Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Taxpayer Advocate anxious about how IRS will handle new tax law

Taxpayer Advocate anxious about how IRS will handle new tax law

The Internal Revenue Service today released Notice 1036, updating the income-tax withholding tables for 2018. This is the first in a series of steps that IRS will take to help improve the accuracy of withholding following major changes made by the new tax law.

Even though the new tables are out, the time it takes for employees to see the change reflected in their paychecks will vary.

Although Jason Chaffetz retired from the Congress in June 2017, he did more than his share to undermine the IRS from his former post as chairman of the House Oversight committee.

The withholding tables and guidance it puts out will be created to work with existing W-4s that employees have already filed, the agency said.

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Yahoo Finance ran the numbers and found a net drop in tax withheld in each of 11 income categories we examined.

As President Donald Trump's recent tax overhaul is rushed into law, with businesses expected to make the necessary payroll adjustments by February 15, the Treasury Department is requiring employers to use old forms applicable to the old tax system, known as W-4s, in calculating how much to withhold in taxes from employees' paychecks. Those changes, the senior IRS official said, will require most, but not all employees, to file new W4 forms later this year.

According to the IRS, it generally takes companies about a month to integrate new withholding guidelines.

Olson said in the report that "the discussion about IRS funding has largely proceeded based on false choices - either "you can't trust the IRS to administer the tax system, so don't fund it" or 'because the IRS doesn't have enough funding, it can't do the things it needs to do to administer the tax system.' " Both added funding and service improvements are needed, she said.

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While the IRS said it expects to issue the vast majority of refunds within 21 days of a return being filed, there are some exceptions. Some experts worry that mistakes by the IRS or employers could lead some taxpayers to underpay in 2018 and end up with too little taken out of their checks in 2018 to cover their total tax bill.

The new withholding calculator - expected out in late February - will assist individuals with more complicated situations to fine-tune their withholding calculations, he explained. The revisions are also aimed at avoiding over- and under-withholding of tax as much as possible. Treasury would achieve that, the lawmakers surmised in the letter, by pushing the IRS to change its formula for withholdings.

The near-doubling of the standard deduction, along with the increase in the phase-out and the refundability of the child tax credit will go a long way in making up for the loss of personal exemptions for most taxpayers.

Or if you don't have a tax adviser, you might use the new withholding calculators that will become available from the IRS and from tax preparation firms like H&R Block to see whether the allowances you've been claiming still make sense under the new tax regime.

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