Changes you need to know about ahead of tax season

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh CPA Ashraf Mehdi has been busy with end of year tax questions.

"Last minute, people are calling, and a bunch of questions being added to our workload," said Mehdi, of Mehdi CPA. "The year end is pretty challenging."

One change many will see when it comes to this year's taxes has to do with charitable contributions.

The IRS tweeted: "A special pandemic-related provision helps most people get a deduction of up to $600 for cash donations to charity through 12/31."

That's up to $600 for married couples taking the standard deduction and up to $300 for individuals.

As far as other pandemic relief:

"Stimulus money, it was not supposed to be taxable," said Mehdi. "So I haven't seen anything in legislation, at least up until now, that makes me believe that it will be taxable on 2021 returns, just the same way we had stimulus checks given out to individuals all throughout the country in 2020, which was not included as taxable income."

The IRS has information on charitable contribution changes on its website.

You might be wondering about the child tax credit.

"The child tax credit was increased to $3,600 per child for a qualifying child on the tax return claimed as a dependent," Mehdi said. "A qualifying child is a child under the age of 17."

That's up to $3,600 per child. Eligible families who didn't get the monthly payments can still claim the credit on their tax return.

The Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina has some tips to avoid scammers this tax season such as:
  • File early before a scammer can use your information.
  • Watch out for red flags. For example, if you get a written notice from the IRS about a duplicate return or other notices that don't apply to you, contact them right away.
  • And protect your social security number. You can get an identity protection pin if you are a victim of identity theft.


"The median loss for tax collection scams in 2020 was $3,200," said Nick Hill, of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina. "So to eliminate any unnecessary frustration or financial loss, it's going to be really important that you remain vigilant against potential scams this tax season."

The BBB serving Eastern North Carolina has more tips online.
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