The AICPA Tax Reform Resource Center is your home for comprehensive coverage on tax reform. This page is your go-to for news, resources, videos, podcasts, learning, and AICPA advocacy positions. Bookmark this page and visit often for updates.
On Aug. 8, 2018, the IRS released proposed regulations on the deduction for qualified business income under Sec. 199A, Notice 2018-64 on calculating W-2 wages, and FAQs. The AICPA Qualified Business Income Task Force will submit comments to the IRS and Treasury.
Exclusive tax reform webcasts
on Sec. 199A
Get an overview of the qualified business income deduction and do a deeper dive with a case study approach to Sec. 199A.
Take advantage of the latest learning opportunities, including webcasts, conferences, and other CPE opportunities. As areas emerge, you can entrust the AICPA to sponsor superior events to help you remain the premier providers of tax services.
Stay up to date with the latest developments in tax reform by listening to our featured video. Learn what is going on in Washington that may impact you and your clients, and what to expect with potential tax law changes. We will update our featured video frequently so you'll have the latest insight at your fingertips.
- Meals, Entertainment & Transportation Fringe Benefits, April 4, 2018
- Tax Reform Update, Feb. 5, 2018
- Tax Policy & Advocacy Efforts After Tax Reform Enacted, Jan. 10, 2018
- Tax Reform Bill Approved by Congress, Dec. 21, 2017
- Tax Reform: Then and Now, Parts 1-3, July 14, 2017
This series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) provides answers to questions we are hearing from our members about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
The proliferation of new income tax provisions since the 1986 tax reform effort has led to compliance hurdles for taxpayers, administrative complexity and enforcement challenges for the IRS. The AICPA encourages Congress to examine all aspects of the tax code to improve the current rules. We stand for a code that is simple, practical and administrable (AICPA Guiding Principles of Good Tax Policy). The AICPA has consistently supported tax reform simplification efforts because we are convinced such actions will significantly reduce taxpayers’ compliance costs and encourage voluntary compliance through an understanding of the rules.
Here are some highlights of the changes for individual taxpayers (from 2018 through 2025):
- The top individual rate is 37%.
- The individual AMT remains, but with increased exemption amounts and increased phase-out levels.
- The mortgage interest deduction limit is reduced to $750,000 on new mortgages ($375,000 for a married couple filing a separate return) and only home equity loan interest on loans used for home improvements or traced to business, investment or passive activity expenditures remains deductible (see Sec. 163(h), Regs. Sec. 1.163-8T and Notice 89-35).
- Individuals are allowed to deduct up to $10,000 in total state and local taxes, which include income or sales taxes plus property taxes. For state and local taxes previously deducted on Schedule C, E, or F, the limit does not apply.
- The child tax credit is increased to $2,000, with up to $1,400 refundable. The phase-out level is increased so more individuals with children under age 17 will qualify for the credit.
- Medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI) are deductible in 2017 and 2018 and then 10% of AGI thereafter.
- There are no personal or dependent exemptions under the new tax law.
- No moving expenses are deductible (other than for U.S. armed forces members on active duty).
- No alimony is taxable or deductible starting in 2019 for agreements executed after 2018.
- No miscellaneous itemized deductions.
- No Pease phase-out of itemized deductions.
Yes, generally, it would be deductible (subject to the limitation cap).
From 2018 through 2025, qualified residence interest only includes acquisition debt (not home equity debt). If a home equity loan was used for improvements to the principal or second home and secured by that home, it is acquisition debt and the interest is deductible.
A revised limitation exists for acquisition debt. Such debt may not exceed $750,000. A grandfather provision exists for acquisition debt incurred before Dec. 15, 2017. A special rule also exists for refinancing.
To determine if interest on a home equity loan is deductible, apply the tracing rules of Regs. Sec. 1.163-8T as modified by Notice 89-35 (pay particular attention to the 30-day rule of the notice). If the loan was used for improvements to the principal or second residence and secured by that residence, it likely qualifies as acquisition debt (within the new dollar limits).
Listen to the podcast: Tax reform and itemized deductions: Mortgage interest. Also, view the IRS’s guidance and examples on the subject.
The corporate tax rate has been lowered to a flat 21%, effective in 2018. The legislation repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) and provides for passthroughs a 20% deduction (known as the qualified business income or QBI deduction and claimed at the individual level rather than at the passthrough entity level). Every client’s situation is different. Therefore, it’s advisable to do an analysis for your business clients to help them determine if a change in entity structure is appropriate.
