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Fiscal cliff causes big changes and confusion for tax filers

Posted: Apr 09, 2013 6:29 PM EDTUpdated: May 07, 2013 6:29 PM EDT

ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) –The deadline to file your taxes is six days away and it might be more complicated than what you’re used to.

Some tax experts said they’re seeing more last-minute filers than ever and the reason is because the fiscal cliff caused confusion and led to a lot of changes.

Ruby Champion was one of the many people who turned to a professional as the clock ticked down.

“I’m a procrastinator by nature. At least it’s better than the last day,” said Champion.

Tax professionals hear a lot of that as tax season comes to a close, but they said this year it’s been even worse.

Buffie Purselle is the owner of Buffie the Tax Heiress.

“The season began in February instead of January so it crunched our season into a smaller time frame than normal,” said Purselle.

But the length of the tax season wasn’t the only change.

“There are tons of changes, too many for me to say at this point. It would take forever,” said Purselle.

One particular change that could end up being a good thing for students is the American Opportunity Credit that’s worth $1,000.

Purselle said college students who have high enough expenses are eligible for the credit.

“An undergraduate college student who has education expenses of at least $4,000. That could be tuition, books, any expense related to being an undergraduate college student.”

It’s a credit Champion said she probably would have missed if she did her taxes on her own.

“There are so many new changes that I know she has become well versed on, so I don’t have to worry about that,” said Champion.

If you’re having someone do your taxes make sure they are legit and that you trust them, but if you’re dead set on doing it yourself there is some help out there.

“The IRS website is awesome. is a great resource for taxpayers. If you aren’t going to use a professional, I would recommend going there to research specific tax deductions that apply to your tax situation,” Purselle said.

If you haven’t gotten everything together yet, you might want to start thinking about an extension – but keep in mind it’s not a free pass.

The experts said you should try to pay what you think you will owe because everything you don’t pay you’ll be charged interest on.


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