We keep track of all the tax law changes so you don't have to. TaxAct 2018 federal and state products have all the latest tax law changes to help you get your maximum guaranteed refund the fastest way possible!

Businesses

This deduction was repealed, making it no longer available after December 31, 2017, except for certain limited situations.

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This new deduction allows some taxpayers with business income to deduct up to 20% of qualified business income (QBI), in addition to itemized deductions (or the standard deduction), If you have qualified real estate investment trust dividends and publicly traded partnership income, you may be able to deduct 20% of that as well. This deduction is reported on Form 1040, line 9.

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Employees

The maximum amount of earned income on which you pay Social Security tax is now $128,400. When you reach that amount with one employer, they should stop withholding Social Security tax from your pay until the following year. If you work for more than one employer, and your total earnings are more than $128,400, TaxAct calculates a credit for any overpayment of Social Security taxes.

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If you qualify, you can exclude up to $103,900 of your foreign earned income from your taxable income for 2018. If you and your spouse both work in separate foreign countries and meet the qualifications, you may each be able to exclude up to $103,900.

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Families

You may qualify for a credit equal to up to $13,810 of your adoption expenses. If your employer provides adoption benefits, you may also be able to exclude up to the same amount from your income. Both a credit and exclusion may be claimed for the same adoption, but not for the same expense. The credit is permanent and indexed to inflation.

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The child tax credit is now $2,000 per qualifying child. You can also make more and still qualify for the credit, with phase out beginning at $200,000 ($400,000 if married filing jointly). Qualifying children must have a Social Security Number (SSN). If a child has an ITIN but no SSN you may be able to claim the Other Dependent Credit instead.

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This new credit allows you to claim a credit of up to $500 for a dependent who does not qualify for the child tax credit. A qualifying relative may be considered a dependent for this credit.

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Homeowners

If you were one of the many Americans affected by hurricanes or wildfires in 2018, the IRS may be able to help. Visit the IRS Guidance for Those Affected by Disasters page to see if you qualify.

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If you move in 2018, you are no longer able to deduct moving expenses unless you are an active military member and were ordered to move.

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You can still deduct mortgage interest in many cases, but new law changes impose stricter limitations. The new cap for qualified residence loans is $750,000 ($375,000 if married filing separate). This total can only include funds used to buy, build, or substantially improve a qualifying residence.

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Everyone

IRS Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ have been combined into one simplified individual tax form. The new design consists of a two-sided, half-page form. Some sections from the previous design were moved to supporting schedules.

Form 1040, page one:

  • Basic Information (name, address, SSN, etc.)
  • Standard Deduction
  • Dependents
  • Signature(s)

Form 1040, page two:

  • Wages, salaries, tips, etc.
  • Tax-exempt interest
  • Qualified dividends
  • IRAs, pensions, and annuities
  • Social security benefits
  • Additional income and adjustments to income
  • Adjusted gross income
  • Standard Deduction
  • Qualified business income deduction
  • Taxable income
  • Tax
  • Nonrefundable credits
  • Other Taxes
  • Total Tax
  • Federal withholding
  • Refundable credits
  • Refund/tax payment
  • Amount owed

Schedule 1 – Additional Income and Adjustments to Income

  • State and local income taxes
  • Alimony received
  • Business income
  • Capital gain or (loss)
  • Other gains or losses
  • Rental, royalties, and pass-through income
  • Farm income
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Other income

Schedule 2 – Tax

  • Child's unearned income
  • Lump-sum distributions
  • Other taxes
  • Alternative minimum tax
  • Excess advance premium tax credit

Schedule 3 – Nonrefundable Credits

  • Foreign tax credit
  • Child and dependent care credit
  • Education credits
  • Retirement savings
  • Child tax credit
  • Residential energy credit
  • General business credit

Schedule 4 – Other Taxes

  • Self-employment tax
  • Social security and Medicare tax on tip income
  • Uncollected social security and Medicare tax
  • Additional tax on IRAs
  • Household employment taxes
  • First-time homebuyer credit
  • Individual responsibility (health care)
  • Additional Medicare tax, net investment income tax
  • Section 965 net tax

Schedule 5 – Other Payments and Refundable Credits

  • Estimated tax payments
  • Net premium tax credit
  • Extension
  • Social security and tier 1 tax withheld
  • Fuel tax credit
  • Health coverage tax credit

Schedule 6 – Foreign Address and Third Party Designee

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (commonly known as the tax reform bill) suspended or changed many miscellaneous deductions you may have taken in the past.