We’ve received questions from AICPA members about whether it might be better for CPA firms to organize as C corporations instead of passthroughs, given the lower corporate tax rate. We advise using extreme caution for two reasons: (1) switching could possibly raise taxes and (2) a firm could lose the benefit of the CPA brand.
Read the article: Switching to a C corp: Think twice about it for more guidance including different scenarios to consider.
Here are some highlights of the changes for businesses:
- The new corporate tax rate is a flat 21%.
- The corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) is repealed.
- The deduction for business interest is limited to the sum of the following: business interest income, 30% of the adjusted taxable income (as defined in the new law), and the floor plan financing interest.
- The rules allow taxpayers to claim a 100% first-year depreciation deduction on qualified property that is acquired and placed in service after Sept. 27, 2017. A phase-out period will begin in 2023 and end in 2027.
- The rules disallow entertainment, leisure, amusement or recreation expenses.
- The rules repeal the carry back of net operating losses (NOLs) for years ending after 2017 and NOLs generated for years beginning after 2017 cannot reduce taxable income by more than 80%.
Download our tax reform changes chart for businesses to learn more.
A fiscal-year corporation should determine its federal income tax for years that include Jan. 1, 2018 by first calculating the tentative tax for the entire taxable year using the tax rates in effect prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and then also calculating the tentative tax for the entire taxable year using the new 21% rate. Subsequently, the corporation should proportion each tentative tax amount based on the number of days in the taxable year when the different rates were in effect. The sum of these two amounts is the corporation’s federal income tax for the fiscal year. Refer to Notice 2018-38 for details.
The transition tax is also commonly referred to as the repatriation tax or the Sec. 965 tax. In general, U.S. shareholders are required to pay a transition tax on the post-1986 untaxed foreign earnings and profits (E&P) of certain specified foreign corporations as if those E&P had been repatriated to the U.S.
To be subject to a Sec. 965 inclusion, a taxpayer must be a U.S. shareholder of a deferred foreign income corporation (DFIC). A DFIC is defined as a specified foreign corporation (SFC) in Sec. 965(e). That SFC must also have post-1986 accumulated E&P to be construed as a DFIC.
U.S. shareholders subject to a Sec. 965 inclusion fall into two categories of an SFC. The first category is U.S. shareholders of a controlled foreign corporation (CFC), as defined in Sec. 957(a). To be a CFC, more than 50% of the voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote or 50% of the total value of all stock must be owned by U.S. shareholders. A U.S. shareholder, with respect to any foreign corporation, is a U.S. person (as defined in Sec. 957(c)) who owns (within the meaning of Sec. 958(a)) or is considered owning by applying the rules of ownership of Sec. 958(b), 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote of such foreign corporation, or 10% or more of the total value of shares of all classes of stock of the foreign corporation.
The second category of U.S. shareholders subject to Sec. 965 inclusions are U.S. corporations that own any share of a foreign corporation, whether that corporation is controlled or not.
Estates, gifts and trusts
Eliminating the estate tax was high up on the Republican tax agenda and was part of the Republican Blueprint and the House Nov. 16, 2017 version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). However, the legislation, as passed by Congress and signed by the President (enacted on Dec. 22, 2017), does not eliminate the estate tax. Rather, the tax exemption amount is doubled for tax years 2018 through 2025 from $5.6 million to $11.18 million per person, indexed for inflation.
Yes. The new qualified business income (QBI) deduction under Sec. 199A applies to taxpayers other than C corporations; thus, the deduction is available to estates and trusts.
Qualified business income (QBI) deduction (Sec. 199A)
The qualified business income (QBI) deduction of Sec. 199A is limited to 20% of the excess of taxable income over net capital gain. For example, suppose a taxpayer has $100,000 of QBI, $120,000 of capital gain, and $40,000 of deductions. Taxable income in this example is $180,000, and the excess of taxable income of net capital gain is $60,000. Thus, the tentative tax deduction of $20,000 ($100,000 QBI x 20%) is limited to $12,000 ($60,000 x 20%).
If taxable income is less than $157,500 (single) or $315,000 (married), then the QBI deduction is simply 20% of the lesser of QBI or taxable income (subject to limitation), regardless of whether the business is a specified service business or whether the business pays W-2 wages.
If taxable income is greater than $207,500 (single) or $415,000 (married), and the QBI is from a specified service business, then the QBI deduction is $0. However, if the taxpayer has QBI from other sources, a deduction is still allowed for that business. If the QBI is from a specified service business, the deduction is allowed, but is limited to the greater of:
- 50% of the taxpayer’s allocable share of the W-2 wages paid by the business, or
- 20% of the taxpayer’s allocable share of the W-2 wages paid by the business plus 2.5% of the taxpayer’s allocable share of the unadjusted basis of qualified property.
