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Local CPA gives tips to prepare for tax season

Tax season is right around the corner and now is a good time to start preparing. Bernie Lamp, Certified Public Accountant and partner at Straley, Lamp and Kraenzlein says the first thing taxpayers should do is be knowledgeable on tax laws and requirements.

“I think just being aware what their situation is and aware of what the tax laws are. There are still some credits that are available especially in the area of tuition they can take advantage of.”

Lamp says, since an increase in the standard deduction rate in 2018, using itemized deductions has not been as common. But for those who are close to exceeding the standard mark, $20,000 for singles and $40,000 for joint filers, now is a good time to consider the best ways to surpass the threshold. This may include paying property taxes by the end of the year, making charitable contributions, or selling investments at a loss to balance out with gains for the year. Lamp says,

“Make sure you are taking advantage of some of those tax law provisions that became effective in 2018. We’re not seeing any new, significant changes in 2019. We’re going to have a presidential election in 2020 and we don’t know what’s going to happen at that point.”

Lamp says now is also a good time to look over records, ensuring you have not underpaid in taxes up until this point in the year. Most importantly, familiarizing yourself with recent changes will keep you from a headache in the long run.