New Tax Bill – Changes Likely to Impact You

Tax day 2017 was a few weeks ago and if you’re like me you probably breathed a big sigh of relief! However, now that you’ve had some time to recover you have the opportunity to do yourself a big favor and start planning for 2018. Early planning each year can help save you money! You may recall that Congress passed a new tax bill in December. While the tax bill did not impact your 2017 taxes it will have an impact on your 2018 taxes. Below are some key items from the new bill that you should be aware of.

The tax bill retained seven tax brackets. However, most of the tax brackets have been reduced by a couple of percentage points. Visit the Tax Foundation Website to see the new tax brackets.

Fewer people will decide to itemize their deductions in 2018 because the standard deduction has increased substantially, and new limits were placed on popular deductions. The new law retains the option to take either the standard deduction or to take itemized deductions – whichever is higher. However, a limit on some popular deductions such as mortgage interest, state taxes, and property taxes will likely mean that many people will be better off claiming the standard deduction. The standard deduction for an individual filing single has increased to $12,000 from $6,300. The standard deduction for a couple filing jointly has increased to $24,000 from $12,700. You can add on another $1,300 to your standard deduction if you file jointly with your spouse and are over the age of 65 ($1,600 if you are single).

The old law allowed you to deduct interest on a mortgage loan balance of up to $1 million. Under the new law, the interest deduction will be capped at home acquisition debt of $750,000. Mortgages taken out prior to December 15, 2017 are grandfathered under the old rules.

State income taxes and property taxes were popular itemized deductions under the old law. Under the new law you will be limited to a combined deduction of $10,000 for state and property taxes, so it is likely that many people will be better off taking the standard deduction instead of itemizing their state and local taxes.

Personal exemptions have been eliminated under the new law. In 2017 you were allowed a personal exemption on your tax return of $4,050 for yourself and each dependent (though the exemption was phased out for high income earners). In 2018, no one will be able to claim a personal exemption.

The child tax credit has been expanded for those with children under the age of 17. The credit has been raised to $2,000 from $1,000 per child. This credit will still phase out for high income earners, but the income thresholds have increased significantly. The threshold for single filers has increased to $200,000 from $75,000, and for married tax payers filing jointly the threshold has increased to $400,000 from $110,000.

This is not a complete list of all changes under the new tax law, but they are some of the changes that will impact a large number of taxpayers. If you’d like to learn more about the tax bill you can visit the IRS Website for some additional information.

Consider whether any of these changes are likely to impact you and whether there are any tax planning decisions you can make during 2018 to reduce the tax bite come next April. If you’re not sure what tax planning moves may be beneficial to you, think about reaching out to AHC for advice.

The information being provided is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. All efforts have been made to report true and accurate information.  The information being delivered today is subject to change without notice. For additional information about AHC Advisors (CRD #127364) please visit the SEC Website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.  For a copy of the firms ADV Part 2 Brochure, please contact us at 630-762-8185 or e-Mail at info@ahcadvisors.com. Please also see our website at www.ahc.advisors.com