This year, federal tax reforms passed in 2018 take effect. The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is one group helping some taxpayers navigate the changes. The group's financial stability program director Rae Pilarski discussed what some of its tax preparers have observed so far, as well as resources available to those who have not filed their returns yet. She said reforms have mostly had a positive effect, but some tax payers were caught off guard by smaller refunds.
"It seems to be primarily those who weren't aware that the tax reform actually impacted their withholding," Pilarski said. These tax filers unknowingly had their withholdings lowered due to changes to the guidelines employers use to calculate withholdings, according to Pilarski.
People earning up to $66,000 a year can get free help with their taxes through the United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Pilarski recommends people don't procrastinate filing their returns in the event they end up owing the government and need more time to pay or request an installment agreement to pay in increments.