A Guide To The New Rules On Tax Deductions In 2018

Uncle Sam giveth, and Uncle Sam taketh away. The new federal tax code, which went into effect in 2018 and affects the return you'll file in spring 2019, lowers taxes by expanding some deductions, but restricts or outright eliminates others.

Deductions lower your taxable income so you pay less tax. Here's how deducting items from your income were expanded, restricted, or eliminated.

Standard deduction. The standard deduction is the amount you can subtract from your taxable income if you don't itemize - that is, individually deduct items like mortgage interest, charitable donations, and car loans. Nearly doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 for joint filers and $12,000 for singles pushes it up from $12,700 and $6,350, respectively. Fewer than half of taxpayers who itemized their 2017 return are expected to itemize their 2018 return. If you file using the standard deduction, preparing your return will be much simpler. If the standard deduction is less than the total of your itemized deductions, you'll still want to file by itemizing, subject to the rules below.

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This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation.

Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. Past performance is not an indicator of your future results.

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