2018 Individual Tax Rates | International Tax Lawyer & Attorney

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 modified the tax brackets that existed in tax year 2017. In this short essay, I will discuss the new 2018 individual tax rates.

2018 Individual Tax Rates: Historical Background

Tax rates seem to change every time there is a new President. For example, when President Bush got elected in 2000, the Congress passed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 creating a new tax bracket and bringing the rest of the tax rates down; the top rate was gradually reduced to 35% from 39.6%.

Then, under the new administration of President Obama, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 increased the tax rates again with the top rate going back up to 39.6%.

2018 Individual Tax Rates: 2017 Tax Reform

Under President Trump, the Congress passed a major reform of the US tax system through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The tax rates were among the most important changes with respect to domestic US tax law.

While the tax reform preserves the same seven tax brackets for individual tax payers, it introduces new 2018 individual tax rates for almost each of them. Under the previous law, the tax brackets were 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%. Now, the new rates starting tax year 2018 are much lower: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.

It is important to emphasize that these are not permanent changes. The new tax brackets will operate only through tax year 2025; starting January 1, 2026, the tax rates will return to those that existed in 2017.

2018 Individual Tax Rates: Income Thresholds for Tax Brackets Increase

In addition to lower tax rates, the 2017 tax reform also restructured the income thresholds that apply to most tax brackets. Generally, the income thresholds went up.

For example, in order to be subject to 39.6% tax in 2017, taxpayers filing a joint tax return must have had income in excess of $470,700. In 2018, in order to be subject to the top bracket’s tax rate of 37%, the same couple will have to have income in excess $600,000. The income of $470,700 would only trigger the 35% tax rate in 2018.

Sherayzen Law Office has long held the view that the increase in the income thresholds for tax brackets is especially important (perhaps, more so than the decrease in tax rates) to alleviate the tax burden of the middle class. However, we do note with alarm that the benefits might have been spread too widely to include the top 1% of the earners while the 10% bracket was kept essentially the same. We believe that this was one of the reasons why the Congress made the increase in income thresholds for tax brackets a temporary one despite the anticipated inflation pressures in the future.

Home Equity Tax Deduction Eliminated in 2018 | Tax Lawyers News

The Home Equity Tax Deduction used to be one of the most common deductions used by US taxpayers. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated this deduction. Let’s take a brief look at the Home Equity Tax Deduction and what its elimination may mean for your US tax return.

Home Equity Tax Deduction: What are Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit?

A Home Equity Loan is a loan which uses the borrower’s equity in his home as a collateral for the loan.

A Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC is a loan in which a lender agrees to lend a certain amount of funds to the borrower who uses his equity in his home as a collateral. HELOC is different from a conventional home equity loan because the borrower does not receive the entire amount of the credit up front, but uses a line of credit to borrow funds as needed (but not to exceed the credit limit). HELOC is very similar to a credit card, but it is backed-up by the borrower’s real estate.

Home Equity Tax Deduction as of 2017

Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, homeowners who took out home equity loans could deduct from their adjusted gross income (on Schedule A) the interest on a Home Equity Loan or HELOC up to $100,000. This was called the Home Equity Tax Deduction.

Home Equity Tax Deduction Eliminated Starting Tax Year 2018

As a result of the 2017 tax reform (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017), the Home Equity Tax Deduction was completely eliminated. In fact, the deduction was eliminated for both, new and existing borrowers (unlike the home mortgage deduction).

Home Equity Tax Deduction Elimination May Impact 2018 Individual Tax Returns

While the precise tax impact of the elimination of the Home Equity Tax Deduction may vary based on your precise tax situation, it can be reasonably supposed that the end of this deduction may result in a larger amount of taxpayers taking standard deduction rather than trying to itemize their deductions. This will be especially true since, in 2018, the standard deduction will double in size.

2014 First Quarter Underpayment and Overpayment Interest Rates

On December 9, 2013, the IRS announced that the underpayment and overpayment interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning January 1, 2014. The rates will be:

  • three (3) percent for overpayments [two (2) percent in the case of a corporation];
  • three (3) percent for underpayments;
  • five (5) percent for large corporate underpayments; and
  • one-half (0.5) percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis. For taxpayers other than corporations, the overpayment and underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points.

Generally, in the case of a corporation, the underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points and the overpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 2 percentage points. The rate for large corporate underpayments is the federal short-term rate plus 5 percentage points. The rate on the portion of a corporate overpayment of tax exceeding $10,000 for a taxable period is the federal short-term rate plus one-half (0.5) of a percentage point.

