I’m sure that I’m not the only person who feels the world has been moving quickly. Between tracking pandemic number, having some presidential hopefuls drop out of the race, having other presidential hopefuls seemingly rise from the grave, and then just trying to still carry out the typical day-to-day activities, it feels like a lot is going on and that it Is impossible to keep up with that much ongoing change.
Of course, it’s impossible for me to not include tax season in the current go-go-go. And when it comes to thinking about change, well, take a look at this recent article that speaks about how many are expecting change to come in the tax arena, too, following election season.
This seems like a valid prediction to me. One of the big cornerstones of what Donald Trump has accomplished as president is the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which brought in some rather sweeping changes. If a Democrat wins the presidency come November, it seems reasonable to expect an effort to at least roll back some of those changes. If Trump wins reelection, it also seems reasonable that he will take it as a mandate to push his vision of the tax system even further.
For now, though, it doesn’t matter.
Even with pushing for it as a huge piece of Trump’s agenda, the TCJA was not passed until the end of 2017. That means all of tax year 2017 still fell under the old rules that existed when Trump was elected. The tax system is a complicated process and changing it takes time.
Also, it is probably impossible to guess just what changes would be implemented. Sure, each candidate has some idealized version of what they would like the system to be. They do not get to simply declare it from on high, however. With the TCJA, there was some sense of who would benefit from the plan, but there were still many surprises when it came to the “how.”
I think the best strategy is to keep operating your finances under the rules that you know exist. They are still the rules now, after all, and working under them is what will lead you to your greatest benefit. If in the future there are changes, then alter your plan and work under the new rules.
And sure, personally we also all have our idealized versions of what the tax system should look like. And if it is something that is very important to you, then it should enter the calculus of how you decide who receives your vote during an election season. And when numbers finally come in, we will all cheer or complain according to how things turned out as it regards that vision. But still, the rules will be the rules – until they are no longer the rules.
And those rules are the rules now as we move through filing taxes for the 2019 season. I mean, can you believe it’s already March? So, if you haven’t started doing your return under those current rules yet, be aware that our calendar is filling up ever faster, so act quickly if you want a better chance at getting an ideal appointment time.
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