Below are additional tax changes for individuals for the 2019 tax-filing season.

Withholding. More than 90 percent of workers saw bigger paychecks throughout the year due to the tax overhaul. Taxpayers are advised to fine-tune their withholding by filing a new W-4 form.

Alimony payments. The TCJA eliminated the above-the-line deduction for alimony payments. The effective date for this provision is for divorce agreements executed after Dec. 31, 2018. Divorce decrees entered into prior to this date are grandfathered. One should be careful amending grandfathered divorce decrees in subsequent years.

Enhanced child-tax credit. The bill will increase the child tax credit to $2,000 (with up to $1,400 refundable). The bill also increased the AGI thresholds for claiming the credit. It will be allowed at higher income levels, phasing out beginning at $400,000 of income, in place of $110,000.

Family Tax Credit. The bill will provide a new family tax credit of $500 for each dependent, other than a qualifying child.

Gain on the sale of primary residence. The current law allows a couple filing a joint return $500,000 gain exclusion as long as the home was the primary residence for two of the past five years. This will remain the same going forward.

Estate-tax exemption will be increased. This will be increase to $11.2 million (with inflation adjustments) for singles, $22.4 million for married couples effective for decedents dying and gifts made after 2017. The Tax Policy Center estimates that 1,700 estates are expected to owe that tax for 2019. For 2017, an estimated 5,300 estates owed the tax.

Individual health-care mandate. There is no longer a penalty for failure to have the required health insurance under the American Care Act effective after Dec. 31, 2018.

Moving expenses. Most taxpayers will no longer be able to deduct job-related moving expenses.

‘529’ plan changes. For the first time, taxpayers may use 529 plan assets to pay for tuition in connection with enrollment at an elementary or public school, private or religious school. NYS did not acknowledge and opt into this new legislation; therefore, only college tuition is acceptable.

Regardless of your income bracket it is very likely the TCJA will impact you in 2019 and the years that follow.


Barry Lisak is an IRS Enrolled Agent, meaning that he has passed special U.S. Treasury Department exams that qualify him to represent clients dealing with audits or tax-resolution cases. Any questions can be directed to him at (516) TAX-SAVE, or mrbarrytax@aol.com.


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