Tax Reform Provisions that Affect Individuals

Personal Exemption Deduction Eliminated

Personal exemption deductions for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents have been eliminated beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026.

Standard Deduction Amount Increased

For 2018, 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.ty

 Itemized Deductions

Deduction for personal casualty and theft losses suspended (unless incurred in federally-declared disaster area)

Limitations to the deduction for state and local taxes

Limitations to the deduction for home mortgage interest in certain cases

Eliminating most miscellaneous itemized deductions such as:

  • Deductions for employee business expenses
  • Tax preparation fees
  • Investment expenses, including investment management fees
  • Employment related educational expenses
  • Job search expenses
  • Hobby losses
  • Safe deposit box fees
  • Investment expenses from pass-through entities

Eliminated the limitation on itemized deductions for certain high-income taxpayers.

SALT – State and Local Income Tax

The deductibility of state and local tax payments for federal income tax purposes is now limited to $10,000 a calendar year.

A taxpayer who makes payments or transfers property to an entity eligible to receive tax deductible contributions must reduce their charitable deduction by the amount of any state or local tax credit the taxpayer receives or expects to receive.

Moving Expenses No Longer Deductible

The deduction for moving expenses has been suspended for most taxpayers for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 through Jan. 1, 2026. This suspension does not apply to members of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty who move pursuant to a military order related to a permanent change of station.

Depreciation and Expensing

Some laws regarding depreciation deductions have changed. A taxpayer may elect to expense the cost of any section 179 property and deduct it in the year the property is placed in service. The new law increased the maximum deduction from $500,000 to $1 million. It also increased the phase-out threshold from $2 million to $2.5 million.

Alimony

Tax Treatment of alimony and separate maintenance payments.

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.

The new tax law also includes changes to other tax brackets.Images

Estate Tax

The estate exemption doubles to $11.2 million per individual and $22.4 million per couple in 2018.

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.

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.