If the taxable income is between $157,500 and $207,500 (single) or $315,000 and $415,000 (married), both the prohibition on specified service businesses and the W-2 and property limitations partially apply. See our Sec. 199A flowchart and listen to our podcast: Sec. 199A: What is it and whom does it apply.
Specified service trades or businesses include “any trade or business involving the performance of services in the fields of health, law, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, consulting, athletics, financial services, brokerage services, or any trade or business where the principal asset of such trade or business is the reputation or skill of one or more of its employees or owners; or any trade or business which involves the performance of services that consist of investing and investment management, trading, or dealing in securities, partnership interests or commodities.” Engineering and architectural businesses are specifically removed from the definition of a specified service business.
Listen to the podcast: Sec. 199A: Application to non-specified service businesses.
The AICPA is committed to being your home for all guidance and resources related to tax reform. Below are a variety of resources and other tools to keep you informed.
Guides, Tools and Templates
- Tax Reform Quick Reference Guide – Get an overview of federal tax law changes and planning opportunities coming out of tax reform. Open to Tax Section and PFP Section.
- Impact of Tax Reform on Planning Toolkit: Learn more about planning opportunities in light of the recent tax law changes in this compilation of planning resources. Open to everyone with some resources locked to PFP Section.
- Tax Reform Planning Letters for Individual and Business Clients: Leverage tax reform opportunities by communicating with your clients on the recent changes and initiating planning conversations with these letters. Open to Tax Section, PFP Section and PCPS.
- Sec. 199A Flowchart: Use this flowchart for determining the Sec. 199A qualified business income deduction. Open to Tax Section.
- Tax Reform Changes Chart for Individuals and Businesses: Use these charts as a reference for the individual and business tax changes that resulted from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as well as practitioner tips for client considerations based on the changes. Open to Tax Section and PCPS.
- Tax Reform Snapshot for Clients: With this brochure, communicate the recent tax law changes to your clients and encourage them to contact you for tax planning help. Open to Tax Section, PFP Section and PCPS.
- Presentations on Tax Reform Updates for Individuals and Businesses: Use these presentations to add value to your client communications by highlighting key points of the new tax legislation. Open to everyone.
Video, Webcast Archives and Other Media
IRS Guidance and Other Resources
- Proposed Regulations on the Deduction for Qualified Business Income under Sec. 199A
- Notice 2018-64: Methods for Calculating W-2 Wages for Purposes of Sec. 199A
- Section 199A - Deduction for Qualified Business Income FAQs
- Proposed Regulations on 100% Bonus Depreciation
- Revenue Procedure on small business accounting method changes under TCJA
- IRS Resources for Tax Law Changes
- IRS Publication 5292, How to Calculate Sec. 965 Amounts and Elections Available to Taxpayers
- Questions and Answers about Reporting Related to Section 965 on 2017 Tax Returns
- H.R. 1 – An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and IV of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018 (Text and PDF), Dec. 22, 2017
Read up-to-the-minute news articles and blogs published in the Journal of Accountancy, The Tax Adviser, AICPA Insights Blog, Tax Section Newsletter and The CPA Advocate — AICPA's premier publications that provide superior content for today's CPA.
Qualified business income deduction regs. proposed, The Tax Adviser, Aug. 8, 2018
The IRS issued guidance on the new Sec. 199A deduction for qualified business income in the form of proposed regulations and a separate notice on how to calculate W-2 wages for those purposes.
IRS issues proposed regs. on 100% bonus depreciation, The Tax Adviser, Aug. 6, 2018
The IRS issued proposed regulations providing guidance on the new tax law’s amendments to Sec. 168(k), which increased bonus depreciation for qualifying property from 50% to 100%, generally effective for property acquired and placed in service after Sept. 27, 2017
Proposed regs. address several transition tax issues, The Tax Adviser, Aug. 1, 2018
The IRS issued proposed regulations on the Sec. 965 transition tax that requires U.S. shareholders of deferred foreign income corporations to pay tax on post-1986 deferred income.
States sue over state and local tax deduction cap, The Tax Adviser, July 17, 2018
Four states have sued in U.S. district court, asking to invalidate the $10,000 limit on the deduction for state and local taxes enacted as part of last year’s tax overhaul.
