Eliminated Deductions

The tax reforms aimed to simplify the federal tax code are now in effect. In addition to eliminating many itemized deductions, the personal exemption is gone. The individual standard deduction, though, has climbed to $12,000. (It is $18,000 for heads of household and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.) For some taxpayers used to filling out Schedule A, the larger standard deduction may make up for the absence of most itemized deductions.1

An important note for business owners. All the vanished deductions for unreimbursed employee expenses noted below pertain to Schedule A. If you are a sole proprietor and routinely file a Schedule C with your 1040 form, your business-linked deductions are unaltered by the new tax reforms.

Here is a partial list of the itemized deductions that are now unavailable for Tax Year 2018.

Investment fees and expenses. This deduction has been repealed, and it should also be noted that the cost of investment newsletters and safe deposit boxes fees are no longer deductible.  In some situations, investors may want to deduct these fees from their account balances (i.e., pre-tax savings) rather than pay them by check (after-tax dollars).

Home equity loan interest. While the ceiling on the home mortgage interest deduction fell to $750,000 for mortgages taken out starting December 15, 2017, the deduction for home equity loan interest disappears entirely this year with no such grandfathering.

Tax preparation fees. Individual taxpayers are now unable to deduct payments to CPAs, tax prep firms, and tax software companies.

Legal fees. This is something of a gray area: while it appears hourly legal fees and contingent, attorney fees may no longer be deductible this year, other legal expenses may be deductible.Contact us to assist you in determining if documentation is needed.

Moving expenses. Now, only military service members can take this deduction.

Casualty, disaster, and theft losses. Still able to deduct personal losses due to a federally declared disaster5  

Home office use.

Unreimbursed travel and mileage.

Miscellaneous unreimbursed job expenses. Exception – classroom teachers who pay for school supplies out-of-pocket can still claim a deduction of up to $250 for such costs.

Job search expenses.

Subsidized employee parking and transit passes.