Tax changes remain uncertain for 2017 filing year


Mary Currie


Business Columnist

Monday, November 6, 2017

The tax changes we expected to be in place by now have not happened; so we still do not know what we will have to deal with and I will have to wait until another column to go over those when they do happened.

There are some tax provisions that were scheduled to expire after Dec. 31, 2016, unless there are tax laws enacted to extend theses provisions, some of them are given below.

The 10 percent qualified energy-efficient home improvements expired.

The deduction, not the credit, for qualified higher education, also known as above the line (AGI) expired.

Premiums for qualified mortgage insurance deduction expired.

The exclusion of up to $2,000,000 of income from debt discharge from a qualified principal residence expires December 31, 2016 unless the discharge has a written agreement that was started before 2017.

The medical deduction floor increases to 10 percent of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for everyone, including those 65 years old and above after 2016. The medical floor use to be 7.5 percent of AGI.

There has been a lot of talk about changing the tax rates; however, as of now we still have the same seven tax rates ranging from 10 percent to 39.6 percent.

Standard Deduction Amounts for 2017 are projected to be:

■ Single $ 6,350

■ Married Filing Jointly $12,700

■ Head of Households $ 9,350

■ Married Filing Separate $ 6,350

Personal Exemption Amount for 2017 is expected to remain the same as 2016, which is $4,050; however, this is one of the things that is being talked about in the new tax proposals is doing away with the personal exemption amount.

On the subject of the new tax proposals being talked about; are the itemized deductions; where the only deductions available may be home mortgage interest and charity as deductions. This means that medical expenses, property taxes, state taxes paid, and other deductions on Schedule A would be eliminated.

We can hope that any new tax law changes will be in place by the end of the year so we will know what we have to work with, especially for the 2017 tax returns. If they let us know the changes, I will discuss them in my next article which will be January 8th.

In the mean time, I hope you have a wonderful, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year!

The information in this article is general in nature and should not be acted upon without first checking to determine its applicability to your situation.

Mary Currie is a certified public accountant practicing in Rocky Mount.