Importance Difference in the Final Tax Bill

Well, the tax changes are through committee, and although NAR remains concerned about the overall structure of the tax changes, the conference committee has made some changes. NAR gives this summary, first, about Mortgage Interest Deductions:

  • The final version retains mortgage interest deduction up to $750,000 in mortgage debt on new loans after 12/14/17 and grandfathers current loans up to $1 million.
  • The bill retains capital gain exclusion with residency requirements staying at 2 out of the last 5 years;
  • itemized deduction of up to $10,000 for the total of state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes; the bill precludes prepayment in 2017 of 2018 income taxes.
  • Mortgage credit certificates did not get repealed
  • Homeowners may still deduct the interest of refinanced mortgage debts existing on 12/14/17 up to $1 million, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount refinanced.
  • Interest is still deductible on home equity loans if proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
  • Interest remains deductible on second homes, but subject to the limits.

Here are some of the general provisions that affect most citizens:

  • There is a standard deduction of $12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns.
  • Final bill retains the deduction for medical expenses (including decreasing the 7.5% floor for 2018).
  • The tax rate schedule has seven rates, ranging from 10% to 37%.
  • Upholds the current-law maximum rates on net capital gains (generally, 15% maximum rate but 20% for those in the highest tax bracket; 25% rate on “recapture” of depreciation from real property).
  • The final bill repeals the deduction for personal exemptions.
  • Raised the child tax credit to is raised to $2,000 from $1,000 and keeps the age limit at 16 and younger.
  • The final bill retains the Student Loan Interest Deduction
  • Final bill repeals moving expense deduction and exclusion, except for members of the Armed Forces.

What might impact your business:

  • The final bill allows a 20% deduction for business income, (not 23%).
  • The threshold amount of taxable income where personal service businesses and the wage limit are phased in is set at $157,500 for single individuals and $315,000 for couples. Above this level, the benefits are phased out over an income range of $50,000 for singles and $100,000 for couples.
  • For agents who earn business income from personal services, and their total taxable income for the year is under the thresholds above, they will receive a deduction of 20% of their business income.  If taxable income is over $157,500 (single) or $315,000 (joint) but less than $207,500 (single) and $415,000 (joint), the deduction will be phased out.
  • For those receiving above these amounts, business income earned from personal services will receive no deduction, but any business income received from non-personal services can receive the 20% deduction, but it will be limited by 50% of the amount of wages paid plus 2.5% of the amount of tangible property invested in the business.

Effects on Real Property

  • Cost Recovery (Depreciation) in the final bill does not include the lower recovery periods for nonresidential real property and residential rental property and leasehold improvements. Thus, the current-law recovery periods of 39 years, 27.5 years, and 15 years, respectively, remain.
  • The final bill excludes real property from the repeal of section 1031 like-kind exchanges.
  • There is a 3-year holding period to qualify for current-law (capital gains) treatment.
  • Final bill repeals the current-law 10% credit for pre-1936 buildings but retains the current 20% credit for certified historic structures but modified so the credit is allowable over a 5-year period based on a ratable share (20%) each year.