Tax changes for 2013 filing - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Tax changes for 2013 filing

Posted: Updated: Jan 29, 2014 05:26 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Its tax season, and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance says there are a few new things residents should be aware of.

One of the biggest changes for the 2013 tax year is that same sex couples can now file joint tax returns, where in recent years they had to file separately.

Many of the changes, though, are occurring for tax payers with annual incomes over $200,000. There is a new .09 percent Medicare Tax, and a nearly 4 percent net Investment Income Tax that higher-income tax payers are now responsible for.

Also this year, tax brackets have widened while standard deductions and personal exemption amounts have risen, among other changes.

"Earned income credit has gone up slightly this year from last year. There's always been a rule for deducting medical expenses as an itemized deduction. You can deduct the amount that exceeded 7.5 percent adjusted gross income, but this year they increased that to 10 percent, so now it's going to be harder to deduct medical expenses than it was in the past," said Ed Welch, owner of a local Liberty Tax Service.

Geoff Gloak of the NYS Tax Department said this year the state's WebFile software allows 85-percent of New Yorkers to file their state taxes at no cost, as a way to cut down on costly filing errors.

Gloak said e-filing through the website is more efficient than paper filing, and the margin for error is much lower. Up to 80-percent of errors on tax returns originate from paper filing. E-filing also guarantees you'll receive your refund up to two times faster. 

Last year, nearly 90 percent of New Yorkers e-filed their personal income tax returns.

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