Before we begin our April 2018 rantings and ravings, I need to make a few observations:

1. ‘Dances With The Stars’ has announced they will be adding Tanya Harding to their next round of competition. I fear for the knees and ankles of anyone that bests her.

2. Officials in Flint, Michigan have announced that they will be sending an engineering team to Puerto Rico to help rebuild their water distribution system.

3. Sources revealed to FaceLip that President Trump ordered the bombing of Russia’s ally, Syria, to gain voter confidence. Secondary reason (really the first) was to prove that he had no knowledge of, or dealings with, Russian election meddling.

4. Stores are beginning to place Tide Pods in locked displays to protect teenagers who consume the product. Why?  Do we really them in our gene pool?

5. Why do we bitch about ‘Big Brother Government’ tracking us when we willingly run around with a GPS enabled smartphone?

6. A lot of homeowners are replacing their lawns with synthetic turf. I noticed that Dewey, Cheatum & Howe Landscaping is offering synthetic dandelions for that ‘realistic’ touch.

It’s April and the Infernal Revenue Service’s annual money grab is well under way.  Today, 17 April 2018, is the last day to avoid further penalties (randomly calculated) by filing by midnight.  However, if you owe (and you WILL) you still need to pay today.  Hand-in-Hand with the grab is the Trump Administration’s declaration of sweeping tax reform for 2018 and beyond.  Let’s review the highlights of the changes:

1. Personal Exemptions – GONE. Yes, the personal exemptions were combined with the standard deduction (and increased).  The new standard deduction is $12K for single/married filing separately and $24k for married.  It looks like a big win, however…

2. Dependent Exemptions - GONE. Sorry if you have kids or other people dependent upon you.  NO exemptions for them.

3. Adjusted Tax Brackets. Too many variables to list everything in this article.  If your Adjusted Gross Income is $158k and up, you get a break.  Everyone else gets F***ED!

4. Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions (over 2% of AGI) – GONE. No more unreimbursed work expenses, investment expenses, tax prep fees, job search expenses, professional publications, union dues, etc.

5. Moving Expenses for new job – GONE (except for active duty military, which is usually paid by the military anyway).

6. Personal Casualty and Theft Losses (over 10% of AGI) – GONE. Sorry for your loss, it’s just business!  However, there is a caveat – if the casualty incurred in a Federally-declared disaster you may still be able take a small deduction.

7. Charitable Contributions – GONE. It will be interesting to see how charitable our society becomes in 2018 and beyond.

8. Tuition and Fees – GONE. Exempt will be the existing federal programs, but say goodbye to deductions for tuition, books and supplies.

9. Mortgage Insurance Premiums (mandated by lenders) – GONE. That house just got more expensive.

10. Energy-Related Home Improvements – GONE. That’s right, going green to help reduce climate change and your carbon footprint just got more expensive.

11. TBD – more itemized deductions under scrutiny for loss – stay tuned for further 2018 tax reforms.

Our sources were able to smuggle out an advance copy of the new 2018 Federal Tax Return form.  There will no longer be multiple forms (e.g., 1040-EZ, 1040-Short, 1040-Long, and the 1040-X for refile/correction of previous returns).  Attached below is the new 1040-S (simplified) form for 2018.

 

1040S Form