Tax Reform Impact: What You Should Know For 2019
Congress has passed the largest piece of tax reform legislation in more than three decades. The bill went into place on January 1, 2018, which means that it will affect the taxes of most taxpayers for the 2019 tax year.
If you’re wondering how you’re affected, not to worry, we have your back. We’re doing the work to make sure our products are up to date and that you can use them to file your taxes with complete confidence.
That said, many folks are wondering what’s in the bill and how it might affect them. Here’s a recap of some of the major tax provisions in the new tax bill and how they may impact you.
Lower Tax Rates and Changed Income Ranges
The bill retains the seven tax brackets found in current law, but lowers a number of the tax rates. It also changes the income thresholds at which the rates apply.
The brackets before tax reform were: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% and 39.6%
The 2019 brackets are: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%
The income thresholds at which these brackets kick in have changed, as well.
For married joint filers:
For single filers:
Alternative Minimum Tax Exemptions Increased
The bill also eases the burden of the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) by raising the income exempted from $84,500 (adjusted for inflation) to $111,700 married filing jointly and from $54,300 (adjusted for inflation) to $71,700 for single taxpayers, so fewer taxpayers will pay it in 2019.
Tax Relief for Individuals and Families
Increased standard deduction:
The new tax law nearly doubles the standard deduction amount. Single taxpayers will see their standard deductions jump from $6,350 for 2017 taxes to $12,200 for 2019 taxes (the ones you file in 2020).
Married couples filing jointly see an increase from $12,700 to $24,400 for 2019. These increases mean that fewer people will have to itemize. Today, roughly 30% of taxpayers itemize. Under the new law, this percentage is expected to decrease.
Increased Child Tax Credit:
For, families with children the Child Tax Credit is doubled from $1,000 per child to $2,000. In addition, the amount that is refundable grows from $1,100 to $1,400. The bill also adds a new, non-refundable credit of $500 for dependents other than children. Finally, it raises the income threshold at which these benefits phase out from $110,000 for a married couple to $400,000.
Eliminations or Reductions in Deductions
Personal and dependent exemptions:
The bill eliminates the personal and dependent exemptions for 2019, which was $4,050 for 2017.
State and local taxes/Home mortgages:
The bill limits the amount of state and local property, income, and sales taxes that can be deducted to $10,000. In the past, these taxes have generally been fully tax deductible.
The bill also caps the amount of mortgage indebtedness on new home purchases on which interest can be deducted at $750,000 down from $1,000,000 in current law.
The bill eliminates the tax penalty for not having health insurance after December 31, 2018. It also temporarily lowers the floor above which out-of-pocket medical expenses can be deducted from the current law floor of 10% to 7.5% for 2017 and 2018. In 2019, a separate tax extender bill kept the 7.5% of AGI rate for 2019. In 2020, the percentage is set to increase to 10% of AGI.
So for 2019, you can deduct medical expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
Self-employed (contractors, freelancers, sole proprietors) and small businesses:
The bill has a myriad of changes for business. The biggest includes a reduction in the top corporate rate to 21%, a new 20% deduction for incomes from certain type of “pass-through” entities (partnerships, S Corps, sole proprietorships), limits on expensing of interest from borrowing, almost doubling of the amount small businesses can expense from the 2017 Section 179 amount of $510,000 to $1,000,000, and eliminates the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT).