Tax changes for expats 2018

There are some major changes in store for the 2018 tax year and we have outlined some of the more significant ones to help with your tax preparation planning:

— Redesign of Form 1040: The new design uses a “building block” approach. Form 1040 is supplemented with new Schedules 1 through 6, which will be required to use for U.S. tax filers living outside the United States.

— Forms 1040A and 1040-EZ are unavailable to file your 2018 taxes. If you have used one of these forms in the past, you will not file Form 1040.

— Most tax rates have been reduced. The 2018 tax rates are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%. Therefore, the top tax bracket will no longer be 39.6%.

— The standard deduction amount has been increased for all tax filers. The new amounts are:

1) Single or Married filing separately: $12,000;
2) Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er): $24,000;
3) Head of household: $18,000.

— The personal exemption has been suspended. Therefore, you will not be able to claim a personal exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents.

— There are other tax law changes affecting the 2018 tax year, but the ones listed above will impact nearly all tax returns prepared for 2018.