The rate for large corporate underpayments is the federal short-term rate plus 5 percentage points. The rate on the portion of a corporate overpayment of tax exceeding $10,000 for a taxable period is the federal short-term rate plus one-half (0.5) of a percentage point.

Interest factors for daily compound interest for annual rates of 0.5 percent are published in Appendix A of Revenue Ruling 2011-32. Interest factors for daily compound interest for annual rates of 2 percent, 3 percent and 5 percent are published in Tables 7, 9, 11, and 15 of Rev. Proc. 95-17, 1995-1 C.B. 561, 563, 565, and 569.

2014 Individual Income Tax Rates

The IRS recently announced the 2014 individual income tax rates with inflation adjustments wit respect to each tax bracket. Remember, since the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law on January 2, 2013, a new tax bracket of 39.4% appeared. Also, note that the 2014 individual income tax rates listed below do not include other taxes such as those imposed on investment income by the new health care laws. Finally, it is important to remember that the default PFIC regime calculations do not depend on your personal tax rate.

As adjusted for inflation, the following marginal income tax rates will apply to individuals in the tax year 2014:

Filing Single

10% $0 – $9,075
15% $9,076 – $36,900
25% $36,901 – $89,350
28% $89,351 – $186,350
33% $186,351 – $405,100
35% $405,101 – $406,750
39.6% $406,751 and greater

Notice the small range of the 35% tax bracket.

Filing Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses

10% $0 – $18,150
15% $18,151 – $73,800
25% $73,801 – $148,850
28% $148,851 – $226,850
33% $226,851 – $405,100
35% $405,101 – $457,600
39.6% $457,601 and greater

Filing Married Filing Separately

10% $0 – $9,075
15% $9,076 – $36,900
25% $36,901 – $74,425
28% $74,426 – $113,425
33% $113,426– $202,550
35% $202,551 – $228,800
39.6% $228,801 and greater

Filing Head of Household

10% $0 – $12,950
15% $12,951 – $49,400
25% $49,401 – $127,550
28% $127,551 – $206,600
33% $206,601 – $405,100
35% $405,101 – $432,200
39.6% $432,201 and greater

Tax Year 2014: Various Tax Benefits Increase Due to Inflation Adjustments

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced an annual inflation adjustments for the tax year 2014 for more than 40 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules, and other tax changes. Revenue Procedure 2013-35 provides details about these annual adjustments.

The tax items for tax year 2014 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following dollar amounts.

The tax rate of 39.6 percent affects singles whose income exceeds $406,750 ($457,600 for married taxpayers filing a joint return), up from $400,000 and $450,000, respectively. The other marginal rates – 10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent – and the related income tax thresholds are described in the revenue procedure.

The standard deduction rises to $6,200 for singles and married persons filing separate returns and $12,400 for married couples filing jointly, up from $6,100 and $12,200, respectively, for tax year 2013. The standard deduction for heads of household rises to $9,100, up from $8,950.

The limitation for itemized deductions claimed on tax year 2014 returns of individuals begins with incomes of $254,200 or more ($305,050 for married couples filing jointly).

The personal exemption rises to $3,950, up from the 2013 exemption of $3,900. However, the exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $254,200 ($305,050 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $376,700 ($427,550 for married couples filing jointly.)

The Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount for tax year 2014 is $52,800 ($82,100, for married couples filing jointly). The 2013 exemption amount was $51,900 ($80,800 for married couples filing jointly).

The maximum Earned Income Credit amount is $6,143 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children, up from a total of $6,044 for tax year 2013. The revenue procedure has a table providing maximum credit amounts for other categories, income thresholds and phaseouts.

Estates of decedents who die during 2014 have a basic exclusion amount of $5,340,000, up from a total of $5,250,000 for estates of decedents who died in 2013.

The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2014.

The annual dollar limit on employee contributions to employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending arrangements (FSA) remains unchanged at $2,500.

The foreign earned income exclusion rises to $99,200 for tax year 2014, up from $97,600, for 2013.
The small employer health insurance credit provides that the maximum credit is phased out based on the employer’s number of full-time equivalent employees in excess of 10 and the employer’s average annual wages in excess of $25,400 for tax year 2014, up from $25,000 for 2013.

Details on these inflation adjustments and others not listed in this release can be found in Revenue Procedure 2013-35, which will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2013-47 on Nov. 18, 2013.