IItemizing won't be worthwhile anymore for millions of households
While we're on the topic of deductions, many of these may now be a moot point, even to taxpayers who have been using them for years. Even though most major deductions are being kept in place, the higher standard deductions will make itemizing not worthwhile for millions of households.
For example, let's say that a married couple pays $8,000 in mortgage interest, makes $4,000 in charitable contributions, and pays $5,000 in state and local taxes. This adds up to $17,000 in deductions, which when compared with the previous $13,000 standard deduction makes itemizing look like a smart idea.
However, with the new $24,000 standard deduction for married couples, it would no longer be worth it to itemize.
In fact, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that 94% of households will claim the standard deduction in 2018, up from about 70% now.
Obamacare penalties will be going away
Republicans were unsuccessful in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, in 2017. However, the tax reform bill repeals the individual mandate, meaning that people who don't buy health insurance will no longer have to pay a tax penalty.
It's worth noting that this change doesn't go into effect until 2019, so for 2018, the "Obamacare penalty" can still be assessed.
The pass-through deduction -- does it apply to you?
The new tax code makes a big change to the way pass-through business income is taxed. This includes income earned by sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships, and S corporations.
Under the new law, taxpayers with pass-through businesses like these will be able to deduct 20% of their pass-through income. In other words, if you own a small business and it generates $100,000 in profit in 2018, you'll be able to deduct $20,000 of it before the ordinary income tax rates are applied.
There are phaseout income limits that apply to "professional services" business owners such as lawyers, doctors, and consultants, which are set at $157,500 for single filers and $315,000 for pass-through business owners who file a joint return.