NC tax law changes are hitting seniors in the wallet

Published: Mar. 23, 2015 at 6:16 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2015 at 9:29 PM EDT
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When state lawmakers overhauled North Carolina tax law in 2013, they promised big changes and a simpler tax system that treated everyone more fairly.

Now, as people file their tax returns for 2014, they are seeing the full effect of fewer deductions and tax credits when it comes time to file. Lots of people are either seeing smaller refunds, or having to pay more. Seniors are especially getting hit hard in the wallet with the loss of a retirement and medical deduction.

Rashad Phillips is a tax preparer who says a lot of his senior clients are surprised by the sticker shock. He had one retired client Monday afternoon who owed state income taxes for the first time on her return. He said she previously was able to take advantage of the retirement income deduction, but it no longer applies.

The North Carolina Department of Revenue has information to help people filing who have questions about the changes, click here for more information, or call the hotline at 1-877-252-4052.

AARP and CommunityLink are also offering free tax assistance at several local senior centers, libraries, and churches in Mecklenburg County. Click here for more information, or call 704-943-9490 for help.

Phillips recommends taxpayers plan ahead for next year. He says there are two options to avoid a big lump payment. Taxpayers can either make estimated payments throughout the year, or request that more taxes be withheld.

Right now, there are two proposed bills in the General Assembly to bring back the senior medical deduction and to bring back the child care tax credit.

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