Tax law topic for chamber Earls gives update at monthly luncheon

An update on new tax law changes was given Thursday by Daniel Earls of D. Earls Tax Service at the monthly luncheon meeting of the Lake Tawakoni Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Earls’s company hosted the lunch, catered by Glenda’s Café and Catering.

“I want to talk about the changes coming in 2018. Now, that’s a tough subject to talk about considering the IRS has of right now released no new judgments, not any publications, nothing for 2018. Everything we’re talking about is coming from our advocacy groups,” Earls said.

He said it was hoped the IRS would release everything about midsummer when they would be attending tax camp.

Earls referred to the personal tax rate brackets for 2018 and noted the amounts ranged from 10 percent for a single person with income up to $9,525, for married taxpayers filing jointly with income up to $19,050, and for heads of household with income up to $13,600; up to 37 percent for a single person with income of $500,000 and up, married filing jointly with income of $600,000 and up, and heads of household with income of $500,000 and up.

“For next year, the big changes are happening for the itemized deduction. The exemption that you guys have all planned for every person on your tax return forever — the $4,050 per person — that’s all going away. They are substantially increasing the itemized deductions for next year,” Earls said.

The standard deduction will increase to $12,000 for a single taxpayer; $18,000 for heads of household; and $24,000 for married filing jointly.

Earls said the itemized deductions would be limited to state taxes, mortgage interest, medical expenses, disaster losses, charitable donations and other deductions not limited to two percent floor, and all other deductions were repealed.

Other notes on personal tax law included mortgage interest was capped at $750,000 of debt and only qualified for first or second home; medical expenses over 7.5 percent of income are deductible; and charitable contributions are capped at 60 percent of income. The Affordable Care Act penalty for not maintaining minimum essential health insurance coverage was repealed.

On the business side of the update, the corporate tax rate was reduced to 21 percent and made permanent.

Chamber Executive Director Lynn Simmons presided over the meeting and discussed the 2018 membership drive.

Simmons along with Stacy Earls and Larry Pare introduced business members of the month and ambassador of the month as well as new members.

Adam Slaughter reported on chamber business including the upcoming Auction on the Lake, planned for April 27 at Peninsula Ranch and Lodge. An auction preview beings at 5 p.m.; dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and will be followed by the live auction at 7 p.m.

Slaughter said the chamber was accepting auction items and sponsorships. Tickets will be on sale soon at $200 for a table of eight or $30 for individual tickets.

Slaughter noted a new account had been established for building maintenance and repair as the lake office was in need of repairs. He also reviewed a marketing package offered by the chamber.

Upcoming events include a small business roundtable at the lake chamber office on Feb. 27 from noon until 1 p.m. on the subject, “Inspiring Trust.” Lunch will be provided with an RSVP required to Mary Hall or Simmons.