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While waiting on Arizona conformity I could have birthed an orca

waiting, bored, tax law

Do you know that there is a stretch of freeway in Tempe that is slated to have an additional lane added in each of the north and the south bound directions?

And this construction is expected to take 16 months.

That seems like a long while – right? And it may be slightly annoying for those of us traveling in one way or the other for this time, but we can at least see progress.

Do you know long it took for Arizona to decide on what to do with conformity after the federal TCJA law was signed? More than 17 months. That’s right – we saw no visible signs of progress for months and then on May 31, Governor Ducey signed it into law. More than 17 months after the federal law was passed.

In the meantime, so many Arizona tax returns were filed. This would make anything less than full conformity a political nightmare. So, you might say that conformity was inevitable. (If you said that, you have never lived in Arizona – that is all I have to say.)

Have you done a mid-year tax checkup?

So, 2018 is in the books. But there will be some changes for 2019 and beyond. Here are some of the items for the 2019 tax year:

  • Match the federal standard deduction amount ($12,200 single/married filing separate; $18,350 head of household; $24,400 married filing joint).
  • Remove Arizona personal and dependent exemption amounts.
  • Provide $100 child tax credit per dependent under 17 years of age and $25 for dependents 17 and older. The Credit is phased out for federal adjusted gross income (FAGI) greater than $200,000 single/married filing separate and head of household, $400,000 married filed joint.
  • Allow taxpayers to increase standard deduction by 25% of the charitable donations that would have been claimed as an itemized deduction.

Tax rates have also been reduced slightly, with the highest rate now topping out at 4.5%, instead of 4.54%.

Seventeen months. About the gestation period of an orca. And longer than the gestation period of a giraffe (15 months), but quicker than an elephant (two years.)

Some days taxes are dull, and I would rather Google orcas. And that freeway construction of 16 months? We could make a manatee.

Donna H. Laubscher, CPA

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