Greetings from the porch,
Wow, what a year! I hope you are well and rested up from the holidays, because now it’s time to prepare your taxes. While the new administration
is promising major tax reform in the coming year, for now let’s focus on what’s new for tax year 2016. Here are the highlights:
Filers of the Earned Income Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit will see their refunds delayed. A new law requires the IRS to hold the refund
until February 15th. This includes the entire refund, not just the portion associated with the credits. On the plus side, Massachusetts has increased
the refundable earned income credit to 23% of the computed federal credit (up from 15%).
If you did not have health insurance for 2016, the fine has increased to the greater of $695 per adult ($347.50 per child) capped at $2085 per family
or 2.5% of the excess of household income over the tax return filing threshold.
Deducting Medical Expenses? If you are over age 65 this is the last year for deducting medical costs at the rate of over 7.5% of adjusted gross
income. The threshold is scheduled to increase to 10% of AGI for 2017 tax returns due in 2018. This increase has applied to younger filers since
If you are filing a claim for an education credit or deduction, this year you must have a Form 1098-T Tuition Statement from the school.
Another bit of positive news for Massachusetts filers. The personal income tax rate has decreased to 5.1% (down from 5.15%).
The IRS is scheduled to begin accepting returns on January 23 this year. My office hours are starting out as 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday,
and as volume increases my hours will extend to 7pm on weeknights and I will add Saturday afternoons for additional convenience. Organizers
are available on my website, early appointments are still encouraged, and drop offs are always welcome. Here are the directions to my office:
From Rt. 2 East or West, take exit 19 for Phillipston.
At the end of the ramp, turn left onto 2AWest.
Turn left, directly after the King Phillip Restaurant, onto Baldwinville Road.
Bear right at Phillipston Center, you are now on Petersham Road
Follow Petersham Rd. approximately 1 mile, I am the 5th visible house on the left, featuring a deck out front,
across from a large red barn.