< Back to Thought Leadership

Year-End Review of New Tax Law Changes

As 2018 comes to a close, reviewing the changes to the new tax laws can prove to be vital as business owners and individuals plan for their 2018 tax liability.  After year-end, it’s generally too late to take action to reduce 2018 taxes. Therefore, business owners may want to shift their focus to assessing whether they’ll likely owe taxes or get a refund when they file their returns this spring, so they can plan accordingly.

Taxation of Pass-Through Entities

These changes generally affect owners of S corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs) treated as partnerships, as well as sole proprietors:

  • Drops of individual income tax rates ranging from 0 to 4 percentage points (depending on the bracket) to 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%
  • A new 20% qualified business income deduction for eligible owners (the Section 199A deduction)
  • Changes to many other tax breaks for individuals that will impact owners’ overall tax liability

Taxation of Corporations

These changes generally affect C corporations, personal service corporations (PSCs) and LLCs treated as C corporations:

  • Replacement of graduated corporate rates ranging from 15% to 35% with a flat corporate rate of 21%
  • Replacement of the flat PSC rate of 35% with a flat rate of 21%
  • Repeal of the 20% corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT)

Tax Break Positives

These changes generally apply to both pass-through entities and corporations:

  • Doubling of bonus depreciation to 100% and expansion of qualified assets to include used assets
  • Doubling of the Section 179 expensing limit to $1 million and an increase of the expensing phaseout threshold to $2.5 million
  • A new tax credit for employer-paid family and medical leave

Tax Break Negatives

These changes generally also apply to both pass-through entities and corporations:

  • A new disallowance of deductions for net interest expense in excess of 30% of the business’s adjusted taxable income (exceptions apply)
  • New limits on net operating loss (NOL) deductions
  • Elimination of the Section 199 deduction (not to be confused with the new Sec. 199A deduction), which was for qualified domestic production activities and commonly referred to as the “manufacturers’ deduction”
  • A new rule limiting like-kind exchanges to real property that is not held primarily for sale (generally no more like-kind exchanges for personal property)
  • New limitations on deductions for certain employee fringe benefits, such as entertainment and, in certain circumstances, meals and transportation

Preparing for 2018 Filing

Keep in mind that additional rules and limits apply to the rates and breaks covered here. Also, these are only some of the most significant and widely applicable TCJA changes; you and your business could be affected by other changes as well. Contact your local Blue & Co. advisor to learn precisely how you might be affected and for help preparing for your 2018 tax return filing — and beginning to plan for 2019, too.

Identify the best tax planning strategies for you. Click here to go to our 2018 Year-End Tax Planning Guide.

Recent Articles

2019 – Significant Tax Law Changes for Individuals

Significant Tax Law Changes for Individuals in 2019

As the result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), many changes to the tax law went into effect in 2018 and either apply through 2025 or are now permanent. However, there are two major changes enacted by the TCJA which take effect beginning in 2019. Here’s a closer look. 1. Medical Expense Deduction […]

Learn More
What’s Your Business Exit Plan_ Make It Part Of Your Tax Planning.

What’s Your Business Exit Plan? Make It Part Of Your Tax Planning

It may seem odd to develop a business exit plan this soon, but you must look out for your own financial future. You have to consider your company’s income and expenses and applicable tax breaks (especially if you own a pass-through entity). For example, you need to develop an exit strategy so taxes do not […]

Learn More

IRS Waives Penalty for Some Who Underpaid Their Taxes in 2018

If you didn’t adjust your withholdings or estimated tax payments in 2018 and now owe tax, you could qualify for penalty relief. On January 16, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it is generally waiving the estimated tax penalty for taxpayers who have paid at least 85% of their total tax liability during the […]

Learn More