If your taxable income is exceptionally low this year, or even if you expect not to be required to file a tax return this year, a number of tax opportunities may be available to you. But time is running short, since these opportunities will require action on your part before year’s end.
However, before we consider actual strategies, let’s look at key elements that govern tax rates and taxable income.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, more commonly referred to as tax reform, substantially altered the itemized deduction for home mortgage interest and affects just about everyone who has been deducting their home mortgage interest as an itemized deduction on their tax returns.
Determining when home mortgage interest is deductible and how much was deductible was frequently complicated under the prior tax law, and the new rules have added a whole new level of complexity. Please call us if you have questions about your particular home loan interest, refinancing, or equity debt interest tracing circumstances.
Years ago, to prevent parents from transferring their investment accounts into their children’s name to avoid taxes, Congress created what is referred to as the kiddie tax. This counteracted the strategy of taking income from the parents’ higher tax bracket and shifting it to their children’s lower tax bracket.
The kiddie tax plugged that tax loophole by taxing the child’s unearned income (income not from working) at the parent’s top marginal rate.
That has all changed under the new tax reform. Beginning in 2018, children’s tax rates are no longer based upon their parents’ top marginal rates.
Tax law provides two tax-advantaged savings plans for the Qualified State Tuition Plan (commonly referred to as a 529 Plan). They are similar in that contributions to the plans are not tax deductible (although some states do allow a deduction for contributions to their plans) and the earnings are tax deferred and tax free if used for qualified education expenses.
the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (H.R. 1) delivered a major change to the law for 2018. The changes affect both individuals and business owners, so careful planning and analysis are needed to make the right financial choices. We have compiled the best coverage of the tax reform issues below. Feel free to bookmark this page as we will continue to update with new content throughout the year.
Here is where it gets a little complicated. Because medical deductions are itemized, to get any benefit from them, your itemized deductions must exceed the new standard deduction, which is $24,000 for a married couple filing jointly (or for a surviving spouse with a dependent child), $18,000 for a head of household, and $12,000 for anyone else.
Retaining the medical deduction is a necessary for the families of disabled individuals and for senior citizens who require extraordinary care. Without this deduction, those groups could have been saddled with enormous medical costs without any tax relief. However, this deduction is not just for disabled individuals, senior citizens, and their families. Regarding medical bills, you never know what will happen in the future.
Well, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) has passed, mainly starting in 2018, and if you are confused by how this new law will impact you, you’re not alone. As has become the norm for Congress, it played brinksmanship and waited to almost the end of the year, in the midst of the holidays, to pass this very extensive tax bill, providing little time for anyone to plan for 2018.
So that you have an idea about how these changes might affect individual taxpayers like yourself, we have assembled some of the key points of the new law. As a suggestion, pull out your 2016 federal return and follow along to get a better understanding of these changes.
On Friday, December 15, 2017, the House and Senate conferees signed off on a consolidated tax bill resolving the two versions of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017”. Votes on this final bill are expected in the House and Senate this week. We have outlined the differences between current law and the conference report.
So, why do we think early tax planning is appropriate this year? Actually, with the prospect of major tax reform on the horizon, some strategies can be employed before the end of the year that can substantially reduce your 2017 tax bill.
The proposed GOP tax reform is actually only a framework for future tax legislation, and its many details are being left to Congressional committees. However, the framework provides enough detail in regard to itemized deductions to formulate a strategy for 2017 predicated on (1) tax reform actually being enacted and (2) the changes being effective in 2018.