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After historic gains in the state House and Senate in 2010 and 2012 – in effect giving the GOP control of the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time in over 100 years - one of the top priorities for the party in power was to reform the state’s 1930s-era tax code.

With only the fourth GOP governor in over a century being sworn into office in January 2013, it was only a matter of time before changes were ultimately signed into law.

The sweeping tax code changes that took effect in 2014 may bring some confusion for some North Carolina residents, as they prepare to file their state taxes.

The Winston-Salem Journal details some of the main things you need to know:

  • Tax filing season begins “in earnest” on Tuesday in North Carolina.
  • There will be significant federal and state changes.
  • North Carolinians will have to provide basic information about their health insurance on their federal tax return.
  • On the state return, taxpayers will experience the policy changes in the tax-reform package that passed by the General Assembly in 2013 (this went into effect for the 2014 tax year).

Beyond the routine questions involved with filing taxes, perhaps the bigger concern for North Carolina residents this time of year: ‘How will this impact what I usually get back in taxes, or what I typically pay out in taxes?’

Some local experts predict the tax reform package could ultimately be a net benefit to most taxpayers in the state:

“Each individual tax situation is different, so the changes will have varying effects for North Carolina taxpayers,” said Genie Petrangeli, senior manager of Bernard Robinson & Co. LLP, which has two Triad offices.

“Although there is a drop in deductions in 2014, the good news is the tax rate is a flat 5.8 percent. This will suffice for many of the lost deductions. That is a tremendous decrease for taxpayers who paid 7.75 percent in prior years.”

Mark Steber, chief tax officer for Jackson Hewitt, projects the majority of North Carolinians will be affected positively in terms of their state refund. He said it will take several weeks of returns to see if that projection holds true.

If that does indeed hold true, there’s little question that the immediate confusion felt by locals over the new tax laws will be long forgotten.

Sister Toldjah is a contributing writer for IJReview. She is based in Charlotte, NC, and has a passion for political and culture war issues. She blogs at SisterToldjah.com and can be followed on Twitter at @sistertoldjah.

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