"
The item passed out of a House committee. House members return to work next week.
If approved, it would go to the Senate. If the Senate makes changes, the two would have to work out a deal, which could delay the process further.
One thing we do know this year is the IRS is trying to make it easier to file. This year, a new pilot program is rolling out.
It's called direct file. Texas, California and New York are among the 12 states participating.
It's supposed to work like other step-by-step tax return software programs. There are no income requirements, but you must have a W-2, which most jobs give employees.
The thing is, the program isn't available. The IRS said it'll be rolled out by mid-March. Experts say if you have a basic return, it may be a great option but do your research.
"People need to make sure they're getting all the deductions they're eligible for. Because in any industry, you can fix up your house yourself, but are you doing it the right way?" Gardner explained.
You don't have to wait to file. You can actually file your taxes starting Monday.
Many tax software programs already allow you to submit your information, and then it'll send off your documents next week.
Before you start on this year's return, pull out last year's.
"That way, as your documents come in, you can make sure that you have everything," Gardner said.
Also, make a checklist of all the items you have because it could be the same again this year. This way, before you submit your taxes, you can make sure you have all the documents you need.