WHNT’s annual Tax Action Line helps over a hundred people get answers

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- With tax season in full swing, WHNT is taking action to address your tax-related questions. We partnered with the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) for the WHNT Tax Action Line.

Volunteers were on hand during the three-hour event to answer your questions. This year, our team of licensed CPAs answered more than 120 phone calls from viewers with tax questions.

No one looks forward to filing their taxes. but those who know the system best say preparation is key.

"If you wait until October, November, December, there may be some things that you missed. Whether it is estimates or credits to take advantage of, there are several state and federal credits that are being offered at this very moment," explained licensed CPA Amy Staper with Barfield Murphy Shank and Smith.

"We're just hoping to be a resource to help people," said licensed CPA Jamey Carroll. "You don't want to miss out on something just for lack of understanding."

The form may be the same, but new life changes can affect how you file.

"If you've got something that's new that you never had before, you need to call and talk to us because it may be a situation where you need, if you've never used a CPA before, maybe it's time," said Caroll.

And if you're new to the area, there are some things you'll want to be on top of.

"What you now have is two returns that have to be filed. A part-year for your former state and a part-year for Alabama. And there's a lot of things that go into those calculations," said Caroll.

Tax season doesn't have to make you feel overwhelmed.

"Really, our job is not like I said to put numbers on a tax return and tell you how much you pay, but to really provide that peace of mind where you're not worrying about it," explained Stapler. "We take care of that worry for you."

The 2017 tax season may not be over yet, but with a new tax plan in place for 2018, experts say the time to prepare is now.

"You need to plan earlier. You can't start planning in December of 2018 for 2018," said Caroll.

On December 22, President Trump signed a new tax cut bill into law. While most people will not be impacted by the new bill when filing for 2017, experts say that 2018 will be a bit different.

"I think this year, in 2018, there will be more opportunities for planning and considerations of how you're going to look at the end of '18. More so than in the past few years," said Caroll.