How The Senate Tax Bill Affects You

the senate congressional committee holds a press conference about the new tax reform bill

Here’s How Senate Tax Reform Affects You:

The U.S. Senate voted just before 2 a.m. ET Saturday to pass a sweeping tax overhaul worth roughly $1.4 trillion, putting the Trump White House a big step closer to its first major legislative victory – and many Americans closer to a tax cut.
The vote was 51-49, with Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee the only member of the GOP to side with the Democrats in opposition.
The bill is not yet finalized. Saturday’s vote means the Senate and House have passed similar tax reform plans, but negotiators from both chambers will start meeting Monday to agree on a single piece of legislation that both chambers must approve before it is sent to the president for his signature.

Here’s how the latest legislation would affect you:

What deductions can I claim under the Senate bill that just passed?

The Senate bill does away with federal deductions for state and local income and sales taxes, but allows deductions of up to $10,000 in local property taxes. The legislation originally eliminated federal deduction for all state and local taxes, but the property tax exemption was later added at the insistence of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who said she was “delighted” about the change.

What about personal deductions?

Like the House bill, the Senate bill nearly doubles the standard deduction level to $12,000 for individuals (up from $6,350) and $24,000 for couples (up from $12,700).

Any other deductions I could claim?

The Senate bill retains the current limit for the home mortgage interest deduction to interest paid on the first $1 million of the loan. (The House bill reduces the limit to $500,000 for new home purchases.) The Senate version also preserves the deduction for medical expenses not covered by insurance (the House bill does not), but ends deductions for moving expenses and tax preparation.
Why does the Senate bill allow deducting medical expenses not covered by insurance?
Because the Senate bill also repeals ObamaCare’s individual mandate, while the House bill does not. If ObamaCare’s mandate is repealed, thousands of people are expected to drop their health insurance, raising the cost for those who decide to keep it.

And the personal exemption?

The Senate and House bills both eliminate the $4,050 personal tax exemption.

Will the tax brackets change at all?

The Senate bill keeps seven tax brackets, but reduces them to 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35 and 38.5 percent. (The current brackets are 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35, and 39.6 percent.) The House measure condenses seven brackets to four: 12, 25, 35 and 39.6 percent.
I own a small business. What would this mean for me?
The Senate bill allows owners of so-called “pass-through” businesses (that is, businesses that aren’t incorporated) to deduct 23 percent of their earnings, and then pay at their personal income tax rate on the remainder. This issue was a key concern of Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., both of whom announced this week that they would support the bill.

What about corporate tax rates?

Like the House bill, the Senate bill cuts the current 35 percent rate to 20 percent, but the Senate bill calls for a one-year delay in dropping the rate.

When will tax reform take effect?

President Trump and congressional Republicans have vowed to make tax reform law before the end of the year. If that happens, most of the provisions would come into force on Jan. 1.

Will tax reform affect my returns for this year?

The changes will not have any impact on your taxes for 2017, which are due to the IRS by April 17, 2018 (you get an extra 48 hours to file because the traditional April 15 due date falls on a Sunday).

So when will the differences in the bills be hashed out?

The House will vote on a motion to go to conference on the tax bills on Monday evening. The Senate is expected to vote on a similar measure soon after. Congress is scheduled to adjourn for its Christmas break on Dec. 15, but House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he will keep the House in session beyond that date if necessary to get tax reform passed.

Thanks for reading….MD

3 Investing Secrets of the Wealthy

a bulldozer and crane moving around block letters to spell the word wealth

Hey everybody hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving

I was on the road last week visiting some of our clients, and got an idea of a topic I wanted to blog about. I was down in South Carolina, and having just finished up a client meeting I headed over to a sports bar to watch Thursday Night football. While sitting at the bar I was chatting with the patron next to me. A little small talk about what we do for work, and he decided to share with me some of his successes in life. Turns out this gentlemen was quite the successful entrepreneur, so I decided to pick his brain for some investing wisdom.
I summarized that conversation down into 3 investing serets. There is alot you can learn by studying people who have been successful with money, and we want to share a few ideas with you.

1. They don’t obsess over finding the next big thing. They focus on putting their money to work, not wasting time chasing pie in the sky.

2. They don’t care if their portfolio is sexy. Too many people want to own all the most popular tech stocks because they think it makes them look cool. Newsflash….it doesn’t. As long as you are getting the return on your money that you require, who cares if your stocks are popular or obscure. You know who doesn’t care? Wealthy people.

3. Wealth individuals never panic when the market is selling off. In fact, they usually are looking for bargain buy opportunities, like stocks they believe in long term but have suffered temporary price declines.

Hope you guys find these tips helpful. Stay tuned, there’s plenty more to come. Until next time, keep on grinding.


Tax Proposal Leaves 401k Contributions Alone

401k plan contribution limits will remain unchanges in the new tax plan

In the latest development regarding the new tax proposal, the most recent draft bill once again leaves the 401k contribution cap alone. There had been much back and forth recently about potential changes to the cap (currently $18,000), with some suggesting setting the bar as low as $2,400, but it appears for the time being that things will remain as they currently stand. I for one hope they leave the cap alone, we have a big enough issue in this country with many people not sufficiently saving for retirement. Lowering the annual amount individuals can contribute to their retirement just seems like the wrong idea at the wrong time. Stay tuned for what comes next.


