These popular tax deductions are still worth claiming


Among the many changes the 2017 tax law enacted are new limits on previously deductible items. But filers who typically itemized deductions in the past can still take some popular items as deductions on their 2018 tax return. If they total more than your standard deduction, you can cut your tax bill or increase your refund. Here are some that are still claimable:


Understanding the uproar over IRS refunds


In a tweet last week, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) incorrectly blamed the 2017 Republican tax law for an 8.4 percent decrease in tax refunds processed so far this filing season. In fact, the decrease is mainly the result of changes to IRS withholding tables, meaning most Americans, while receiving a smaller refund, had little variance in their overall tax liability. The Washington Post awarded Harris’ statement four Pinocchios.


As tax season begins, here’s how behind the IRS is


The IRS entered the first day of tax season with 5 million pieces of unopened mail, CBS News has confirmed — lingering effects of the government shutdown that could take the agency more than a year to recover from. Since in-person IRS help centers were closed, taxpayers turned to the postal system, and the IRS went from getting 200,000 pieces of mail per day to 700,000.


How soon can you file your tax return? Why should you file ASAP?


The IRS has announced that the official start of 2018’s tax season will be on Monday, Jan. 29, which is the first day the IRS will begin accepting 2017 tax returns. While you have until April 17 to get your tax return in, there are two good reasons to file as soon as you can. In addition to getting your tax refund into your pocket faster, there’s another, less obvious reason you shouldn’t wait.