Category Archives: Tax Advice

Ask Your Financial Advisor: Deductions for Charitable Donations During the Pandemic

Charities have been busier than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in March as millions of people lost their jobs and went on unemployment. Food banks, utilities help, rent and mortgage assistance, and other similar non-profits are dispensing everyday aid to needy citizens. 

You may have been led to donate to charities, both local and national, to help others who have fallen into serious financial straits. *** So, if you are able to give during this pandemic, there are some deductions for charitable organizations that you need to know during this time:

  1. Required Minimum Retirement Distributions Waived in 2020: For 2020, the IRS has waived mandatory distributions from retirement accounts such as IRAs. This waiver was allowed for IRA account holders to have time to recover what may have been lost during the year. You may be planning to donate retirement assets to charity, too. The minimum age for making a tax-free transfer from an IRA to a non-profit is still 70½. The $100,000 annual limit has not changed. There is still time to increase donations to charitable organizations and offsetting an IRA withdrawal with a deduction.
  2. Non-itemizers have a new $300 Charitable Deduction: Taxpayers who do not itemize deductions can now deduct up to $300 single filing or $600 for a married couple. The CARES Act was amended so that donors to charities could give a little more cash gifts which are above the standard deduction.
  3. 100% of Adjusted Gross Income Available in 2020 for Cash Gift Deductions: Charitable donors can 100% of their adjusted gross incomes for cash gifts that are made to public charities. This is for 2020 only as, historically, the largest share of income that a donor could deduct was 60%. It is a 40% increase. Just note that this is for 2020 only.
  4. Donations of appreciated securities or other property: These donations do not qualify for the new charitable contribution provisions in the CARES Act as they are not considered Qualified Charitable Contributions. The only exception is for food inventory for C Corporations.
  5. Carryover Contributions: Charitable contribution carryovers from previous years and not for the 2020 tax year are different. Now, the current year contributions are deducted first, then the carryover contributions are subject to the normal ordering rules.
  6. Philanthropic taxpayers with traditional IRA accounts: It may be more advantageous to do a 2020 ROTH IRA conversion. Qualified Charitable Contributions for 2020 may offset 100% of the income recognized on such conversions.

This year has been a difficult year for us all. We will persevere! These tax law changes benefit charitable organizations and donors. As always, before making a significant financial decision, we recommend that you discuss these changes with an experienced financial advisor. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced financial advisors who can help you navigate through the numerous tax changes in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. Our office is open! We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County. MD area. *** For more on the losses charities have sustained, click here.       

Business Tax: Planning During the Pandemic

As we write this blog, unfortunately, the whole CVOID-19 pandemic is still with us and maybe for a while, though we are hopeful it ends soon. 

Here at AK Burton PC, we are working with our clients to create tax plans tailored to their unique situation. Now, during the uncertainty that the pandemic has caused; it is important to answer the questions business clients have now and plan for their future. Here are a few examples of some business tax planning strategies: 

  1. Depreciate idle business equipment (idle asset): The pandemic has caused a lot of business equipment to become idle. The business owner needs to show that they plan to use them again as soon as the business returns to full operations. It is known as the “idle asset” rule. If the equipment is abandoned or disposed of then the rule is no longer in effect.
  2. Automatic changes in accounting method: A business owner can make accounting changes right up to the due date of the tax return. Such changes may include: changing the treatment of prepaid expenses, accrued compensation, advanced payments received, reviewing the class lives used for depreciation, and reviewing the application of the uniform capitalization rules on inventory.
  3. Transfer-pricing arrangements: Due to the pandemic, businesses have lost thousands or millions in sales. This has decreased cash flow. So, now customs declarations or adjustments must be revised. Thus, the transfer-pricing for goods may not be relevant due to the three-month (or longer) cessation of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic which did not provide U.S. multinational companies a way to shift tax burdens between jurisdictions. (As we always say, consult with your professional and licensed tax planning consultant.) 
  4. Review business receivables to see if there are any write-offs: A “bad debt deduction” is only allowed for debts that are worthless during the tax year that the deduction is taken. The true worthlessness of the debt and the fact that is was taken during the tax year must be determined.
  5. Inventory values: Lower-of-cost-or-market (LCM) inventory valuation may bring inventory write-downs before the inventory is sold. (See your accountant about regulations.) All inventory items must be considered separately so correct values can be determined. (A percentage write-down is allowed for accounting.) 
  6. Verify that there is adequate stock and debt basis for S Corps/Partnerships: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act may result in increased deductions and taxes paid for potential refunds. Relief provisions come from a partnership or S corporation and the partner/shareholder must have an adequate tax basis for any deduction or loss that comes from the entity to benefit in the current year from these favorable provisions. if an additional basis needs to be created by making additional capital contributions or loans before the end of the year.

