Feb 8, 2017

Posted in Blog - "Altman Speaks"

New Year Brings Significant Tax Changes

New Year Brings Significant Tax Changes

As Americans look to the start of a New Year, many resolve to adopt positive “New Year’s Resolutions”, seizing the opportunity to start anew and embrace change in the year ahead. Change is indeed in store for this country with the election of a new president. For months on the campaign trail, Donald Trump pledged to do many different things if elected. And while many of those promises have been modified or completely withdrawn in the weeks following Election Day, changes in the tax code are clearly headed our way. Republican control over the House and Senate translates into unrestricted control over the future of the tax policy. Mr. Trump’s choice for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, recently said the incoming administration will embark on the “largest tax change since Reagan.” Businesses, nonprofits, and individuals will undoubtedly be impacted.

What changes are in store?

While specifics regarding Mr. Trump’s proposals have not been made available, we do know his tax plan differs significantly from the one proposed by Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan have both indicated their desire to simplify the tax filing process for most Americans. Indeed, the need for tax reform has been a topic for some time. Mr. Trump’s indicated his major objectives are as follows:

  • Lower and fewer tax rates
  • Elimination of the estate tax
  • Significant business tax cuts
  • Change in itemized deductions
  • Reducing deductions and loopholes for the wealthy
  • Greater tax cuts for the wealthy
  • Changes in standard and itemized deductions

Changes in tax deductions

Mr. Trump has proposed increasing the standard deduction from $6,300 to $15,000 for single filers and from $12,600 to $30,000 for married couples filing jointly. As a result, fewer Americans will need to itemize deductions. This will have significant impact on individual levels of charitable giving as well as influencing the ways people spend on housing. Mr. Trump has also proposed capping itemized deductions at $200,000 for married couples filing jointly and $100,000 for single filers, a change that can have a major effect on how much wealthier Americans choose to give to charity. He has also proposed eliminating personal exemptions all together.

Contact the estate planning experts at Altman and Associates

Tax laws are confusing and proposed changes to those tax laws may have an impact on your financial future. Navigating the complexities of the system while trying to develop an estate plan which suits your individual needs can be challenging. We are here to help. The specialists at Altman & Associates have more than 40 years of knowledge and experience in estate planning; it is all we do. Altman & Associates is recognized as the premier estate planning firm in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia. With convenient office locations, we assist you with all your estate planning needs. Contact us today at 301-468-3220 or online to schedule a consultation.

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