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2018 Tax Reform 101
How can I make sure I’m getting the tax refund I deserve?
Taxes can be tricky, especially when there are so many new rules to keep up with. The changes detailed above are just a short summary of the most significant updates that could impact your tax refund this year.
We want to help you understand your tax deductions to ensure you receive the correct amount of refunded money. Call and make an appointment with one of the Professional Tax Preparation Associates at your nearest Security Finance!
If there was a tax cut, will my refund be higher?
Earlier in 2018, the federal tax withholding tables were adjusted so that taxpayers had less money taken out of each paycheck. Taxpayers who did not adjust their withholdings with their employer using Form W-4 may have less total federal tax withholdings showing on their W-2. As each taxpayer’s situation is different, a customer’s refund may be higher or lower based on the circumstances of the tax return.
Review your specific situation with one of our Professional Tax Preparation Associates to determine how the federal tax reform affects you.
What do the new tax changes mean for me?
For you or your family, these changes could mean lowered taxes, a new tax bracket and/or different deduction limits. Read through the highlights of the tax reform below, and make an appointment with a Professional Tax Preparation Associate to start your tax return.
A major change under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is the elimination of personal and dependent exemptions. Previously, the taxpayer, spouse, and any qualified dependents on the return received an exemption amount of $4,050 per person, which was used to reduce taxable income. Now, the standard deduction based on the filing status of the taxpayer has increased significantly. Therefore, fewer individuals will itemize deductions than previously.
In other words, the standard deduction (or how much you can deduct from your taxable income) applies only to the tax filer, versus each person in the household.
This also reduces and simplifies the amount of itemized deductions that qualify. There are some exceptions (like state income taxes, among others), but most taxpayers won’t have enough individual deductions to itemize deductions.
The individual tax brackets have been redefined significantly. The 7 brackets range from 10% to 37%, and the income limits for each bracket have been modified. What does this mean? A taxpayer would not be subject to a higher tax rate until the taxable income reaches a higher amount. For example, previously, a Married Filing Jointly couple that had taxable income of $18,650 or less was subject to a 10% tax rate. Now, the taxable income limit is $19,050 or less for the same rate.
For the majority of the tax brackets, the tax rate was lowered and the income limits were adjusted. For the lowest income bracket and those who fall in the 35% tax bracket, the tax rate actually stayed the same, but the income limit for each was raised (meaning you may have earned more money in 2018, but still fall into this same category). So, no matter which of the seven tax brackets you fall into this year, you will likely pay fewer taxes — but exactly how much less depends on your income and marital status.
The Child Tax Credit has increased from $1,000 to $2,000 for each qualifying child under the age of 17. Though not a deduction, credits are very valuable.
For example, if a taxpayer has one qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit, the tax liability of the taxpayer is reduced by up to $2,000 (limited to the tax liability).
In addition, taxpayers who are not able to take the full amount against their tax liability may receive up to $1,400 per qualified child in a refundable credit, if certain conditions are met. The total credit cannot exceed $2,000 per qualifying child.
The Tax Cuts & Job Act also introduces the new Other Dependent Credit. This nonrefundable credit can reduce tax liability up to $500 for each child who does not qualify for the Child Tax Credit or certain qualifying relatives who live with the taxpayer all year.
For example, let’s say a taxpayer with an 18-year-old-dependent has a tax liability of $750. The Other Dependent Credit would reduce the tax liability down to $250 after applying the new $500 credit.
Under the Affordable Care Act, taxpayers without health insurance could be charged a penalty unless they had an exemption for any specific month that they did not have coverage. Starting with tax season 2020 (tax year 2019), taxpayers will not be charged a penalty.
As part of the new tax reform, not only did large corporations receive major tax cuts, but so did individual contractors, sole proprietors, and other individuals who file form 1040 with Schedule C.
Under certain conditions, these taxpayers are allowed a deduction of 20% of qualified business income, which reduces taxable income.
(1) Pay nothing out of pocket if a bank product is purchased. Bank and/or third party fees may apply. The Refund Transfer is an optional tax refund-related product offered by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. The Refund Transfer is not a loan. E-filing of tax return is required to be eligible for the product. Fees apply. See terms and conditions for details.
(2) 1040 Protect® Deluxe is an optional product. 1040 Protect® Deluxe, the $30 referral program and the discount coupons are not MetaBank® products or services nor does MetaBank® endorse these offers.
Multiple referrals accepted. Referral fee valid only for first time customers. Referral fee may be taxable income to the recipient for the period during which the fee is issued. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the person who is paid the referral fee.
TO QUALIFY: The individual who we are paying the referral to must have an accepted and paid tax return prepared by the branch or be an active loan customer of the branch, unless state law prohibits otherwise.
All preparers are trained through an IRS approved continuing education provider. Not all branches provide tax services. Call your local branch for more information.
NY State Returns Not Applicable