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February 07, 2018 | Posted in:

How to Cut Taxes Under the New Tax Act

Tax Tip of the Week

What moves should you make now in order to cut your taxes as the new tax law takes effect?

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Now that the massive new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is finally the law of the land, what should you do? Every situation is different, but here are several practical suggestions for improving your tax outlook for 2018 and beyond:

 

Adjust your withholding.

There are “winners” and “losers” due to changes in tax rates, the increased standard deduction, the loss of personal exemptions and cutbacks and repeals of deductions. We can help you figure out how this will affect your situation. Depending on your needs and wants, you may end up increasing or decreasing your take-home pay by revising your W-4.

“A rough tax projection based on your 2017 income and expense categories can quantify the necessity to adjust your wage withholding.” – Rich Middleton, CPA

Make your move.

Pulling up stakes just because of new laws is a drastic reaction. However, if you were planning to move soon anyway, now may be the time to do it if you reside in a high-tax state. The TCJA limits the annual state, local and property tax deduction to $10,000 for itemizers. If you do move, remember that job-related moving expenses are no longer deductible.

“Changing residency to avoid taxes can be difficult to prove if a complete break is not made,” advises Rich.  “Talk to your advisor for guidance on the parameters for documenting the change.”

Pile up medical expenses.

The threshold for deducting medical expenses is rolled back to 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (down from 10 percent) for 2017 and 2018. If you can clear the lower hurdle this year, schedule routine doctor and dentist visits or finally undergo that surgery you’ve been putting off. The extra expenses will boost your medical deduction.

 

Tap a 529 plan for private school.

The new law expands the use of 529 education savings plans to cover private elementary and secondary schools. It’s not just for college or grad school anymore. Distributions are exempt from tax, but be careful. Make sure you’ll still have enough money in the account to pay for higher education.

 

Finally, coordinate your tax strategies into an overall plan for 2018. This is a better approach than trying to cash in on tax breaks one at a time. Give us a call and we can help.

 
 

© MC 2018 | “Tax Tips” are published weekly to provide current tax information, tax-cutting suggestions, and tax reminders. The tax information contained in this site is of a general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance.

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