SOME TAX DEDUCTIONS, CREDITS & BENEFITS KEPT WITH THE NEW TAX REFORM

So much has been examined, analyzed, and written about changes in the new tax law – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA – but little mention has been made to popular tax provisions that have not changed.

The TCJA has left many popular tax deductions, credits and benefits unchanged. We provide an overview of some of them here.

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Highlights of Popular Tax Deductions Remaining After Tax Reform
The IRA deduction – One of the most well-known tax deductions is the deduction for traditional IRAs. Taxpayers may reduce their gross income for 2018 up to $5,500 (taxpayers under age 50), or $6,500 (taxpayers age 50 or over) for IRA contributions. IRA contributions for the 2018 tax year can be made as late as the tax filing deadline in April 2019. This tax deduction is limited for taxpayers whose income is above certain thresholds if they participate in a retirement plan at work, such as a 401(k) plan.

ABOVE-THE-LINE DEDUCTIONS FOR THE SELF EMPLOYED

The deductible portion of self-employment tax, retirement plan contributions made by the self-employed to their own plans, and the self-employed health insurance deduction remain the same.

EDUCATION-RELATED DEDUCTIONS

The $250 above-the-line deduction for teachers, instructors, principals, and other qualified K-12 educators remains intact, as well as the popular above-the-line tax deduction for interest paid on qualified student loans.

HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (HSAs)  

While this benefit was created in the early 2000s, it has since become a popular tax deduction. Like the IRA deduction, contributions to an HSA may also be deducted to reduce gross income. Alternatively, taxpayers may still make pre-tax contributions to HSAs through employer plans. The limit for 2018 is $3,450 (for individual coverage) or $6,900 (for family coverage). These contribution limits can be increased by $1,000 if the taxpayer is at least age 55. HSAs require that the taxpayer have a high-deductible health plan.


THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC)

A popular tax credit with lower-income taxpayers, this credit can be worth up to $6,431 in 2018 (MFJ with three or more children). The credit begins to phase out once a taxpayer’s earned income rises above certain thresholds, based on filing status. Besides the higher credit and income phaseout ranges in 2018 compared to 2017, nothing else about the EITC has changed in 2018.

DEPENDENT CARE CREDIT

Taxpayers who must pay daycare expenses so they can work may qualify for this popular tax credit. The credit ranges from 20% to 35% of eligible expenses, up to $3,000 of expenses for one qualifying person (child under 13 or other eligible dependent) and $6,000 of expenses for two or more qualifying people.

THE EDUCATION CREDITS

The American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit, two highly popular education tax credits, ultimately emerged from Congressional debate with no changes. The American Opportunity Credit is a credit up to $2,500 available for students during their first four years of post-secondary school education. Up to $1,000 of this credit remains refundable. Similarly, the Lifetime Learning Credit, which is limited to $2,000 per tax return (not per student), is available to any taxpayer who takes qualifying coursework.

TAXABILITY OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

A common tax break that benefits many, recipients of Social Security benefits do not need to pay tax on these benefits unless their “provisional” income exceeds a certain amount (the “base”), which depends on filing status. Once the base is reached, an increasing percentage of Social Security is taxable, up to 85% of Social Security benefits. None of a taxpayer’s Social Security benefits are included in income if provisional income doesn’t exceed the base amount.

THE SAVER’S CREDIT

This credit is at least 10% and up to 50% of eligible contributions to IRAs and qualified retirement plans, up to a maximum credit of $1,000 ($2,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly). This popular tax credit varies based on the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income. Taxpayers who contribute to an IRA for 2018 by the tax filing date in 2019 may also claim the Saver’s Credit for 2018, if they qualify.

Want to Know What Common Tax Breaks Can You Take This Year? We Can Help.

You may be happy to hear that so many popular tax deduction and credits remain available after tax reform, especially if you’ve taken advantage of them in the past. However, it’s important to remember that as your life changes so does your eligibility for certain tax breaks.

Our knowledgeable Tax Pros can ensure you receive every last credit and deduction available to you.

GET TAX RELIEF HELP TODAY

If you think that you may need help filing your 2017/2018 tax return or past due tax returns, you may want to partner with a reputable tax relief company who can help you get the max refund and reduce your chances for an IRS AUDIT.

Advance Tax Relief is headquartered in Houston, TX with a branch office in Los Angeles, CA. We help many individuals just like you solve a wide variety of IRS and State tax issues, including penalty waivers, wage garnishments, bank levy, tax audit representation, back tax return preparation, small business form 941 tax issues, the IRS Fresh Start Initiative, Offer In Compromise and much more. Our Top Tax Attorneys, Accountants and Tax Experts are standing by ready to help you resolve or settle your IRS back tax problems.

Advance Tax Relief is rated one of the best tax relief companies nationwide.

Call our team today at 800-790-8574 for more information. For a free consultation, schedule an appointment with us online. Feel free to also learn about us and contact us via http://www.advancetaxrelief.com.

However, it doesn’t matter where you live, we service taxpayers nationwide. We have settled millions in back tax penalties and interest for our clients nationwide.

Advance Tax Relief is a Professional Tax Relief Organization

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