Coping with the new entertainment expense and transportation fringe benefit rules, The Tax Adviser, July 12, 2018
The changes to entertainment expenses and transportation fringe benefits in the new tax law are significant and little understood. Here’s what to do until the IRS issues guidance.
Sec. 965 transition tax penalty relief issued, The Tax Adviser, June 5, 2018
The IRS announced relief from late-payment penalties and that it will allow late elections for taxpayers subject to the new Sec. 965 transition tax on deemed repatriated foreign earnings.
Tax reform and the IRS: Five takeaways for tax practitioners, The Tax Adviser, June 1, 2018
Tax administration, post-tax reform, is markedly different than before, for several reasons. Here are five quick takeaways.
IRS guidance addresses limitations on business interest expense, The Tax Adviser, April 3, 2018
The IRS has issued initial guidance on the new rules governing the deductibility of business interest in Sec. 163(j), as amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The Sec. 199A qualified business income deduction and fiscal years, The Tax Adviser, March 15, 2018
Taxpayers who receive income from fiscal-year passthrough entities need guidance on when to claim the new Sec. 199A deduction for qualified business income.
IRS issues new tax rate tables, inflation adjustments for 2018, The Tax Adviser, March 5, 2018
The IRS announced the new lower tax brackets for 2018 and a number of other new items affected by P.L. 115-97, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
IRS releases updated withholding calculator and 2018 Form W-4, The Tax Adviser, March 1, 2018
The IRS has completed updating its online withholding calculator that individual taxpayers can use to determine how many withholding allowances they should claim for 2018.
Switching to a C corp? Think twice about it, AICPA Insights, Feb. 26, 2018
Given the lower corporate tax rate, it might be better for CPA firms to organize as C corps instead of pass-throughs. This reasoning requires treading with extreme caution.
Forensic and valuation pros: 4 ways tax reform affects you, AICPA Insights, Feb. 26, 2018
Tax reform affects more than just taxes. It has lasting implication for all CPAs and introduces some uncertainty for financial forensics and business valuation.
Planning for individual clients this tax season, Tax Section Newsletter, Feb. 23, 2018
Our profession is in a time of transformation. Recent changes in tax law, rapid technology innovations, and evolving client expectations serve to challenge our "SALY" way of operating.
Bipartisan Budget Act contains several tax provisions, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 9, 2018
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 has many tax provisions, including retroactive extensions of a number of tax credits.
The AICPA and the ongoing tax reform process, Journal of Accountancy, Feb. 7, 2018
In this Q&A, AICPA policy experts discuss advocacy efforts before passage, implementation challenges and members' role in advocating for guidance and technical corrections.
IRS announces 2018 pension contribution limits under tax reform act, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 6, 2018
The IRS revealed that the recalculated 2018 pension contribution limits are unchanged from the numbers issued before the tax reform bill was enacted.
It's important for CPAs to stay up-to-date with legislative changes, the dynamic political environment, and the profession's tax reform advocacy efforts. Our tax leadership and dedicated AICPA staff are regularly involved in a wide range of tax policy and advocacy activities, including discussions with Congressional offices, Treasury officials, IRS executives, and key stakeholders. Using AICPA’s Principles of Good Tax Policy as our foundation, we also regularly submit comments, including the following submissions that provide valuable suggestions on ways to improve our tax system:
- The AIPCA comments on hardship distributions from Sec. 401(k) Plans and Sec. 403(b) arrangements resulting from casualty losses (Pub. L. No. 115-97, Sec. 11044(a)), Aug. 2, 2018
- The AICPA comments on the impact of Pub. L. No. 115-97 on accounting methods for small business taxpayers, July 24, 2018
- The AICPA comments on Notice 2018 – 28 – Initial guidance under Sec. 163(j), July 9, 2018
- The AICPA's questions and answers about reporting related to Sec. 965 on 2017 Tax Returns, April 19, 2018
- The AICPA commented on House Ways and Means Discussion Draft - Taxpayer First Act Draft, April 6, 2018
- The AICPA requested additional guidance related to reporting Sec. 965 repatriation tax on 2017 tax returns, April 4, 2018
- The AICPA requested immediate guidance regarding IRC Sec. 274 – disallowance of certain entertainment, etc., expenses, April 2, 2018.
- The AICPA, along with 40 national trade associations, commented on the need to permit pass-throughs to aggregate business entities when claiming the Sec. 199A deduction, March 19, 2018
- The AICPA requested regulatory relief from unintended consequences created by the repeal of Sec. 958(b)(4), March 13, 2018.