These are just a few examples that may apply to your 2020 business tax planning strategy. While COVID-19 has made tax planning even more challenging, you and your accountant can still work within the guidelines to maximize the benefit of tax planning for your business. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax advisors who can help you with your 2020 COVID-19 business tax planning. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. Our office is open! We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County. MD area.        

*** For more information on the forms and other IRS documents, click here.

Tax Preparation Alert: Individual Taxes Are Due July 15, 2020

As you read this blog, the day is getting closer. Which day?

That day is July 15, 2020, and it is the extended filing deadline for all individual tax returns this year.

The federal government changed it to July 15 because, of course, the Coronavirus pandemic put millions out of work and set back deadlines. Now, States are reopening, and as people are returning to their job (if it is still available); it’s important not to forget this tax return filing date.

The later filing date has been a relief to many people who were laid off when the pandemic closings began. Millions were thrown out of work and have been unemployed or finding work where they can. This spring will be one for the books as it has stressed us all. Your individual Federal tax return is due July 15th. Check with your tax preparer for when your state tax return is due. Here, at A.K. Burton, PC we have been monitoring the everchanging Federal & State guidance striving to give our clients the best service possible during a period of such unprecedented legislative turbulence.  

While the three-month extension to file Federal individual taxes has given taxpayers 3 extra months to pay any tax due on the deadline, it has also given people a chance to procrastinate. Before we know it, July 15 will arrive and many taxpayers will not be ready. Let’s fix that. First, you need to send all of your tax documents to your tax preparer.

Don’t remember what documents to provide your tax preparer? Here are some tips on what to bring them:

1.    Wages and salary income (W2)

2.    State tax refunds and unemployment compensation  (1099-G)

3.    Dividend & Interest statements

4.    Stocks, bonds and other investments

5.    Rental income & Expenses

6.    Forms K-1 from Partnerships and S Corp

7. Forms 1099 (MISC) 

8. Schedule C- Business Income & expenses

9. Forms 1099-R for Pensions & IRAs

10.Property tax bills

11. Medical Expenses

12. Mortgage interest (form 1098)

13. Charitable donations

14. Moving expenses

15. Child care expenses

16. Tuition Paid (Form 1098-T)

17. Student Loan Interest Paid (Form 1098-E)   

Organize these documents. That will help your accountant or tax preparer get your tax returns completed more efficiently. Then, upload the documents to a secure link your tax preparer sent you or bring them to your accountants’ office ASAP as time is running out.

Late filings beyond July 15, 2020, may incur interest and penalties, so you may have to file an extension. Any tax you owe is due by the filing deadline. This is done by filing Form 4868. If you don’t have all your tax documents gathered, give your tax preparer all the documents you have and ask for an extension to be filed.

The main thing to remember if you have not filed your 2019 income tax returns is: See your tax preparer now! You don’t want to get any late fees or correspondence letters from the IRS.

A.K. Burton, PC, is open for business and we can prepare and file your taxes for you and your business. We are working extended hours to prepare our client’s returns.  Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a phone consultation. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County. MD area.        

*** For more information on the forms and other IRS documents, click here.  

Tax Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis

It’s the middle of May 2020, when spring is ending and summer is just around the corner. We’re looking forward to Memorial Day and the warmer weather. Unlike last year, we are in the middle of the COVID-19/Coronavirus Crisis in the DMV/Beltway area. The pandemic has put a kink in our summer plans as well as our tax plans. 

Our new normal is where some businesses are closed. Quarantines are still in place. The streets and parks are quiet. Life, as we know it, has been put on hold until the government issues new guidelines. It is only speculation as to when life will resume with the same kind of normalcy before the pandemic gripped our country. How can we possibly plan ahead in an uncertain world, let alone a tax plan?

