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December 23, 2017

 

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law. While most of these provisions are effective January 1, 2018, there are a couple of action items to consider before December 31 of this year.

 

Taxpayers whose itemized deductions usually total less than $12,000 for a single filer or $24,000 for a married couple filing jointing should consider accelerating deductible expenses into 2017. This includes state income taxes, real estate and personal property taxes, charitable contributions and potentially employee business expenses and professional fees (to accountants and financial advisors.)

 

Itemizers who pay more than $10,000 per year in state and local income taxes should make fourth quarter state estimated tax payments and pay any anticipated balance due by December 31. Also, prepay real estate taxes on residence and second homes.

 

When considering these steps, remember Alternative Minimum Tax can greatly reduce or negate the benefits of some of these strategies. If you’re unsure of how these rules apply to your situation, contact a tax professional immediately. There are planning opportunities for 2018 and future years as well, so be alert to those changes – or hire a professional to guide you.

 

December 2017


On November 17, 2017, the House of Representative passed its tax law bill.  On December 1, 2017, the Senate passed its version.  While most experts agree a reconciled bill will become law by the new year, there are several issues where the two plans differ, including:

Mortgage interest expense deduction
Child tax credit
AMT
Corporate and pass through tax rates
Estate tax repeal
Individual health care mandate

Both chambers must come to agreement on these (and other) issues before we can determine how this will affect individual taxpayers.  Congress is motivated, so watch this space for updates as the new law develops.

 

 

September 2017

 

As year-end tax planning season approaches, it’s smart to wonder if there will be any tax law changes affecting this year.  As of mid-September, the guidance we have on what may happen between now and year end is vague.

 

While it is frustrating to not have certainty in the tax law this late in the year, it is not all that unusual.  Many a tax law change passed in November or December.  So how do you plan your year end tax savings moves in this atmosphere of uncertainty?

 

I recommend a dual strategy – one plan of action for the law as it stands today and a second scenario based on the most likely tax law proposal.  A good plan then monitors tax legislation and refines the plan as the status of legislation changes.

 

It’s more work, but if you’re contemplating realizing a large amount of income, the extra effort is certainly worth it.

 

If you’d like help developing and monitoring your year end plan, please contact our office.  We’re here to help.