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Spring is here! So is Tax Day…well almost

Posted By Mayur S Gangala, University Of Southern Indiana, Friday, March 29, 2019

After every Winter comes a bright and beautiful Spring, also coming in Spring is Tax Day, aka the deadline to file your state and federal tax returns, which happens to be Monday, April 15th of this year.

Taxation is one of those topics that is not the most appetizing to talk about, but it is something everyone must know about. As someone who majored in Accounting, I am one of the few amongst my peers who enjoys talking and learning about the tax code and see how the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act effected my taxes for this year, as compared to last year.

So, this blog post is to give you a quick overview of some of the important line items that have changed since you filed your tax return for 2017 and provide you with some helpful tips to remember as you scramble to get your 2018 tax returns completed.

So, what has changed?

Tax Brackets- Below is a diagram that shows you different tax brackets for 2018 and provides a side by side comparison with what it was in 2017

 

Personal Exemptions- Under the new tax law, the Personal exemption has been eliminated till 2025. Previously, tax payers were able to claim a personal exemption themselves, their spouse (if married filing jointly) and each qualifying child or qualifying relative. Each exemption reduced taxable income by $4,050 in 2017.

Standard Deductions- The standard deduction has increased. In 2018, the new standard deduction amounts are:

·         $12,000 (single)

·         $18,000 (head of household)

·         $24,000 (married filing jointly)

Child Tax Credit- The Child Tax credit increasing from $1,000 to $2,000 per qualifying child. The refundable portion of the credit increases from $1,000 to $1,400 and the earned income threshold for claiming the refundable credit is lowered from $3,000 to $2,500.

 

Right, so now that you are all caught up on what all has changed, here’s are a few tips on how successfully conquer this tax season

1. Identify the right filing status for yourself- just as a rule of thumb, it is best to file taxes jointly with your spouse, if you are married. If you are single and have a dependent that you claim on your taxes, it might be worth your time to see the difference in your tax bill if you were to file as Head of the Household, instead of Single.

2. Don’t forget about Form 1099- Form 1099 is used to report Miscellaneous income that you may have received from freelance work like proctoring a SAT or ACT exam.  The IRS also receives copies of the 1099 forms sent to you. If it appears you did not report all your income, you’ll get a notice from the IRS with a balance due.

3. Contribute into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)- You have until April 15, 2019, to contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA (or combination of traditional and Roth IRAs) for the 2018 tax year.

4. Avoid simple errors- Make sure to check your filing forms to catch any simple errors you might have made. The most commons are – mismatched names and SSNs and inaccurate bank account numbers. 

Tags:  #wellness #SAPro #SAGrad #GLACUHO #H_W #finance #m 

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