At A.K. Burton PC, we are still open for business. We are available by phone and execute our work virtually and remotely. We are working to help our clients during this unprecedented global pandemic. Our clients are our first priority. Even though the pandemic has turned our lives upside-down here’s a friendly reminder of some tax planning strategies:  

  1. Health Insurance: If you’ve had a major change in income for 2020, and you have your health insurance coverage through the marketplace; update your income information. It may lower your monthly premiums. If you have had a major life change such as losing your job, you may qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” and be able to enroll in health insurance coverage through the marketplace at healthcare.gov. 
  2. Home office deduction: Since the COVID-19 epidemic, you may have needed to work from home. Depending on the method your income is earned you may or may not qualify for business use of home deduction on your 2020 tax return. If you do qualify for a deduction, your office must be the square footage in your home that is EXCLUSIVELY used for business. It can not be the sofa where you watch TV or your bed where you sleep at night. Keep track of expenses for your home including electricity, WiFi, water, and phone expenses. Keep track of any office supplies such as printer ink or computer paper. 
  3. Capital gains/ losses: Keep records of your trades and holdings in stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. Save all of your trade data so you can report all reportable transactions accurately. 
  4. Online software for business: In order to do business from home, you may have had to purchase or rent certain software. This may include subscriptions to Zoom or other pertinent software programs. Keep accurate records of these receipts. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax advisors who can assist you in this unprecedented time. We are here for our clients working to file their tax returns. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a phone consultation. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County. MD area.    

Why You Need a CPA to Do Your Tax Returns in 2020

Albert Einstein once said, “The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.”

Even Einstein, the smartest man in the world at that time, didn’t even understand how income taxes work! So, why does the average person tackle their income tax returns every year, thinking they can do it? 

We are not elitists here as we know most people do their tax returns to save money and also to keep their earnings confidential. However, most tax filers miss important information or commit several common errors. ***

So, as July 15, 2020, (the new Tax Day date due to the COVID-19 crisis) draws closer, you may want to consider having a certified public accountant (CPA) complete and file your taxes for these reasons:

  1. The tax laws are always changing: Every year, Congress makes changes to the tax laws which are then sent to the Internal Revenue Service to enforce. Most people do not have the time or patience to keep up with these laws. CPAs keep up with all these new laws and changes and can advise you on them.
  2. Earn $200,000 or more: Top income earners are always in the bullseye for the IRS. Thus, they are more likely to be audited. CPAs can assist the high-earner in filing everything correctly and also in watching for any red flags that might bring an audit.
  3. Back taxes are owed: Your CPA will help the client find out how much they owe, how they can pay in installments and how to avoid future issues. The CPA can also contact the IRS for you, represent you to them and work out a reasonable payment plan if it is needed.
  4. Saving for children: Children may go to college or need a trust. A CPA can help you set up a trust or financial investment.
  5. Inheritance: A large inheritance of cash or property can be both a blessing and a curse. A CPA can figure out how much needs to be paid to the IRS (if any) due to inheritance taxes. They can also advise on how much to pay in the future.
  6. Side-hustle or second job: Many people have side jobs now such as Uber or Lyft or rent out a room as an Airbnb. CPAs can determine how much is owed to the IRS and then advise for future earnings and withholdings.
  7. Save money…lots of money: As we discussed earlier, many people do their own tax returns thinking they can save money from having to pay an accountant. Unfortunately, they may end up losing money by not filing complete returns or listing all their write-offs. So, they end up paying the IRS thousands of more dollars than they should have. CPAs can save them a lot of money by filing correct and accurate tax returns. 

These are just a few of the reasons you may want to hire a CPA to do your 2019 tax return and your tax returns in the future. They have the knowledge, experience, and credibility. And, they do what is best for you. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced certified public accountants (CPA) on staff who can file your tax returns and represent you to the IRS. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville and Montgomery County. MD area.   

**For more about common errors on tax returns, visit this page at the IRS website.

March 16 is Coming: Taxes for S Corps and Partnerships

By the time you read this blog, Monday, March 16, 2020, will be even closer! No, this is isn’t “Mr. Obvious” talking here. It’s your business tax advisor sending you a notice to get on it to avoid IRS fees and penalties. 

Why is this date so important? If you own an S Corp or a Partnership, your taxes are due at that time. (Normally it is March 15 but that is a Sunday so it was moved to Monday.)  

Here are the business tax returns and their due dates: 

  1. S corporation returns must be filed on Form 1120S with Schedule K-1 for each member: March 16, 2020. 
  2. Partnership returns file a partnership tax return on Form 1065 with Schedule K-1 for each partner: March 16, 2020.
  3. Multiple-member LLC returns filing as partnerships file on Form 1065 for the partnership and give Schedule K-1 to each member: March 16, 2020.

