Individual Tax Planning, Sept 2018

Are you throwing away tax savings?
I bet you are. There is a saying about taxes: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Most taxpayers miss thousands of dollars in tax benefits and I find them, so I pay for myself.
I spend thousands of dollars on daily updates on taxes, so take advantage of my knowledge. With my custom designed TAX MASTERY© (TM) software, I apply over 350 factors and give you a written report on how to save taxes and how much you will save.
For example, the new “standard deduction” is $12,000 for single and $24,000 for joint returns. My TM report shows you how to beat the standard deduction with actual deductions for medical expenses, sales taxes, mortgage interest, investment interest, and charitable deductions. If you want to know more, read on.

Medical expenses for 2018-2019 must exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. May include a portion of doctor prescribed home improvements

State and local taxes. These are now limited to $10,000 per year but you can combine sales, real estate, and income taxes. Most of my clients spend a lot more on sales tax than the IRS table amount. Do you? Many clients can save $1,000 or more by calculating their actual sales tax and maintaining records to prove it.  One client proved over $10,000 in sales tax by getting receipts for materials used to build an addition to their house. Don’t forget the sales tax on boats and cars.

My advice: Come on in and let me help you calculate your actual sales tax and show you how to prove it.

My advice: If your taxes exceed $10,000, see my Business and Rental articles in this WealthWISe.
My advice: If you have a business home office deducting its portion of the real estate taxes may save self-employment tax.

Mortgage interest You may deduct interest on 2018 mortgage debt borrowed after 12/15/17 to buy a home up to $750,000. The $1,000,000 limit applies to former debt. I have one client who saves more than a thousand dollars per year by deducting home mortgage interest on his sailing yacht as a second home since it has living quarters.

My Advice: Mortgage insurance premiums you can deduct these on the purchase of your principle residence.

Heloc interest new or old is not deductible unless used to purchase your home, a rental property or a business property.

My advice: Make interest on a HELOC  deductible by using it for a home addition, a rental property or a business.

Net investment interest.  One client was surprised to find that investment interest, such as margin interest, is deductible up to investment income (reduced by investment expenses). You may elect to count capital gains and qualified dividends.

The next WealthWISe will get into Charitable and Miscellaneous deductions.

Miscellaneous deductions repealed. In 2018 you can no longer deduct employee deductions, tax preparation fees or investment expenses. I can help you determine if they qualify as business expenses.

About Wis Laughlin

I help clients with tax preparation and IRS representation, estate planning, and complex contracts, including LLC's. As a former IRS tax attorney in their National Office. Law.com picked Wis in 2017 and several prior years as one of the Top Tax and Estate Lawyers in Tennessee. I am your advocate, not your accountant. I don't tell you what you can't do. I show you how to do it.
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