Quick Links to Specific Year-End Tax Planning Strategies & Checklists:

–    Year-End Tax Planning & Strategies Overview
√ What’s New for 2017       <– YOU ARE ON THIS PAGE
–    Year-End Tax Planning Checklist for Individuals
–    Year-End Tax Planning Checklist for Businesses
–    Year-End Checklist for Payroll & 1099 Reporting


Year-End Tax Planning – What’s New for 2017

( Updated December 4, 2017. )



New Law Status:  Well, it’s not law yet….  The House and the Senate have now each passed their versions of tax reform. The changes by each version are many and significant, and different from each other. There will be a joint committee from the House and Senate that will have to reconcile the differences, and then both legislative bodies will have to approve the resulting bill before it goes to the President for his signature.

How would/will the new tax law impact your tax return? There are many changes, and as mentioned above, the legislation isn’t finished. In addition, everyone’s financial and tax position differs greatly making projecting tax impact very difficult.  The New York Times  wrote an article with a graphic presentations where they recomputed 25,000 middle class taxpayers’ tax returns. The results demonstrate that there are both winners and losers.

Click to see the referenced NEW YORK TIMES article. Be sure to hover your mouse over the dots on the graph to see the associated details of the tax payer (i.e. “This is a young married couple with 2 children who earn $82,800 a year.” It will also show how much less, or more, they would have to pay under the Senates proposed legislation.).

2017 Opportunity:    The new tax law, if passed and signed, will go into effect in 2018, but the changes will present 2017 tax planning opportunities for some tax payers. For example, the proposed legislation is doubling the Standard Deduction and it it is projected that only 10% to 5% of taxpayers will Itemize in the future. The associated 2017 tax planning opportunity is for taxpayers to accelerate future transactions that qualify as itemized deductions into 2017 (i.e.- charitable deductions, property taxes, state income taxes, unreimbursed business expenses, etc.).



2017 Changes from the Old Law:  The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) made most “extender” tax provisions permanent, however some provisions were set to phase-out, or were only extended just through 2016.  Please note that the following tax benefits did not extend past 2016 are are no longer available:

  • Mortgage insurance premiums deductions
  • College qualified tuition & expenses deduction
  • Various energy-efficiency tax credits
  • Mortgage debt forgiveness exclusion
  • Empowerment Zone tax incentives


2017 Tax Rates:

Individuals Federal Income Tax Rates have not changed.

Individuals Dividend and Capital Gains Tax Rates have not changed.

3.8% surtax (associated with ObamaCare) on net investment income which began in 2013 is still in place (discussed below).


Affordable HealthCare Act Impact on 2017: 

Employers with 50 employees or more will be required to either provide health insurance to their employees, or participate in a “Employer Shared Responsibility Payment” program.

Individuals were required to have health insurance beginning in January, 2014. Under ObamaCare, states have developed marketplaces to assist and enroll individuals and families in obtaining coverage. You may qualify for a tax credit or cost-sharing subsidy if you get insurance through a state marketplace site. 2017 Penalty: If you do not have health insurance, the 2017 penalty is the same as in 2016, which is the greater of $695 per adult and one-half this amount for dependents under age 18 or 2.5% of household income.


Developing Strategies and a Specific Plan to fit Your Situation:  While uncertainties exist, there remain many solid planning opportunities and we encourage you to schedule an appointment so that we can discuss your situation with you and develop a specific strategy for you.


Circular 230 Disclosure: This is to advise you that, unless expressly stated, nothing in this communication (including any attachment or other accompanying materials) was intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties, or for promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to anyone.