So, be proactive and take action now. Here are six things you need to send to your tax advisor so they can file it on time for you:

  1. Year-end bank/credit card statements: Compile all of your bank and credit card statements. These should show all of your purchases and monthly statements.  
  2. Payroll tax reports: IRS Form 941 is used to report the federal income tax, Medicare and Social Security amounts you withheld from your employees’ paychecks. Also, report your portion of Medicare and Social Security on this form. Employers are responsible for making federal unemployment tax contributions. You will pay taxes on the first $7,000 earned by each employee. Employees are not allowed to contribute to your unemployment tax liability, so you cannot deduct the tax from their wages. It is filed on Form 940. 
  3. QuickBooks (or other copy of your books) copy if you have one: A copy of all your business bookkeeping. If it is Quickbooks, you send a copy of the bookkeeping records to your small business accountant.  
  4. Last year’s business return (new preparer only): If you have a new accountant, you need to include a copy of last year’s tax return. This will save, and your bookkeeper, a lot of time. You may be spared phone calls and emails from them as they can use it as a template for this year’s return.  
  5. Vehicle mileage (total & business): Submit all of your vehicle business mileage. Include business mileage and total mileage. (You may want to use an app to record all of your business mileage.)***   
  6. Details on large business purchases: Did you purchase a vehicle for your business? (truck, car, motorcycle, etc.) You may have purchased smartphones, copiers, printers, computers, cameras, etc. Any large business purchases need to be reported.   

You have enough time to get these records to your tax advisor for them to complete the forms and file them with the IRS. Please don’t delay. It will save you time, money and a phone call from the IRS, which nobody wants. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax advisors who can advise, complete and file all of your business tax returns by March 16. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville and Montgomery County. MD area.

***A list of business mileage apps can be found here

Tax Preparation Time: Getting Ready to File Your 2019 Tax Returns

We are only a few weeks into 2020. You haven’t even had time to pack away the Christmas tree, yet. 

January seems too early to be thinking about anything other than just trying to get into the routine of work again. 

However, now is the time to get ready to file your 2019 tax returns. As those tax documents start showing up, pop them into your 2019 tax return file to send to your preparer. You haven’t seen anything yet, and still thinking it’s too soon? Well, the IRS has announced that they are going to open filing for individual 2019 tax returns on January 27, 2020!***  

Here are some ways you can prepare to file your 2019 tax returns now:

  1. Electric Organizers: Instead of filling out your organizer by hand, your tax preparer has probably sent you an electronic organizer. Do your best to fill it in. The organizer will give you a good idea of what documents you need to send to your tax preparer. Still not sure what to do? Use the notes space in the organizer to alert your tax preparer to any questions or concerns you have. If there’s not enough space, send a quick email or call your preparer to get your questions answered. 
  2. EDocuments: Remember the old days of bringing all your tax documents to your accountant in a thick Manila folder? Those went out with floppy discs and ripped-knee jeans. Now, you can scan all your documents then upload them using a secure link that your accountant has sent you. Make sure to keep a copy of your scanned documents for your file. It will save you time and make filing easier. Not sure which documents to send? Send your W2,1099, and 1098 forms to start. 
  3. Remember to send form 1095 – showing 2019 health insurance coverage: This tax form declares the type of health insurance coverage that you have, the period covered and the number of dependents that are covered. (If it is a health plan paid by your employer, it would have the company name and name of the employee.)
  4. Mileage expenses: If you used your vehicle for business and have recorded the miles used for work, submit the total mileage and your business mileage for the year. 
  5. Business use of the home: If you have a home office, with square footage exclusively used for your business, disclose the total amount of square feet in your home and the square footage of your home office. Be sure to disclose to your preparer expenses used to run your home such as utilities, insurance, security, and/or repairs and maintenance items. 
  6. Charitable contributions: Include an itemized schedule of all your donations to deductible charitable organizations. Any donation of $250+ must have a receipt from the receiving charity to be deductible. 
  7. Your 2018 Tax Return: If this is the first time you have worked with this tax preparer, bring or electronically send last year’s tax return. Your tax preparer will use it when completing this year’s tax return. 

Now is the time to prepare for your 2019 taxes. As you receive your tax documents, put them aside. Fill in your electronic organizer. When you’re ready, send your completed organizer and scanned documents to your tax preparer. Please remember to keep copies of your 2019 documents for your records.

