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5 Tax Reform Changes to Know Before Filing Your 2018 Tax Return

Tax Reform Taxes
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Tax reform affects every person’s tax return in 2018. Before you file this tax season, here’s what you need to know about the tax law adjustments to be prepared.

1. The tax rates changed for everyone.

The tax rates you previously knew are no more. Almost every rate has changed in 2018. In fact, the entire bracket for each filing status was adjusted. Here’s what they look like now:

Tax rate2018 - Single Filer2018 - Joint Filer2018 - Married Filing Separate2018 - Head of Household
10%$0 to $9,525$0 to $19,050$0 to $9,525$0 to $13,600
12%$9,526 to $38,700$19,051 to $77,400$9,526 to $38,700$13,601 to $51,800
22%$38,701 to $82,500$77,401 to $165,000$38,701 to $82,500$51,801 to $82,500
24%$82,501 to $157,500$165,001 to $315,000$82,501 to $157,500$82,501 to $157,500
32%$157,501 to $200,000$315,001 to $400,000$157,501 to $200,000$157,501 to $200,000
35%$200,001 to $500,000$400,001 to $600,000$200,001 to $300,000$200,001 to $500,000
37%$500,001 or more$600,001 or more$300,001 or more$500,001 or more

2. The standard deduction nearly doubled.

Another major tax reform change included increasing the standard deduction for every filing status. The standard deduction is a pre-set dollar amount that reduces your taxable income. When you file your tax return, you can choose to claim the standard deduction or itemize your deductions.

Filing StatusStandard Deduction
Married Filing Jointly & Surviving Spouse$24,000
Married Filing Separately$12,000
Head of Household$18,000

3. Miscellaneous deductions were suspended.

If you itemized deductions in the past, don’t expect to deduct miscellaneous expenses this year. Any miscellaneous itemized deductions that exceeded two percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) were suspended as part of tax reform. That includes expenses like unreimbursed employee expenses, safe deposit fees, investment management fees, and union dues.

4. Personal deductions were eliminated.

You can no longer claim a personal exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse, or any dependents. That means you can’t reduce your taxable income using the personal exemption like you could in previous years. In 2017, the personal exemption was $4,050.

5. The State and Local Tax deduction is capped at $10,000.

Most state and local income taxes are still deductible as itemized deductions. However, the amount you can deduct in one year is now capped at $10,000.  That means you can deduct up to $10,000 in property and income tax or sales tax on Schedule A. Previously, the deduction was unlimited.

Single filers and those married filing jointly are both subject to the $10,000 limit. The cap for a married person filing separately is $5,000.

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