(Photo credit: AccountingWeb)
總的來說，新稅法對大公司，股東，富人和中產階級非常有利。 然而，對於紐約州和加州等高稅收的“Working Wealthy”，總收入在40萬美元至150萬美元之間的人，可能會產生負面影響。 不幸的是，“工作富裕”這一族群屬於昂貴矽谷房地產買家的多數。
公司稅率從35％降至21％，而且這個改變是永久性的; 個人所得也有下降，但這個新稅率將在2025年到期，除非國會將其延長。收入水平每年都會隨著通貨膨脹而上升。 但由於該法使用的是鍊式消費價格指數，因此它們的漲幅會比過去緩慢，但隨著時間的推移，這將使更多的人進入更高的稅率。
它取消公司的AMT, 卻保留個人最低稅率(Alternative Minimum Tax) ，但將免稅額從單身的54300美元增加到70300美元，夫妻的從84500美元增加到109400美元。 這項免稅措施逐步淘汰，單身50萬美元，夫妻100萬美元。
該法案取消了大部分的列舉扣除 ，這包括搬家費用(軍隊成員除外)。 在2018年簽署離婚協議者，對於須付贍養費的人在2019年報稅時將不能再當作支出扣除，而接受贍養費的人還是必須當作收入申報 。
州稅和地方稅仍然可以逐項列出，但現在上限為1萬美元，且必須在財產稅，收入稅或銷售稅之間選擇 。 Primary and secondary residences的房貸利息仍可扣除，但是貸款金額從原本的100萬美元，降低到75萬美元(目前已有貸款的人不受此限制)。
兒童稅收抵免(child tax credit)現在是1000美元，夫婦收入11萬美元，其他人收入75000美元才開始逐步淘汰(phase out)。 而新的法律，將稅收抵免變成兩千美元，其中一千四百美元是可退還的稅收抵免。 而且直到夫婦收入40萬美元和單身20萬美元才開始淘汰。
該法案廢除了 2019年沒有醫療保險的人的奧巴馬醫療稅(罰款) 。
Current tax law is a win for real estate investors and landlords but keeping in mind that many of the changes expire in 2025.
Under the new law, there is now a deduction of 20% for qualified business income for pass-through businesses. Those are businesses where the entity itself does not pay taxes, but the tax is instead passed through to the owner. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S-corporations are examples of this kind of business, as are limited liability corporations.
LLCs are commonly used by real estate investors and landlords, making the new code very beneficial to them. It’s also a popular option to provide privacy and an additional level of asset protections, experts say. It’s also an option when buying a second home or vacation residence that will provide rental income.
This special deduction is allowed against business profits, and does not apply to wages earned by the business owner. Owners get to deduct 20% of pass-through income, meaning only 80% is taxed. They will be taxed 29.6% on income that would otherwise be taxed at 37%. The 6% difference could add up to some serious savings for real estate investors who buy under LLCs. These changes, among others, are big wins for the real estate industry.
Taxpayers can also deduct 20% of income received as qualified Real Estate Investment Trust dividends so they may see savings there as well. And like-kind exchanges of property, also known as 1031 exchanges, will still be allowed. So if an investor sells a property and buys another qualifying property—be it “skyscraper or a piece of dirt,” he or she can defer paying tax on gains from the original property.
Worry over the housing market
Many taxpayers are lamenting the loss of deductions, including the lower mortgage deduction and the new cap on state and local tax write- offs. Although the standard deduction is doubled, many taxpayers who have had significant itemized deductions will see those drop.
Going forward, the deduction for mortgage interest is limited to underlying indebtedness of up to $750,000, or $375,000 for married taxpayers filing separately. Previously, the upper limit had been $1 million. Plus taxpayers can no longer deduct interest on home equity loans, unless the money was used for renovations or other home improvements.
Additionally, the overall deduction limit on any state and local tax, a combination of income tax, real estate tax or sales tax, is capped at $10,000. Previously, there was no cap, and highly taxed residents of states like California, New York and Connecticut will be the most affected by this change.
Many Americans made a mad dash to prepay these taxes at the end of 2017, but found that they couldn’t. Many municipalities assess the tax at the end of the year and the tax payment is then due the following year. You can’t pay 2017’s taxes and 2018 taxes, not assessed yet, and get a larger deduction. You can, however, pay down debt to maximize your interest deduction. Some folks are allowed to make interest-only payments. That could be a viable strategy for some.
Some economists think these tax changes will make home buyers skittish, and bring home prices down, the changes could create a “headwind” for housing prices, according to MarketWatch.
They should induce many homeowners to switch away from itemization. Collectively, the changes are likely to reduce the utilization of the itemized mortgage interest and property tax deductions, and in turn reduce the value of owner-occupied housing as a tax shield.
Without the deductions as incentives, potential buyers may decide to rent instead that there will be an uptick in the rental market. If there’s no real benefit to the buyer, why not stay in a rental?
Estate planning to think about
One area people should be reevaluating is estate planning. Up to $11.2 million per person ($22.4 million for a couple) of an estate can now be transferred without tax penalty, which is double the amount allowed in the previous code.
That means those with significant property holdings might want to gift some of the titles of that property to their beneficiaries now, rather than waiting. This, like many of the individual changes to the code, is set to expire in 2025.
Experts agree that revisiting all estate planning provisions is crucial under the new tax code.
Estate plans created before 2013 should definitely be reviewed, and even recently created plans may need to be reconsidered in light of dramatically increased exclusions.
And although taxpayers should be looking for new ways to save, it’s important to remember many of these changes are temporary. Having an exit strategy is key.
註: 1/28 在Cupertino有一場世界日報和紐約人壽所舉辦的一場有關新稅法的講座, 有空的人可以前往參加.