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Featured Tax Changes - 2018

May 15, 2018

This post will come with the standard disclaimer that I am not a tax attorney, nor does this information constitute legal advice. However, this list sets forth in my opinion, the key changes for 2018 taxes.

 

List Credit: CNBC

 

Standard deductions
Those who are married and filing jointly will have an increased standard deduction of $24,000, up from the $13,000 it would have been under previous law.

 

Single taxpayers and those who are married and file separately now have a $12,000 standard deduction, up from the $6,500 it would have been for this year prior to the reform.

For heads of households, the deduction will be $18,000, up from $9,550.

 

Personal exemption
The personal exemption has been eliminated with the tax reform bill.

 

Top income tax rate
A new 37 percent top rate will affect individuals with incomes of $500,000 and higher. The top rate kicks in for married taxpayers who file jointly at $600,000 and up.

 

Tax Bracket Breakdown.

 

Child tax credit
The child tax credit has been raised to $2,000 per qualifying child, those who are under 17, up from $1,000. A $500 credit is available for dependents who do not get the $2,000 credit.

 

Mortgage interest
The deduction for interest is capped at $750,000 for mortgage loan balances taken out after Dec. 15 of last year. The limit is still $1 million for mortgages that were established prior to Dec. 15, 2017.

 

State and local taxes
The itemized deduction is limited to $10,000 for both income and property taxes paid during the year.

 

Contribution limits for retirement savings
Employees who participate in certain retirement plans ‒ 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 plans, and the Thrift Savings Plan – can now contribute as much as $18,500 this year, a $500 increase from the $18,000 limit for 2017.

 

Savings in IRAs
Savers who contribute to individual retirement accounts will have higher income ranges following cost-of-living adjustments. Note that the deduction phases out for individuals and their spouses who are covered by workplace retirement plans.

For single taxpayers, the limit will be $63,000 to $73,000.

 

For married couples, the phaseout range will vary depending on whether the IRA contributor is covered by a workplace retirement plan or not. When the spouse who is investing has access to an employer plan, the range is $101,000 to $121,000. For individuals who don't have a retirement plan but are married to someone who does, the phaseout has been raised to $189,000 to $199,000.

 

The phaseout was not adjusted for married individuals who file a separate return and who are covered by a workplace retirement plan. That range is $0 to $10,000.

 

Contributions to Roth IRAs
For individuals who are single or the heads of their households, the income phaseout has been raised to $120,000 to $135,000. For married couples who file jointly, the range climbs to $189,000 to $199,000.

 

The phaseout was not adjusted for married individuals who file a separate return. That is $0 to $10,000.