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Tax changes you should know about as you prepare to file

April 15th probably feels a long ways off right now, but the tax deadline is going to be here before you know it.

As you prepare to file your taxes, there are some changes this year that you need to know about.

First, filing your taxes should be easier for most people.  The standard deduction has almost doubled this year, so if you used to itemize, it may not be necessary anymore.

The child tax credit has also doubled.  It's now worth up to $2,000 per child.

Michael Mason, financial adviser and president of Mason and Associates, says if you get a refund because of the child tax credit, use that money wisely:
put it into a 529 college savings plan for your child or an emergency fund.

Unfortunately, you could owe money this year because of changes that impact how much money is withheld from your paycheck.

"I believe this is going to be the biggest anomaly tax year ever.  Folks that have always gotten refunds from the federal government may find themselves writing checks, many of them writing fairly big checks.  The ones that will be affected the most are multiple income families and we have a lot of those in this area," Mason told News 3.

Mason says if you're one of those people, get with your payroll department now to change your W-4 so you have enough money withheld by your employer for next year.

The IRS has said even with the reduced number of workers in January, refunds should be processed within the traditional 3 weeks for e-filers and 6 weeks for paper filers.

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