Stop Whining About Your Tech Stocks

picture of a little boy whining on a poster that says stop whining

Happy Monday everybody I hope your week is off to a great start. With Monday comes the start of another week, and a chance to hop back into the money making markets. To bring you up to speed, we are seeing some of the big tech names sell off today, which is a continuation of the trend we saw emerge last week. This is causing many investors to freak out and call for the beginning of the next market crash…….like they do every other time the market does anything but go up. Personally, I sit back and laugh at all these market forecasters because they truly have no idea like the rest of us. But nonetheless it’s used as creative click bait to drive views on their websites. So what should one do? Well, if you have a long term time horizon like me the only thing you should even consider doing (aside from doing nothing) is to considering buying more stock of the companies you own. This pullback will be a great buying opportunity as it has been every other time in the past. Are technology companies trading at a premium? Yes. Does that mean they cant continue to improve operational efficiently and trend higher? No.

Moral of the story, stop whining about your tech stocks being down. You had no problem riding them up to record highs, so toughen up and allow for some volatility.


What You Need to Know about the Apple Launch

a picture of the flagship apple store before the new product launch

It’s a normal Tuesday in the market but the tech sector is buzzing….the reason? The long awaited Apple product announcement. Apple has a way of adding a sense of flair and excitement to these product debuts, and this latest announcement will be nothing short of spectacular. We are closely following the live feed for developments as they are unveiled, but let’s take a look at the few things we do know. We do expect an announcement regarding the apple watch, however it is unclear if they will introduce a new series or make upgrades to the existing Apple Watch 2. Some potential rumors around the watch include adding 4g capabilities, changing the style from square to round, and adding the ability to independently make voice calls. We also anticipate the release of better health and activity tracking functions.

Related to the Iphone, we are expecting 2 product launches. The much expected Iphone 8, and the exclusive Iphone X. This being the 10th anniversary of the Iphone, the X makes perfect sense. This is largely expected to be the first iPhone to exceed $1,000 on the price tag. A hefty price that’s for sure. Some of the rumored improvements include wireless charging capabilities, a rear facing touch ID sensor, face scanning technology, and a new “all glass” design that will increase the surface area of the screen. All told there is a lot to be excited about, especially for Apple investors. Stay tuned to the blog for the latest updates as they become available.


Did Someone Say Tax Cuts?

the word tax on a cutting board being chopped in half by a big knife to depict a tax cut

Another day in the markets and this week all eyes are focused on the President’s renewed push for tax reform and a reduction of tax rates. Trump kicked off his tax plan push in the heartland, speaking at a scheduled event in Missouri. Tax reform has been one of the major campaign promises for the Trump administration, and the need to pass it is even more important now with the failure of healthcare reform still in the rearview. The concept of cutting taxes is very much welcomed across the board, and should receive bi partisan support in congress. There is no argument against putting more money in the pockets of the American people, as this additional disposable income will surely create economic growth through spending, investment, and business creation. Additionally, a corporate tax cut will bring America more in line with our global counterparts and finally level the playing field that has been so slanted against our favor for almost 30 years. This won’t be easy, there is no doubt about that. Democrats will bemoan this plan as a hand out to the rich, but anyone that’s ever taken a basic economics course understands that to stimulate growth you need to cut taxes for ALL Americans, not just some. Some assets classes will benefit more than others from tax reform….which ones you ask? You will have to keep following along in our blog to find out!


The Stock Market Doesn’t Care About Political Gridlock

a cartoon depiction of the GOP party and democratic party facing off in a boxing match

With partisan politics taking over Washington DC and political gridlock at an all time high, many market pundits wonder what effect all this will have on the financial markets. In my humble opinion, the stock market couldn’t care less at this point. Political gridlock is nothing new to the nations capital. In fact, politicians actually getting something done is way more rare that partisan bickering. My position is simple, the markets are used to nothing getting done and will continue to march forward as the single greatest wealth generator in the world. Political bickering likely means no significant changes will come about, which spells a continuation of easy money policies are low interest rates…..all of which the stock market loves. Don’t get me wrong, the market is pricing in a favorable chance of tax cuts….so things could get choppy if those dreams are dashed…..but after a brief sell off the market would get itself back on track……like it always does.

Moral of the story……turn off the news, the fear they are driving about politics is costing you money.


No, You Shouldn’t Buy Snapchat Stock

a picture of the snapchat symbol laying on a lazy boy recliner

Another day another dollar in the US equity markets, and today there’s a lot of chatter about Snapchat ($SNAP). Snapchat reported quarterly earnings, or should I say quarterly losses that exceeded even the most dismal estimate from market analysts. Think about that one for a second, we knew this was going to be a bad quarter for snapchat….the company so much as told us so. So the fact that the numbers were even worse than expected may speak to a larger problem brewing at Snapchat. That problem……..Instagram. There has been a sharp deceleration in the user growth of Snapchat ever since Instagram introduced several competing features. Whether or not this is a trend moving forward remains to be seen, but there is certainly a reason for concern. These are a few reasons, amongst several others that I will not be buying $SNAP stock at $12/share and you shouldn’t either.


Welcome to #AskTheAdvisor !

Hey everybody and welcome to AskTheAdvisor! We are so excited to have our new website live so please check it out and let us know what you think. For those of you who may be new to our community, this is my personal and professional effort to help motivate people to achieve their financial goals and empower them to live a life they love. On this site you will hear about personal finance, entrepreneurship, stocks, financial fitness, and more. My passion is to see people succeed, and our goal for this site is to become a hub for all the information and resources you will need to get informed, get inspired, and motivated to set big goals and smash them.

This project is a labor of love for me so if you have a topic you want to hear about or a question you would like to ask, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Thank you for stopping by!