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In late 2017, the IRS issued Notice 2017-64 which provides the annual cost of living adjustments and contribution limits on 401(k) plans, pension plans and retirement accounts for 2018. Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made changes as to how cost of living adjustments are made, the previously released amounts remain unchanged.

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The newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") gave us what some people refer to as "mandatory repatriation" for previously untaxed foreign earnings of specified foreign corporations. In other words, Section 965 of the Internal Revenue Code now requires some taxpayers to pay tax on the untaxed foreign earnings of certain foreign corporations as if the earnings had been repatriated to the United States. This will take effect for the 2017 tax year for a majority of taxpayers.

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The Trump administration's trade policy made a bold statement with a spontaneous announcement to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. The president excluded Canada and Mexico, for now.

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The Internal Revenue Service announced on March 13 that it plans to end its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) on Sept. 28, 2018. The OVDP allowed taxpayers to avoid prosecution by voluntarily disclosing untaxed money held overseas and paying a set penalty. The OVDP, which has been available since 2009, has experienced a significant decline in taxpayer participation as awareness of offshore tax and reporting requirements has increased.

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Under the newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping tax (GST) lifetime exemption amounts have now increased to $11.2 million for individuals and $22.4 million for married couples. After increasing with inflation each year through 2025, the exemption amounts will revert back to the 2017 levels ($5,490,000 and $10,980,000) on Jan. 1, 2026. These substantial, yet temporary, increases in the exemption amounts present a unique opportunity for the implementation of various estate planning techniques that will allow the transfer of wealth to future generations.

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Beginning in 2018, regardless of when incurred, home equity loan interest is generally not deductible under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The IRS has issued clarifying guidance that taxpayers, in certain situations, can continue to deduct interest on a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit or a second mortgage, as mortgage interest. All the interest paid on these types of loans is deductible if they are secured by a qualified residence and the total loans do not exceed the home's cost. Also, the total amount of these loans cannot exceed $750,000, reduced to $375,000 for taxpayers filing as married filing separate.

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The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on Feb. 9, 2018, retroactively extends over 30 tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2016. This one year extension applies to the extended provisions and is effective for 2017 only. Many of the extended provisions are related to energy credits which are especially important for businesses and individual taxpayers.

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Signed into law in November of 2015, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 made sweeping changes to the way partnerships are audited. These changes apply for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and are intended to simplify the audit process for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), an individual had until the due date (including extensions) to reverse a Roth conversion if it did not make sense, which resulted in a date of October 15 of the year following the conversion. With passage of the TCJA, this recharacterization was eliminated.

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Under the recently signed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress added Section 199A, a new provision of the Internal Revenue Code that provides for a potential 20 percent deduction for an individual related to income from pass-through entities and other non-corporate tax structures. The deduction begins in 2018 and is scheduled to end after 2025.

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