Avoid Unpleasant Tax Surprises in April

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 introduced significant changes to the personal income tax code for 2018. Some changes reduced the effective tax rate for many people, but certain groups of taxpayers may see their federal taxes increase. Even if your tax rate was reduced, changes to salary withholdings could leave you with a large tax bill when you file your 2018 federal tax return.

Here are a couple of the major changes that could increase your tax bill:

  • Limitation on State and Local Tax deductions – Beginning in 2018, the most that can be deducted for state and local taxes is $10,000. This includes state income taxes and local property taxes. High-income homeowners in California are the ones most likely to be affected by this change. Before 2018, working homeowners were likely to deduct tens of thousands of dollars in state and local taxes on their Schedule A, but that has now been capped.
  • Elimination of personal exemptions – In 2017, you could deduct $4,050 for every individual in your tax household. This deduction was eliminated and offset by an increase in the standard deduction, lower tax rates, and child tax credits. However, if you used personal exemptions to decrease the tax withholding from your paycheck, you might end up underpaying for the year.


A tax professional can help you estimate the impact of these changes.

We recommend that you contact your CPA before the end of the year and ask for a tax estimate. They can collect partial info about your income, deductions, and tax payments and help you determine if you will have additional taxes due. They may also be able to help you identify ways to reduce your tax bill. Having this knowledge in advance will give you time to save up for the payment.

Waiting until April to find out that you owe the IRS thousands of dollars can create significant financial hardship.

Get in touch should you need a recommendation for a CPA.

Image by Everett Collection from Shutterstock


Leave a Comment

Depending on the “money culture” of the home you grew up in, it’s likely that you’ve encountered one of two attitudes toward debt: either you view it as a “slush fund” to be tapped when there’s something you want that you don’t have enough cash to buy; or you think of debt as an evil that must be avoided at all costs.
Griffin Black - Convert to a Roth Account while Conversions Are “On Sale”
Let’s be honest: It has not been a fun year in the markets. With the S&P 500 down more than 20% from its highs in January (and other major indices in similar territory), good news has been about as scarce as hen’s teeth. But they say that every cloud has a silver lining, and, as it turns out, there’s a bit of good news for investors, even when the markets are in the doldrums, as they are currently.

What can we help you find?

Griffin Black Portal

  • Investment Reporting
  • Meeting Notes
  • Account Statements
  • Single Signon to eMoney
  • Billing Statements
  • Document Sharing
  • Tax Statements (1099s, etc)

emX / eMoney

  • Financial Planning Tool
  • Account Aggregator
  • Budgeting & Spending


  • e-Delivery – Going Paperless
  • Tax Documents (1099, 1099R, etc.)
  • Account Statements
  • Pershing Communications