Thursday, January 10, 2019

New Federal Tax Benefits Pale in Comparison to Damage Done to Charitable Giving and Churches

I've finally been able to compare the tax forms and tables from 2017 with the new ones from 2018. I'm not impressed.

The supposed massive raise in the standard deduction is not that massive. Though they increased the standard deduction by about $6,000 for singles and $11,000 for couples, they did away with the $4,050 exemption per person deduction. So that makes the actual increase about $2,000 for singles and $3,000 for couples.

Switching the exemption dollars to standard deduction makes it difficult to itemize medical or charitable expenses and get anything back. So, those with significant medical outlays are hurt as are charitable agencies and churches since donating to them gives no tax benefit to the average person, even the average generous person.

2017 form 1040
2018 form 1040
This is a poor trade off that the Republicans own the blame for (227 of 239 Republican representatives and all 51 Republican senators). I much prefer a system that encourages charitable giving, supporting churches and giving a break to those who have significant medical bills or who are paying off mortgages even though I personally had no problems in the medical or mortgage areas. The extra couple of hundred dollars off my tax bill isn't terribly significant in contrast to the damage to societal values that this new tax system encourages.