Know Before You Owe: Liberty Tax Launches Campaign to Raise Taxpayer Awareness About Withholding and Tax Reform
In Company survey, about 70 percent of participants said they hadn’t checked withholding recently; could face surprise tax bill
October 09, 2018 // Franchising.com // VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Liberty Tax, a leading tax preparation franchise, is launching a new educational campaign, Know Before You Owe. The campaign will encourage taxpayers to visit their tax preparer and check their withholding. Because of changes brought about by tax reform and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), millions of taxpayers are under-withholding and may owe taxes when they file their 2018 federal income tax return. In a September survey* of more than 1,000 taxpayers, Liberty Tax found that almost 70 percent had not checked their withholding within the last six months. Liberty Tax wants to help taxpayers understand the tax law changes and to spur them to act sooner rather than later.
“It’s crucial that we share this knowledge with taxpayers, so they can make informed decisions,” said Liberty Tax CEO Nicole Ossenfort. “That’s what our Know Before You Owe campaign is all about, helping taxpayers make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”
In the Liberty Tax survey of more than 1,000 respondents:
- 85 percent said they were slightly familiar or not familiar at all with the changes that may affect them under the TCJA;
- 70 percent said they know the purpose of the W-4, but about the same amount (69.5%) have not checked their withholding within the last six months;
- 46 percent said they aren’t concerned about whether they will owe taxes when they file next year;
Fortunately for Liberty Tax and others, only 4.8 percent said they would be upset with their tax preparer if they owe.
Withholding has become a central tax reform issue because, for the first time in many years, changes were made to withholding calculations. A new Form W-4 was scheduled to debut for the 2019 tax year, but the Treasury Department recently announced that the form updates would be delayed until the 2020 tax year. A recent report by the General Accountability Office (GAO) predicts that more than 30 million taxpayers will owe when they file their 2018 federal income tax return because they have not adjusted their withholding.
Liberty Tax’s Know Before You Owe campaign will educate taxpayers on the TCJA changes and help them better understand why they need to act now. The campaign will include:
- Articles from our tax pros on withholding and changes brought about by tax reform;
- A series of blogs that discuss withholding and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act;
- Social media messaging that encourages taxpayers to check their withholding;
- Links to the Liberty Tax withholding calculator found at our website, and
- Messaging at participating offices that invites taxpayers in for a withholding check.
Liberty Tax prides itself on providing taxpayer education. Since the new tax law went into effect, the Company and its franchisees have been at the forefront of helping people in local communities understand how TCJA will affect them and their taxes. Participating offices have hosted tax education seminars to help explain the law. Many are also offering tax courses that teach about tax deductions and credits and provide students with the knowledge they need to prepare taxes for themselves and others.
Liberty Tax is doing its part to help taxpayers navigate tax reform, so they have few surprises when they file their taxes next year.
* The data for this survey was collected using SurveyMonkey Audience and respondent recruitment information is available here: www.surveymonkey.com/mp/audience. SurveyMonkey is not associated with, nor does it endorse or sponsor the content included in this poll.
About Liberty Tax, Inc.
Founded in 1997, Liberty Tax, Inc. (OTC PINK: TAXA) is the parent company of Liberty Tax Service. In the U.S. and Canada, last year, Liberty Tax prepared approximately two million individual income tax returns in more than 3,500 offices and online. Liberty Tax's online services are available through eSmart Tax, Liberty Online and DIY Tax, and are all backed by the tax professionals at Liberty Tax locations and its nationwide network of seasonal tax preparers. Liberty Tax also supports local communities with fundraising endeavors and contributes as a national sponsor to many charitable causes. For a more in-depth look, visit Liberty Tax Service and interact with Liberty Tax on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE Liberty Tax, Inc.