Thoughts on the 2018 Tax Season

April 15th is behind us and if you’ve filed your tax return you’ve probably had the chance to see how the Tax Act affected you. Here are some thoughts on this past tax season and about the tax seasons going forward:

    • In 2018, the look of the 1040 tax form was completely different than in previous years. That didn’t diminish the amount of information needed. It will be a bit harder to trace your income and deductions from previous years.
    • tax seasonIf you are 70 ½ or older consider charitable contributions directly from your IRA required minimum distribution (RMD). This reduces your taxable income and is a much more tax effective way than the usual cash contributions. This distribution must be from your account-do not take the money first and give to the charity.
    • The IRS is already issuing guidance on more information they will require for the 2019 tax season in 2020. If you are divorced or separated we will need to know the date of the decree if we don’t already have it on file.
    • As you have read, Illinois wants to replace the current flat tax to a graduated rate. For household incomes up to $250,000 the rate will be 4.95% or lower. If your family income is $250K or more, your rate goes to 7.75%. The top rate is 7.95% for incomes at $1,000,000 or more. Also, if you are at this level the higher tax is effective for all income, not just the incremental amount. There is no inflation indexing in these rates.
    • If this tax change occurs, the State Business Tax Climate index estimates the overall tax rate will be 48th out of 50 states. It currently is at #36. Our property taxes rate the 45th highest (only 5 states are higher).
    • The Illinois corporate rate will be 10.45% the third highest in the nation.
    • Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri have all lowered tax rates.
    • Illinois has instituted the $15 minimum wage requirement by 2025.
    • If you’re an S Corporation shareholder the IRS is requiring additional information if the company has loss, if you loaned the company funds and were repaid (full or partial), or dispose of your stock. They require that “basis” information be provided with the tax return. If we prepare your corporate tax return we’ll provide this information. If another tax preparer provides form K-1 please ask them for the basis statement.
    • Illinois is sending notices requesting additional information on property tax payments and verification of Illinois withholding payments. If you receive a notice it’s not that something is wrong-Illinois wants further information. Failure to provide this information can result in you losing your Illinois refund.

There are some big changes that are happening and it will be interesting to see their effects. It’s best to stay on top of the changes. We can help you there! Contact us about your financial needs.