International speaker, tax economist, historian and professor, George Mentz says that 2018 was the first year people filed taxes under the new Trump tax plan. While many of the tax strategies are the same, there are several 2019 updates and new strategies for working families.
- Retirement – Contribute to your retirement before the deadline. Contributions before April 15, 2020, are accepted in many cases. For workers in certain income brackets, contributions are tax-deductible which boosts your refund.
- College Savings – Contribute to your child’s 529 College Savings Plan. Be sure to contribute to a plan that is most acceptable by your state revenue department. Some 529 savings plans actually help you get a bigger state tax refund.
- Standard Deduction – For the 2019 tax year, the base standard deduction is $12,200 for single files. The standard deduction doubles to $24,400 for married couples filing jointly.
- Schedule your Retirement effectively – If you have eligibility for RMDs and Social Security coming up, be sure to talk to a tax professional about coordinating: distributions, Social Security and Medicare/healthcare.
- Small-Business Deductions – You may be eligible for the Qualified Business Interest (QBI) deduction. This is also called the 199A pass-through business deduction. This is Trump’s new 20% deduction for the net income of many businesses that operate as pass-through entities to help working families.
- Use Flexible Spending Money – In some cases, if you don’t use it you lose it. Also, money that funds these accounts avoids both income and Social Security taxes
- Charity Donations – If you itemize on your taxes because your deductions exceed the 2019 standard deduction of $12,200 for singles and $24,400 for married couples, then you can deduct the value of your charitable donations.
- Create a Self-Employed Retirement Plan by Dec 31 – Self-employed workers without employees can adopt a personal 401(k) retirement plan. This plan may allow you to deduct up to $19,000 as a 401(k) contribution and allows you to deduct an additional amount of possibly up to 20% of self-employed income.
- Tax Credits phasing out after 2019 – If you are interested, investigate the: lifetime learning credit which is worth up to $2,000 per return, the $7,500 electric car credit, and the 30% federal solar tax credit.
- Contribute to Your HSA – HSA Health Savings Accounts have various tax benefits where: contributions are made pretax or are tax-deductible, and you can take withdrawals free of tax to cover qualified medical expenses. HSA contributions are tax-deductible, or if made through a payroll deduction, they are pretax.
- Honorable Mention: Gifting – Consider gifting appreciated stock to children or grandchildren. Generally speaking, if a person without income sells the stock, their tax can be much less than what you as a working professional would pay as long as no kiddie tax applies.
In summary, Counselor Mentz says, “As a wealth management professor for over a decade at accredited law schools, tax policy is dynamic. Few government bureaucrats could have predicted 7 million new jobs with the new tax and fiscal policy of President Donald Trump.
About George Mentz
Prof. Dr./Jur. George Mentz is an internationally known award-winning author and speaker. Mentz has recently won a 2016 international book award in the self-help category. Mentz is also the first person in the United States to be multi credentialed as a Lawyer, MBA, Qualified Financial Planner, Chartered Management Consultant, Certified Financial Consultant, and Registered/Licensed Financial Planner. Mentz writes in the areas of Human Performance, Metaphysics, Economics, Spirituality, Wealth Management, and History.
Mentz is a published author for top literary houses including: National Underwriter ALM, O-Books, John Hunt Publishing United Kingdom, Dice.com, ThinkAdvisor.com, eFinancialCareers.com, and has been a Brain Trust member in mainstream media. Mentz is the first author in the USA to have top sellers and bestsellers in the following categories in 2013-20: Money and Monetary Policy, Management Science, Organizational Behavior, Mysticism, Religion, Spirituality, Management, Finance, Comparative Religion, Developmental Psychology, Metaphysics & Philosophical Criticism, wealth management, and even in Celtic Studies.
Prof. Mentz has held faculty and professional positions with top business schools, law schools, and Wall Street Firms and has held licenses in law and investments. Mentz is “America’s First Wealth Management Professor” for postgraduate law school programs as his curriculums were the first to be reviewed for use by the ABA.
Mentz has published over 40 books and Audio Books and has taught over 250 law, business, & graduate-level courses around the world. Mentz holds an earned Doctor of Jurisprudence Latin/JD in International Law and an MBA in International Business & Finance along with International Law Cert/Diploma/Diplomé. George Mentz is an award-winning author and professor and has won 2 national accolades for teaching excellence. Mentz has facilitated financial analyst certification training at the top banks and institutions in the world and at accredited law school programs. Mentz and his finance and management programs have been featured in Wall Street Journal, Investopedia, The Hindu National, The Hill, The Week, El Norte Latin America, the Financial Times, Forbes, Black Enterprise, Reuters, AP, The China Daily, & The Arab Times.
Further, Mentz developed one of the most popular Ethics and Philosophy courses for a New York Stock Exchange Traded Educational Company along with creating the 1st Graduate Wealth Management Program for an accredited law school in the USA. Mentz was also the founder of the Original Tax and Estate Planning Law Review. Prof. George Mentz has been elected to the advisory boards of the Global Finance Forum in Switzerland, The Royal Society of Fellows, and the World E-Commerce Forum in London, England. He holds a professorial faculty appointment at the Graduate LLM Law Program and has held faculty status with several business schools globally. Prof. Mentz’s companies have established educational standards, alliances, and approved operations in over 40 countries around the world. Prof. Mentz has been awarded a National Faculty Award, a Distinguished Faculty Award and a Meritorious Service Medal for Charitable Service, along with receiving a Team Faculty Award and honorary doctorates for his research and publications.
Mentz still advises on a consultative status to the US Government on trends in finance, investments, business, careers, and jobs to assist others in finding gainful employment or advancing in their careers. In his early career, Mentz, a political scientist, was a coalitions organizer in Washington DC advising and writing communications for a winning presidential campaign.
On an international level, Mentz is a White House Commissioner for the Presidential Scholars Program and an Associate of St. George’s House, Windsor Castle. Mentz is based in Colorado and Louisiana USA
*No Tax or financial advice is given herein. Please speak to a licensed professional in your applicable jurisdiction before making any important decision.