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3 Back-From-the-Dead Tax Breaks Your Tax Software Doesn't Even Know About

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You have to hand it to the U.S. Congress. Where else, in the middle of the night, with the government briefly shut down for lack of funds, would a group of men and women bring back to life tax incentives that died 13 months before? And, without a hint of irony, allow them to die again before the ink was dry on the law reviving them?

The big budget bill that reopened the federal government February 9 included a slew of “extenders,” tax breaks that had expired at the end of 2016. The new law brought them back to life for 2017 tax returns only, which means they had already expired again before President Trump signed the legislation. Three of them might save you money on your 2017 tax return. They are not mentioned in the printed tax instructions, of course, because they were, uh, dead, when those instructions went to press.


The IRS and tax software companies are scrambling to update forms and directions. If you qualify for one of these breaks, you’ll have to delay filing until they’re ready. If you have already filed, you’ll need to file an amended return to take advantage of these zombie tax breaks.


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