Saving money is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and for some Arkansas taxpayers, today marks the day they are able to do so without making any changes.

Jan. 1 marks the day many of last year’s legislative session’s newly adopted laws go into effect, and one of those is Act. 182, which was passed as The Tax Competitiveness and Relief Act.

Act 182 not only lowers the top income tax bracket from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent, but also includes a provision that it will lower again to 5.9 percent in 2021.

If that means a little more on a taxpayer’s return — or even for those who are not affected – the state is also implementing a law that requires the Department of Finance and Administration to modify its income tax forms in a way that will allow taxpayers to designate multiple accounts for their tax refund direct deposit.

For those who may fudge on a resolution to drive more safely, Act 869 requires police to have an online insurance verification system in place by Jan. 1.

Though it may not help drivers get out of a ticket, the new system will allow law enforcement to verify in real time that vehicles they stop are insured. The system Act 869 seeks to replace can sometimes have information that is up to month old.

What about those who have made a resolution to become more involved in their local community?

Act 564 helps ease that by encouraging transparency in local government in its requirement that every county publish its annual budgets and financial reports.

As for those who resolve to learn more through research and free inquiry, they’ve got the go ahead to dive into science — that is, unless they want to create a human clone with taxpayer dollars.

Act 653 is also going into effect Jan. 1, and it disallows using state funds for human cloning work or “destructive embryo research.”

To learn more about those laws and others that are going into effect, visit bit.ly/2ZzfVtC

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