Families with College Students May Save Tax on their 2017 Returns with One of These Breaks

Whether you had a child in college (or graduate school) last year or were a student yourself, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2017 return. One such break that had expired December 31, 2016, was just extended under the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018: the tuition and fees deduction.

But a couple of tax credits are also available. Tax credits can be especially valuable because they reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar; deductions reduce only the amount of income that’s taxed.

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Highlights from Tax Reform 101

We have summarized what we believe are the most impactful elements of the current tax reform.  Please find below the highlights covering individual and business reform changes.

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TCJA Temporarily Lowers Medical Expense Deduction Threshold

With rising health care costs, claiming whatever tax breaks related to health care that you can is more important than ever. But there’s a threshold for deducting medical expenses that may be hard to meet. Fortunately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has temporarily reduced the threshold.

What expenses are eligible?

Medical expenses may be deductible if they’re “qualified.” Qualified medical expenses involve the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. Examples include payments to physicians, dentists and other medical practitioners, as well as equipment, supplies, diagnostic devices and prescription drugs.

Mileage driven for health-care-related purposes is also deductible at a rate of 17 cents per mile for 2017 and 18 cents per mile for 2018. Health insurance and long-term care insurance premiums can also qualify, with certain limits.

Expenses reimbursed by insurance or paid with funds from a tax-advantaged account such as a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account can’t be deducted. Likewise, health insurance premiums aren’t deductible if they’re taken out of your paycheck pretax.

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Seim Johnson Admits Two New Partners!

Seim Johnson is excited to announce the addition of Janie Meyer and Tony Eitzmann to the Seim Johnson partnership!



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Updated announcement as of December 20, 2017: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("The Act") - Business

On December 20, the House approved H.R. 1, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," the sweeping tax reform measure, by a vote of 224 to 201. The Senate had passed the measure, as revised to address some procedural complications, the night before, and the bill has since made its way to President Trump for his expected signature. This article describes key business tax changes that are made under the Act, including a reduction in the corporate tax rate to a flat 21% rate; an increase in expensing to $1 million; a temporary 100% first year qualifying business asset deduction; a 5-year write-off period for R&D expenses; a limitation on the deduction for business interest, and elimination of the domestic production activities deduction. The following is a summary of some of the implications to business taxpayers:

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