New limits apply to:

  • Casualty and theft losses
  • State and local taxes deductions
  • Home mortgage interest deduction

Other deductions were eliminated:

  • Employee business expenses
  • Tax preparation fees
  • Investment expenses
  • Some educational expenses
  • Job search expenses
  • Hobby losses
  • Safe deposit box fees
  • Investment expenses from pass-through entities

Because of these changes, Form Schedule A has changed from 30 lines in 2017 to 18 for the new tax year.

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The standard amount you can deduct from income if you don't itemize your deductions is $12,000 ($24,000 for married couples filing jointly, or $18,000 if you file as head of household).

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The personal exemption deductions have been eliminated for tax year 2018.

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The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption amount for individuals rises in 2018 to $70,300 and begins to phase out at $500,000. For married couples filing jointly, the exemption rises to ($109,400, with phase-out beginning at $1,000,000 for married couples filing jointly).

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If you have no children, your maximum Earned Income Credit for 2018 is $519. With two children, the maximum amount is $5,716, and with one child, it is $3,461. If you have three or more qualifying children, the maximum Credit you can receive for 2018 is $6,431 (up from $6,318 in 2017).

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Education & College

You may be able to exclude all or part of the interest from qualifying Series EE or Series I bonds if you use the income for qualified educational expenses. You cannot take this benefit if your modified adjusted gross income is $94,550 or more ($149,300 if you file jointly, or if you file as Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child).

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The American Opportunity Tax Credit income limits remain unchanged for 2018. You can claim this benefit even if the student doesn't receive Form 1098-T from the education institution. Make sure to have your TIN ready by the time you file - you can't claim the credit without it.

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The income limits increase this year to $67,000 ($134,000 if married filing jointly).

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Health care

In 2018, each individual taxpayer must still carry the required "minimum essential coverage" each month, qualify for an exemption, or pay mandatory taxes. The minimum amount of insurance coverage you must carry is calculated per family member and then added together. The fee for not having health insurance is the higher between 2.5% of household income or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child under 18, with a maximum of $2085 per family). This mandate is scheduled to expire December 31, 2018.

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High-income households

The Pease provision that outlined limits on itemized deductions for high-income households has been eliminated for 2018.

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Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act removed personal exemptions, the phase-outs are gone as well.

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For persons who died in 2018, the federal estate tax rate remains at 40%. This tax only applies to estates larger than $11,180,000 - up considerably from $5,490,000 in 2017.

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Miscellaneous

The standard mileage rate for the use of your car or other vehicle jumps to 54.5 cents per mile for business (up from 53.5 cents for 2017) and up to 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (up from 17 cents for 2017). The rate for charitable travel remained the same at 14 cents per mile.

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The most you can contribute to one of these plans increases to $2,650. Your spouse can also contribute $2,650 if he or she meets the qualifications. For certain FSAs, up to $500 can still be carried over to the next year.

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(1) Self-only coverage. The term "high deductible health plan" as defined in Sec. 220(c)(2)(A) means, for self-only coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $1,350 and not more than $3,450, and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $6,650.

(2) Family coverage. The term "high deductible health plan" means, for family coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $2,700 and not more than $6,900, and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $13,300.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

November 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during October, report them to your employer - Details

November 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax.
File Form 941 for the third quarter of 2018. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

November 12 — Everyone
Federal Holiday(Veterans Day) - Details

November 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in October.

November 22 — Everyone
Federal Holiday(Thanksgiving Day) - Details

View More Tax Dates