At our upcoming Money Series at Traverse Area District Library, I will be speaking about a topic that I now believe is bordering on an obsession; the new tax law.
Perhaps that’s due to its important changes that affect charitable giving. Perhaps it’s due to how it affects families with younger children. Perhaps it’s due to the new law’s effect on business owners. Perhaps still, it may be due to how it has affected the stock market and the federal budget deficits for as far as the eye can see. The fact is, it’s a pretty big deal, worthy of a small professional obsession.
On the evening of November 14th, the Money Series will provide a sweeping overview of what’s changed in the world of taxes for individuals and couples. And, I’ll give proper focus to the wildly impactful and still-misunderstood small business deduction.
According to the Tax Foundation, about 90% of all tax filers will benefit by claiming what’s known as the “standard deduction.” This means most taxpayers will no longer have to gather piles of paperwork to hand to their tax preparer. No more property tax statements. No more investment fee statements. And, no more verification of the deductibility of charitable donations. Instead, the vast majority of people will rely entirely on the new, much higher standard deduction. It’s a big simplification for many.
However, as a result, many people will need to change their charitable habits in order to gain a tax benefit for their generosity. If you don’t, Uncle Sam will cease to be your “partner in giving.” After all, when the federal and state government reimburse you by lowering your tax bill after you donate money, it’s as if they picked up part of the tab.
My presentation will also provide a layman’s perspective on the very important small business tax deduction. Ironically, it’s the opposite of tax simplification. As a result, I expect it will occupy a good amount of time. If you know of anybody who owns a business, they need to know how Congress handed them a big bone and how to use it to their advantage.
I also suspect the Q&A segment will delve into the mind-boggling projections on the federal budget deficit. While I sense that today’s financial markets don’t foresee an issue with our profligate spending as a nation and, in the end, the US has an infinite printing press, Ernest Hemingway’s quote may someday carry the ring of truth, “How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually and then suddenly!”
Before the upcoming Nov 14th Money Series, there’s also a chance to catch attorney Diane Huff’s talk, “What the Heck is a Trust, Anyway”, to be held on Wed., Nov. 7 at 10:30am at the Senior Center. The Money Series is a program of the Front Street Foundation, a non-profit committed to providing open-access to financial education, for all. To register, go to MoneySeries.org or call (231) 714-6459.