Tax season 2020: What’s new, plus the benefits to applying early

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RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Virginians will notice changes to this year’s tax filing process, and the ability to claim various tax credits that may lead to a larger refund.

New to 2020, the Virginia Department of Taxation notes that standard deductions increased.

The department’s website indicates that standard deductions are:

  • $4,500 for people filing single, and for people married filing separately.
  • $9,000 for married people filing jointly.

Crystal Greer, senior tax specialist at H&R Block, said that benefits to filing early include a quicker turn-around for a tax refund, and to ensure security.

“There’s a lot of fraud that happens these days. So, getting in, and filing and securing your social security number with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) will prevent anybody from going in and using your social to get a refund,” Greer told 8News.

An online tool from the IRS can help tax filers put together W-4 forms, which will appear different than forms of the past.

Previously, Greer said, exemptions were on the W-4 form but that’s no longer the case.

“This year, the W-4 is based on income. You or your spouse income is combined into one and divided, and then totaled you get your number of paychecks. And, that will give you the amount that you need to really honestly pay into, to make sure that you’re covered at the end of the year,” Greer said.

Depending on a person and their purchases, there may be refundable items unknown to taxpayers. They can be found here.

“That’s why it’s important to file because even if you’re not required to file, there could be potential credits or deductions or there could be something that is there to qualify you for a refundable credit or a refund,” Greer said.

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