A new tax reform was passed December 22, 2017, and the changes will go into effect on January 1, 2018. It’s important to consider their effects now so April doesn’t come as a surprise.

There were many changes that took place with this tax reform. If you are interested in learning more about the revisions, read “2018 Tax Reform—The Summary”.

Changes to the Standard Deduction

One major modification that will affect many taxpayers is the increase of the standard deduction. A comparison of the previous deduction and the new deduction can be seen below:

filing status

Note that most of these deductions have nearly doubled from previous years. Since deductions are used to lower taxable income, this change will be favorable to many. However, it will not be beneficial to those with itemized deductions greater than their standard deduction.

That’s not to say that those who itemize their deductions will not be affected by the tax reform, in fact, there were a handful of modification made to Schedule A.

Changes to Itemized Deductions

The biggest change, which will likely negatively impact many taxpayers, is that the total deduction for state and local income taxes is now limited to $10,000. Those who live in states with higher income, real estate, personal property, and sales tax will presumably note a higher impact of this change on their tax balance.

  • – For mortgages taken out after December 14, 2017, interest paid on the first $750,000 of mortgage debt is deductible, but anything over the limit is not tax deductible.
  • – Home equity loan interest paid after 2017 is no longer deductible unless it was used to improve your current home.
  • – The charitable contribution limit is now up to 60% (previously 50%) of your AGI.
  • – Previously, medical expenses needed to exceed 10% of AGI to be deductible. Under the new tax reform, medical expenses are deductible to the extent that they exceed 7.5%.
  • – Miscellaneous itemized deductions, such as tax preparation fees, investment management fees, and unreimbursed employee expenses, are no longer deductible. Casualty losses or theft losses (except in disaster areas) are also no longer deductible.

*Keep in mind that there are often additional rules to consider for taxpayers who file using the status married filing separately (MFS).

If you are interested in learning more about using itemized or the standard deduction, visit our article about the differences between the two types of deduction. Or call us to set up an appointment to freely talk to our experts about your financial concerns at 844-774-8829.

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