Some popular tax benefits renewed for 2019

Certain individual tax provisions extended:

  • Deduction for above the line qualified tuition and related expenses, Tuition and Fees deduction
  • Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums treated as qualified residence interest
  • Deduction for unreimbursed medical and dental expenses as the floor was lowered to 7.5% of adjusted gross income
  • Credit for nonbusiness energy property , Residential Energy Credit
  • Income exclusion for cancelled debt for qualified principal residence indebtedness where taxpayer defaulted on a mortgage

Kiddie Tax modifications

  • Recent legislation modified the rules related to what’s commonly called the “Kiddie Tax” for certain children who may be able to calculate their tax based on the tax rate of the child’s parent

Disaster tax relief

  • Disaster tax relief was enacted for those affected by certain federally declared disasters. This includes an increased standard deduction based on qualified disaster losses and election to use 2018 earned income to figure 2019 earned income credit and additional child tax credit.
  • Special rules apply for taxpayers who received a distribution from an IRA, profit sharing plan or retirement plan and their main home was in one of the federally declared disaster areas

Amended returns

  • Three tax laws were enacted on December 20, 2019. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 extended certain previously expired tax benefits to 2018 and 2019 and provided tax relief for certain incidents federally declared as disasters in 2018 and 2019. The extended benefits and the disaster may now be claimed on the 2018 and 2019 tax return by those who qualify.
  • The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the SECURE Act) made other changes, such as increasing the penalty for failing to file a tax return and modifying the rules related to the taxation of unearned income of certain minor children. The SECURE Act relaxed certain retirement plan contribution and distribution requirements beginning Jan. 1, 2020