LINK: Tax Season Kicks Off Today

January 23rd marks the beginning of tax season which means, the IRS is now accepting tax returns for the 2016 tax year.  This year, thanks to the Emancipation Day holiday, the tax due date is Tuesday, April 18th which gives taxpayers and extra day to file.

H&R Block Florida Tax Adviser Jennifer Owens says there's three things you can do to maximize your money.  "If you pay a mortgage interest, real estate taxes, make charitable contributions, you should consider itemizing; having a baby, getting married, buying or selling a home can lead to tax benefits; make sure you're filling under the right tax bracket and make sure you claim the right credits and deductions."

Owens says one of the biggest changes this year is the PATH Act (The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act) which is aimed at protecting taxpayers from tax fraud.  She says the new law could delay 30 million refunds nationwide and 2 million in Florida. 

Another big change this year will be for uninsured taxpayers who face steeper penalties. "Last year the average penalty for health insurance was $401. This year the penalty for any uninsured adult is $695 or for any child is about half that amount," said Owens. 

(Photo credit: Joe Raedle)

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