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Oregon tax season brings mix of changes

By Brittany Weiner
Published On: Jan 27 2014 08:52:23 PM CST

Tax season starts Friday, and there are some good and bad changes for Oregon tax filers.

BEND, Ore. -

It's time to take out that calculator: Tax season begins Friday.

"No question about it there's going to be changes at my office," certified public accountant Giancarlo Pozzi of Pozzi Tax Services in Bend said Monday.

Same-sex couples who are legally married can now file as a married couple on their federal returns, even though they can't legally marry in Oregon. They can also amend refunds back to 2010. That''s thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in June.

Those in domestic partnerships, which are recognized in Oregon, still have to file separate federal returns, but state returns can be filed jointly.

There are some other changes of note as well.

"High-income taxpayers are probably the ones who are going to receive a little bit of a shock," Pozzi said. "There is an additional tax that applies to income from investments which is generally defined as income from capital gains, capital gain distribution, interest."

It's the net investment income tax, which can be up to 3.8 percent. It applies to singles whose modified adjusted gross income is $200,000 or more, and $250,000 or more for married couples.

Some senior citizens with medical expenses can also expect higher federal and state taxes.

On federal returns, those under the age of 62 can now only deduct medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of their adjusted gross income. That's up 2.5 percent.

"It makes a difference, in fact, because less of the medical expenses are going to be deductible," Pozzi said.

Oregon's senior medical tax break also has changed. It allows for more people to take advantage, but drops the subtraction limit to $1,800 per person.

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