NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As we approach two weeks until the federal tax filing deadline, experts say most Tennesseans can expect to see a bigger refund than in years past.  

Whether you’re filing on time or you’ve filed for an extension, big changes are coming this year.  

“They’re all good changes as a general rule. They’re pro-taxpayer changes, but there’s a lot to watch for and a lot to watch out for,” said Mark Steber, chief tax information officer for Jackson Hewitt Tax Services. 

Parents will see some of the biggest benefits from these new changes. 

“The biggest change that we’re seeing this year has to do with families. The child tax credit was greatly expanded for taxpayers with children. It used to be about $2,000, some portion of it might be refundable if you had low income. Now it’s $3,600 per child tax credit,” Steber said. 

Parents might also be eligible for deductions on things like childcare. 

This year’s tax filings will also see an impact from COVID.  

“One of the bad changes was last year, in 2020, unemployment benefits were held to be tax-exempt to a part, the first $10,200. That expired last, last year, so for 2021 those benefits could be taxable if in fact you received those,” Steber said.  

According to the IRS, the average refund in Tennessee is expected to be around $3,400. 

With so many changes to this year’s tax code, experts highly recommend filers seek professional help in preparing their taxes.  

“There’s big money, and big money risk,” Steber said. “If you leave off a credit, if you leave off a deduction, if you leave off a tax benefit, the IRS won’t find that on their own and send you more money in a check later. You leave it off, it stays off, and a tax pro can help with that.” 

Storm victims from the December 10 tornado outbreak will have until May 16 to file.