H&R Block debuts tax reform checkup

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Tax prep giant H&R Block is offering a free tax reform “checkup service” designed to help taxpayers identify if they’re on track for a larger or smaller refund or tax bill than usual. The program also helps taxpayers change paychecks or financial or family situations to affect that outcome next season.

Most taxpayers haven’t investigated new post-reform withholding tables, which widely resulted in increased paychecks and decreased taxes. For example, according to Block, a single taxpayer with no children and a $35,000 salary with one withholding allowance would have received a $600 refund for their 2017 return. Because of the changes to the withholding tables in late February, that taxpayer’s semi-monthly paycheck increased $32 in March – but next April’s refund will remain about $600. To boost that refund requires tinkering with the W-4 now.

“Even if you owe less tax than you’re currently on track to pay, it’s still better to know that money is coming than to have it fall in your lap next spring,” said Kathy Pickering, vice president of regulatory affairs and executive director of Block’s Tax Institute, in a statement.

Tax filers need to bring their 2017 tax return and documents, as well as a current paystub, for their checkup at participating Block stores.

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