- The AICPA recommends that Congress address technical corrections on various provisions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Feb. 22, 2018.
- The AICPA requested immediate guidance regarding the new Sec. 199A deduction for qualified business income (QBI) of pass-through entities, Feb. 21, 2018.
- The AICPA is ensuring Treasury/IRS has the appropriate resources to provide taxpayer services and guidance regarding Pub. L. No. 115-97, Jan. 30, 2018.
- The AICPA submitted a list of immediate guidance needed on various provisions regarding Pub. L. No. 115-97, which revised many sections of the IRC, Jan. 29, 2018
Visit the AICPA Tax Policy & Advocacy for additional AICPA comment letters.
- Tax Planning Developments & Opportunities Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Aug. 13, 1-2:15pm ET, 1.5 CPE credits – This webcast provides a comprehensive overview of changes to tax rates, the increased standard deduction and the new QBI deduction. We will also explore tax planning developments and opportunities under the new tax reform law.
- Tax Reform: Overview of Sec. 199A, Aug. 21, Sept.12, Sept. 27, 3-5pm ET, 2 CPE credits – Do your clients qualify for the qualified business income deduction? If so, how do you help them calculate the deduction? Robert Keebler provides an overview of the Sec. 199A deduction and how you can best help your clients take advantage of this new legislation.
- Tax Reform: A Case Study Approach to Sec. 199A, Aug. 29, Sept. 13, Sept. 28, 3-5pm ET, 2 CPE credits – Many questions surround the calculation of the Sec. 199A deduction. Join Robert Keebler as he runs through case studies to assess the deduction under various scenarios and provides some planning strategies surrounding Sec. 199A.
- Tax Reform’s Impact on International Business, Aug. 14, 1-5pm ET, 4 CPE credits – Get a comprehensive overview of the changes and guidance on how businesses can identify opportunities and reduce their risks with international tax strategies.
- Tax Reform Readiness: Top 10 Issues and Opportunities, Aug. 22 and Oct. 30, 1-2:45pm ET, 2 CPE credits - With recent tax law changes, comes new opportunities. Understand the key tax reform issues and identify the top planning strategies to add value to your planning conversations with your clients.
- Tax Reform and the Choice of the Business Entity, Sept. 26, 3-4:15pm ET, 1.5 CPE credits – Learn the advantages and disadvantages for various business entity selections to help you evaluate the best choice for your clients.
- Washington Tax Brief, Oct. 24, 1-2pm ET, no CPE available – This webcast series keeps members informed on what is going on in Washington that may affect you, your practice, and your clients. AICPA staff will provide updates on major-tax related advocacy initiatives. Free event for AICPA members.
- Getting to the Heart of Tax Reform: Individual Tax and Estate Planning Strategies, CPE self-study, 5 CPE credits – Get an overview of tax reform’s impact on individuals, small businesses, and estates and trusts. You will learn some essential planning considerations and strategies for dealing with the new tax reform legislation.
- Tax Reform’s Impact on Corporations and Pass-Through Entities, CPE self-study, 5.5. CPE credits – Gain insight on how tax reform will impact corporations and pass-through entities along with tax planning strategies to help advise your clients.
- Tax Reform’s Impact on International Business, CPE self-study, 5.5 CPE credits – What are the changes that will affect international tax provisions? Dive into planning strategies that U.S. multinationals and foreign corporations doing business in the U.S will need to consider. For a more focused look, dive into these international topics:
- Tax Reform's Impact on Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income and Foreign-Derived Intangible Income, CPE self-study, 2 CPE credits
- Tax Reform's Impact on Other Subpart F Modifications and Inbound Transactions, CPE self-study, 2 CPE credits
- Tax Reform's Impact on Outbound Taxation, CPE self-study, 3 CPE credits
- AICPA National Tax, Washington, D.C. or Virtual, Nov. 12-13, 2018 – This event brings leading tax practitioners and key government officials together to present differing and shared positions for a thoughtful review of potential scenarios, tax priorities, and a pulse check of the ever-changing tax landscape. $100 discount for Tax Section members.
- Sophisticated Tax Planning for Your Wealthy Clients, Washington, D.C. or Virtual, Nov. 29-30, 2018 – Help your affluent clients achieve their financial goals. During our year-end tax-planning event, we will examine every facet of the new legislation and the impact it has on your high net-worth clients.
This page is sponsored by the AICPA Tax Section. The AICPA Tax Section is leading tax forward through tax reform guidance. Get access to exclusive member-only content, tools, guides, webcasts, and news. Join today!
Reviewed Aug. 1, 2018