As of now, the deadline to file your 2017 taxes has passed, even if you filed for an extension. If this is news to you, then yes, that happened Monday. If you have yet to file, get on that quick to at least minimize the penalties and interest for which you may be liable.
This also means that now everyone is going to point their focus toward the 2018 tax filing season and just what the Tax Cuts and Job Act is going to make your tax return look like.
I feel like I am talking about this almost every week, but there seems to be news about it every week. The IRS is still figuring out how all the aspects of the reform bill will look in implementation. You can visit the agency’s news website and see that even this month amongst getting through the extension deadline and issues with natural disasters, the IRS also is moving to make small businesses aware of new rules that affect them and clarifying meals and entertainment deductions. There’s no reason to think these bouts of clarification and advice will stop before filing season begins (and seeing some come during the filing season is also a safe bet).
And if you want to know – the general rule now is that those deductions that fell under entertainment are no longer deductible. 50% of meals and beverages can still be deducted, as long as they are not “lavish or extravagant.”
Then there was this recent article from Accounting Today, where many tax preparers were asked about what questions clients had about the TCJA’s changes. It seems like this can best be summed up as “all of them.”
I think this stems from the fact that taxes are such an individual matter. If you’re filing a personal return or a business return, you will have different questions. If you are a small business, you will have different questions than if you are a big business. If you are a high-wealth individual, you will have different question than if you have an average income.
Even within those groups, the questions will change. How will your dependents and children affect the return? Will you still be able to itemize deductions? What is this SALT thing? And then there are pass-through deductions and what qualifies as a specified service, trade or business.
No matter who you are, chances are something in there reads like Greek to you – yet they all appear in the article as crucial issues.
You probably won’t need to worry about the parts you don’t know about, but the parts you do recognize are likely not going to work the same way they did last year. It is difficult to feel content in times of uncertainty, and the constant updates and changes mean that uncertainly won’t go away completely. There are some things that are known, though, and having that knowledge, and asking the questions that do concern you, is a good thing.
So if you have questions, let us help you get the best grip on your situation possible as we enter the final downhill stretch toward the 2018 filing season.
Connect to Us ~ Facebook ~ Twitter
To ensure we don't make the folks at the IRS ornery, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.