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax preparers who prepare and file personal and business tax returns. Our friendly and efficient tax preparation staff can file your taxes and represent you to the IRS, District or state. Call (301) 365-1974 for an appointment. ***See the IRS 2019 Tax Filing information here.

Financial Advisor: Small Business Tax Planning for Fall 2019

Fall is only weeks away. Summer is basically done

So, what does that mean for you, the small business owner? Well, you can begin making moves that will positively affect your 2019 IRS tax bill. The IRS has made many changes recently that many small business owners may not be aware of or use.  

Here are some ways you can start your small business tax planning that most financial advisors would endorse as we move into the fall season:

  1. Start your 401 (k) now: In 2019, small business owners can deduct up to $51,000 with matching. In other words, you can use $18,000 as a deferral before matching and $5,500 for employees 50 years and older. (Check with your payroll officer or business accountant before taking this measure.)
  2. Buy a business vehicle: Small businesses can purchase a truck or any vehicle weighing 6,000 pounds or more. This year, businesses can deduct up to $25,000 depending on the business use percentage and cost of the vehicle. 
  3. Convert your IRA to a Roth IRA: Your traditional IRA is not giving you all the benefits. Instead, convert your IRA to Roth. You will pay taxes at a lower rate and avoid paying takes on future withdrawals. Check with your accountant or financial advisor before changing over. You must do it by December 31, 2019. 
  4. Add your children and spouse to the payroll: A forgotten-sometimes abused-way of saving money is by bringing your spouse and children onto the payroll for doing real work for the business. Pay them through a sole-proprietorship or single-member LLC. If children are under 18 years old, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. Additionally, the child can use a standard deduction of $6,300 against any income you pay, as its earned income and so no income taxes! However, if it’s an S-/C-corporation, the IRS requires that you withhold FICA from all employees on the payroll. (Again, check with your small business accountant for details and guidelines.) Office cleaning, filing, shredding, driving to errands, etc., are jobs both children and spouse can do for you. 
  5. Set your payroll amount: By December 31, all S-Corporation owners or newly elected LLC S-Corps must complete their payroll. The fourth quarter is coming and it may draw an IRS audit but you may want to lower it or increase it based on the net business income. 
  6. Close on the rental property: Your rental property may be costing you write-offs now as laws have changed. Check with your accountant to see if the real estate professional classification has changed. 
  7. Make your LLC an S-election: Done in December, if you’ve paid a high amount of self-employment tax and had an LLC, you can elect to be taxed as an S-corporation, retroactively, to January 1, 2019. The application is easy and does not cost a lot. Be sure to do the payroll and take some payroll for yourself. 

There are a number of other tax strategy steps you can take. Please consult an experienced small business tax accountant before you do. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced small business financial advisors who can assist you and represent you before the IRS and even do your payroll. Call us at (301) 365-1974 or email info@cpa-maryland.com. A.K. Burton, PC serves the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County areas.

Tax Preparation 2020: No Time Like Now to Make next Year’s Returns Easier

Tax Season 2019 is over.

Yay!! Taxes are filed! Time to party and enjoy life until next April, right?

Wrong.

Well, yes, you could procrastinate doing your tax preparation like millions of other Americans. Out of sight, out of mind. That works for some folks, but not for others. Often, that means delaying the inevitable. You hope that the mistakes you made on your returns will not be repeated next year.

tax returns AK Burton

There is a better way. Here at A.K. Burton, PC, we specialize in helping our clients tax plan. Even if it seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, we are here to help you. We can help prepare now, this year, to get your tax plan in order and get ahead of the game. Here are several ways you can prepare for next year’s tax return now:

