postmarked in order to qualify for timely filing.
For last-minute filers, this means gathering up all the right information to complete their returns.
Ambridge accountant John Pournaras, owner of the John Pournaras Agency, recently shared some new laws and tips to help you this busy season.
"The state doesn't believe in same sex marriages, so until they pass legislation to do that," it is not allowed, Pournaras said.
2. Medical expenses have become tougher to write off. Pournaras said medical expenses can only be deducted if expenses exceed 10 percent of the adjusted gross income, up from 7.5 percent last year. He said there is an exception for those 65 and over, who are grandfathered into the old rate until 2017.
"That's kind of like a deductible that people have to meet," Pournaras said.
3. Work from home deduction. Those who work from home can now qualify for a standard home office deduction rather than itemizing expenses for a home office. The amount you can deduct depends on what percent of your home you use. Filers can receive $5 per square foot for up to 300 square feet. The maximum deduction is $1,500.
4. Don't fall for fraud. The Internal Revenue Service will not call individuals if they have a question. Pournaras said the IRS will send letters. "Otherwise it's a scam," he said.
5. Audits could be on the rise. Don't cut corners. Pournaras said the IRS has revamped their computer systems and hired 16,000 agents to enforce the Affordable Care Act, which means more than enough manpower is available to conduct audits.
John Pournaras Agency is located at 641 Merchant St. in Ambridge. Walk-ins and appointments are available.