11 Jan 5 Tax Reform Changes to Know Before Filing Your 2018 Tax Return
Tax Day is just a few weeks away. Some of us are waiting for their 1099s and hope to get them all by the end of February. A few have already gathered their papers and are trying to make heads or tails of the tax reform. Others, like me, just gave up the I-got-it pretense and hired an accountant. Our colleague, Katty Kauffman, thought it would be a good idea to share what I learned, and I thought it should come directly from the source.
I work with Vix-Tax, and I asked Vic to shed some light on how the income tax reform can impact freelancers. I am sharing his response below, with his permission.
Tax reform affects every person’s tax return in 2018.
Before you file this tax season, here’s what you need to know about the tax law adjustments to be prepared.
1. The tax rates changed for everyone.
The tax rates you previously knew are no more. Almost every rate has changed in 2018. In fact, the entire bracket for each filing status was adjusted. Here’s what they look like now:
|Tax rate||2018 – Single Filer||2018 – Joint Filer||2018 – Married
|2018 – Head of
|10%||$0 to $9,525||$0 to $19,050||$0 to $9,525||$0 to $13,600|
|12%||$9,526 to $38,700||$19,051 to $77,400||$9,526 to $38,700||$13,601 to $51,800|
|22%||$38,701 to $82,500||$77,401 to $165,000||$38,701 to $82,500||$51,801 to $82,500|
|24%||$82,501 to $157,500||$165,001 to $315,000||$82,501 to $157,500||$82,501 to $157,500|
|32%||$157,501 to $200,000||$315,001 to $400,000||$157,501 to $200,000||$157,501 to $200,000|
|35%||$200,001 to $500,000||$400,001 to $600,000||$200,001 to $300,000||$200,001 to $500,000|
|37%||$500,001 or more||$600,001 or more||$300,001 or more||$500,001 or more|
2. The standard deduction nearly doubled.
Another major tax reform change included increasing the standard deduction for every filing status. The standard deduction is a pre-set dollar amount that reduces your taxable income. When you file your tax return, you can choose to claim the standard deduction or itemize your deductions.
|Filing Status||Standard Deduction|
|Married Filing Jointly
& Surviving Spouse
|Married Filing Separately||$12,000|
|Head of Household||$18,000|
3. Miscellaneous deductions were suspended.
If you itemized deductions in the past, don’t expect to deduct miscellaneous expenses this year. Any miscellaneous itemized deductions that exceeded two percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) were suspended as part of the tax reform. That includes expenses like unreimbursed employee expenses, safe deposit fees, investment management fees, and union dues.
4. Personal deductions were eliminated.
You can no longer claim a personal exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse, or any dependents. That means you can’t reduce your taxable income using the personal exemption like you could in previous years. In 2017, the personal exemption was $4,050.
5. The State and Local Tax deduction are capped at $10,000
Most state and local income taxes are still deductible as itemized deductions. However, the amount you can deduct in one year is now capped at $10,000. That means you can deduct up to $10,000 in property and income tax or sales tax on Schedule A. Previously, the deduction was unlimited.
Single filers and those married filing jointly are both subject to the $10,000 limit. The cap for a married person filing separately is $5,000.
That looks very complete, but I still had one question: Am I going to be able to deduct my home-office space under the new tax code? I heard that was no longer allowed. Vic made things clear: “Yes. As long as you are self-employed, the home-office deduction is still available to you. On Form 8829, prorate by square footage: rent, utilities, maintenance, and other residence related expenses. The deduction was suspended for employees.” Good to know.
Photo credit: 401kcalculator.org
To learn more about Vic’s love affair with numbers, you may visit his LinkedIn profile and read the testimonials. Vic Palumbos, is the Senior Manager at Grapevine Management, and you can reach him at VIX-Tax@yahoo.com.