  1. Plan your tax write-offs: You have old equipment (mowers, tractors, espresso-makers, computers, cars, etc.) that needs to be replaced. Now is the time to plan on purchasing that equipment to use in your business. However, before you purchase the new equipment that is high-dollar, check with your financial adviser on the tax benefits of the items.
  2. Set up estimated tax payments: When you filed your 2018 taxes this year, your accountant may have advised you to begin paying your estimated tax bill for 2019, now. Depending on your 2019 projected income and withholdings, your accountant may give you estimates for federal, state, and local taxes. Pay attention to your payment options.  For a federal estimated payment, you can register and pay online at www.EFTPS.gov or you may have the option of sending payments by direct mail. You may be advised to pay monthly or quarterly. Paying ahead and lessening your burden (or erasing it altogether) by April 15, 2020, is a guaranteed way to get ahead. If you need to generate estimated payments for 2019, AK Burton PC provides this service.
  3. Make changes to your withholding: If you had a child, got married, got divorced, adopted a child, purchased a home, or made other life changes, you may need to adjust your withholdings from your pay. If so, file a new W-4 with your employer. Many of our clients seek our advice on this topic. Choosing the wrong number of allowances can lead to an unwanted surprise when filing your taxes.
  4. Give more to your 401k: You may not be working all your life. You may have plans to retire one day. If so, then put more money into your company or private 401k account. You can contribute up to $19,000 each year now, excluding catch-up contributions. If you’re interested in maximizing your retirement and minimizing your tax liability, A.K. Burton, PC is here to help you.
  5. Re-examine your business structure: “Business as usual” is not always a smart strategy. Becoming an LLC, S or C Corporation may be an upgrade that you need. Check with your tax adviser for the designations which may benefit your tax strategy. At AK Burton, PC we take the time to understand our small business clients and maximize tax strategies such as restructuring.
  6. Stop procrastinating! Whether your business has just begun or has been around for several years, there are evolving tax strategies to consider. Stop procrastinating and make the changes now. It takes time, and you may have to make some adjustments. But in the long term, it will be worth it for you, your business, your clients, and your family.

Here at A.K. Burton, PC we specialize in tax planning and strategies. We provide the services that our clients need in an ever-evolving work and regulatory environment. It is our mission to use our expertise to help our clients achieve the best results possible for their unique circumstances.  Today is the day to begin that strategy. Contact one of our tax advisers at (301) 365-1974 or email us at info@cpa-maryland.com. We serve the Bethesda, MD and the Washington, D.C. area.

New Tax Laws You Need to Know as You File Your 2018 Tax Return

It’s the day of the year that makes millions of taxpayers nervous, thousands of IRS employees happy and ALL accountants work overtime.

And, all three of those groups should know that tax laws change year to year. There were major changes passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Trump last year that all taxpayers and business owners should know.

Here are some new tax laws (2018) that you should keep in mind as you file your taxes in 2019:

  1. Standard Deductions increased: Married and filing jointly increased from $13,000 to $24,000. Single taxpayers and those who are married and file separately have an increase from $6,500 to $12,000. Heads of households went from $9,550 to $18,000.
  2. Personal Exemption: The $4,050 personal tax exemption has been eliminated.
  3. The top income tax rate changed:  Individuals with incomes of $500,000 or higher will be at the new 37 percent top rate. Those filing jointly at $600,000 or up and married will be at the top rate. (The top tax brackets are found here.)
  4. Child Tax Credit: It is now worth up to $2,000 per qualifying child. The age cut-off is still 17. (Children must be under 17 at the end of the year to claim the credit). The refundable portion is now only $1,400. The earned income threshold for the refundable credit is lowered to $2,500. Phase out for the child tax credit increases in 2018 to $200,000 ($400,000 for joint filers). The phase out applies to the new $500 credit for other dependents. (Child must have a valid SSN to qualify for the $2,000 Child Tax Credit.)
  5. Home Equity Loans: It limits the deductibility of mortgage interest up to $750,000 of debt used to buy a home. It also does not allow deducting the interest on home equity loans
  6. Moving expenses eliminated: Once, over a million taxpayers claimed this deduction. This exemption has been totally scrapped. Only member of the military on active duty can claim this deduction.
  7. Tax Preparation Fees are eliminated: Fees you paid to your accountant or tax preparer were once combined with other miscellaneous deductions and deductible to the extent the total exceeded 2% of your adjusted gross income. Unfortunately, this deduction has also been deleted.
  8. Job expenses: In the past deductions for licenses, medical tests, tools, clothing and equipment were deductible. They can only now be deducted by the employer.
  9. Parking and transit fees: Up to $255 per month from their employer towards parking and transit costs were allowed. Employers could also deduct these reimbursements, which were also tax-free to the employee. Employers can no longer deduct these reimbursements.

So, as you can see, filing your individual, married or business taxes from 2018 will look much different than they did in the past. Many of these changes will make filing less complicated for some and more complicated for others. If you are unsure of what you can claim, consult your licensed tax accountant or tax adviser.

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced and licensed tax advisers who are quite knowledgeable of the 2018 tax law changes. They can assist you or your business in filing your taxes and also represent you to the IRS. We serve Bethesda, MD and Washington, D. C. Contact us at (301) 365-1974 or info@cpa-maryland.com.