Tax Season Is Here

This year there are a number of changes that taxpayers should know about, especially those affected by Hurricane Katrina, before filing their income tax returns.

Barbara Matthews with H&R Block says one of the significant changes targets people whose jobs were disrupted by the storm.

"If their job was affected by the hurricane and they did not make as much money in 2005 as they did in 2004, then the IRS is allowing those taxpayers to use the 2004 income, just to determine the earned income credit and the child tax credit, so those credits are not lost," Matthews said.

For those affected by the storm, Matthews says using income levels from 2004 could increase the refund received by hundreds of dollars.

Overall, she says most of this year's changes will affect people who fall within the lower to middle income brackets.

A few other Katrina related tax changes include: The deduction allowed for mileage has been increased for those who volunteered, and the limit on the tax deductible amount that can be donated to charity has been waived.

There's also a deduction for good Samaritans, those who took Katrina evacuees into their homes for at least 60 consecutive days.


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