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5 Big Losers of Tax Reform: Year-End Tax Reminder

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(Related: Top 10 Least Tax-Friendly States in US: 2018)

With 2018 drawing to a close, it’s becoming clearer who are the winners and losers of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The law, which took effect on January 1, is going to hit some folks hard instead of benefiting them when they go to do their taxes next April.

Those who haven’t been paying attention this year and planning ahead may find themselves with some unpleasant surprises come tax time. Audit defense service TaxAudit has, however, done its homework and offers a list of five categories of taxpayers who may find themselves on the wrong end of the changes wrought by the law.

“There still remains an incredible amount of confusion and worry around the new tax law, and many Americans are concerned they will owe the IRS a lot more this year,” Dave Du Val, chief customer advocacy officer at TaxAudit, said in a statement.

Du Val added, “We’re hoping to put taxpayers at ease with a few easy tips and advice to minimize their tax bill, so no one has to pay the IRS more than they have to.”

1. Homeowners with large mortgages and some with HELOCs.

There’s a new limit on interest deductibility for mortgages and home equity lines of credit. Interest on mortgages that are above $750,000 and that were originated after 12/15/17 is no longer deductible.

Neither is interest on HELOCs not used for acquisition, building, or improvements on a taxpayer’s principal home. In addition, taxpayers with more than $1 million in loans for acquisition can no longer deduct interest from an additional $100,000 in acquisition debt.

2. Itemizers with high combined state and local taxes or foreign property taxes, or employees with unreimbursed expenses connected with work.

Now there’s a $10,000 ceiling on the deductibility of state and local taxes, which penalizes those who live in high-tax states like New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Foreign property taxes are no longer deductible at all, and employees who maintain offices in their homes or aren’t reimbursed for business-related travel, miles, meals or entertainment are stuck.

3. Self-employed taxpayers.

Self-employed taxpayers whose income is above the threshold (taxable income that exceeds $315,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, or $157,500 for all other taxpayers) will be ineligible for the new Section 199A Qualified Business Income deduction if they are in a “Specified Service Trade or Business (SSTB).”

4. Parents and taxpayers with dependents.

Taxpayers with dependents 17 and over will lose the dependent exemption and the Child Tax Credit.

5. Soon-to-be-divorced taxpayers.

Taxpayers divorced after 12/31/18 who must pay alimony will find that alimony is no longer a valid tax deduction. In addition, taxpayers who receive alimony and will have a final divorce decree before 1/1/19 will have to claim the alimony as ordinary income.

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