Tax Reform: Selected Planning Points

By Herman Spence III

Below are selected planning points regarding recent tax changes. This summary does not discuss which provisions are temporary and which are permanent.

A. Bunching Into One Year Charitable Contributions That Would Otherwise Be Made Over Several Years

The new tax law raises the standard deduction to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. Only $10,000 of state income taxes and property taxes may be deducted. Many expenses that were previously deductible, including investment management expenses and employee expenses, are no longer deductible. Many individuals will now use the $24,000 standard deduction rather than itemizing deductions. Such a taxpayer will, in effect, lose the deductibility of charitable contributions. Some taxpayers may be able to mitigate that by making in a single year charitable contributions they would normally make over several years. Such a taxpayer may have itemized deductions exceeding $24,000 in the year in which charitable contributions are bunched.

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