Throwing SALT Into The Property-Tax Wound

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 sharply raised the standard deduction and placed limits on itemized deductions. In particular, no more than $10,000 can be deducted in state and local tax (SALT) payments on a single or joint tax return. As a result, most people will take the standard deduction now and get no tax benefit from their property tax payments. Even those who itemize may get little or no tax benefit from their property tax payments if they also have ample…

Year-End Retirement Planning

A major feature of the TCJA is the reduction of income tax rates owed by individuals. For example, married couples filing jointly for 2018 may have taxable income up to $77,400 and remain in the 12% bracket, up to $165,000 and stay in the 22% bracket, and up to $315,000 and stay in the 24% bracket. For single filers, the taxable income numbers are exactly 50% of those in the last sentence. Keep in mind that the numbers are for taxable income after all deductions…

Year-End Business Tax Planning

Under the TCJA, equipment expensing permitted by Section 179 of the tax code was expanded. In 2018, your business can take a first-year deduction of up to $1 million worth of equipment purchases. You might buy, say, $400,000 worth of equipment and deduct $400,000 from your company’s profits this year. Without the Section 179 tax break, that $400,000 tax deduction would be spread over multiple years. New and used equipment that is bought or leased can qualify for first-year expensing. The equipment must be placed…

Charitable Donations and Your Tax Return

As explained in the article, “Standard or Itemized Deduction,” more taxpayers are likely to take the standard deduction for 2018, rather than claim itemized deductions. Therefore, they’ll lose the tax benefits from their charitable contributions. Example 1: Art and Beth Dean are in their 40s and have paid off their home mortgage. They seldom have substantial unreimbursed medical expenses and typically contribute around $7,000 a year to charity. In prior years, they have itemized deductions because of large payments for state income tax and local…

Standard or Itemized Deduction

Which shall it be? Under the new, as well as prior, tax law, taxpayers can either take a standard deduction or itemize deductions on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040. Typically, tax preparation involves comparing the total of itemized deductions with the standard deduction and choosing the larger amount. Most people have used the standard deduction and that probably will continue to be true, even more so for 2018 returns. If you plan to use the standard deduction, you can bypass planning for items on…