“There will be some impact to you, especially business owners,” said Barb Smith addressing her audience in the second Chamber Education Series of the year on February 20, 2018. Smith presented Tax Reform: What you need to know. During this educational and engaging event, Smith broke down the major changes impacting both individuals and businesses with the tax reform law signed in to effect in December 2017.
“This is the broadest and biggest change in legislature since 1986,” Smith said. In her more than 25 years experience as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst, she hasn’t seen such sweeping change. “It’s truly about helping clients,” Smith said.
Smith, a Tax Partner in Cherry Bekaert’s Hampton Roads practice, provided her practical knowledge of the ever-changing tax laws, regulations and rulings. Smith also serves as a tax resource to local, regional and national media, and brought her expertise on small businesses to business owners and Chamber members, saying the changes, “could impact any one of you at any time.” “The change in standard deductions is a lot higher than it used to be and personal exemptions are gone for everyone, that is something you need to plan for,” Smith said.
Smith presented 2 rules for filing the 199A and stressed that individuals talk to their tax professionals. “How can you game the system, legally? It’s math,” Smith said.
Details in the tax law are still being worked out and there are things we still don’t know. Smith anticipated it would be another 6-12 months before everything is in writing, however most people will see a difference in their paychecks now.
Smith urged the audience to consider what happens when deductions expire in 2025 and to plan for that now. “Now is the time to consider your options. There’s a tax reason to do things, but there is also a business operations reason too. What provides the most value for you or your business, at the end of the day?”
With changes in state taxes, Smith suggested looking for “cheaper or creative ways to pay state taxes through conservation credits or the Neighborhood Assistance Program, (NAP) credits for some non-profit organizations. At least try to do something to make it less painful, the little things add up,” Smith said.
The series presenting sponsor, Southern Bank welcomed Smith and the guests. Smith’s final piece of advice to businesses and business professionals was, “If your financial advisor hasn’t reached out to you about these changes, please reach out to them, these are new rules.” The Hampton Roads Chamber believes this topic is so important to our members, we are attaching Smith’s PowerPoint presentation here.
The Chamber Education Series continues this spring with Leading Across Generations with Paul Agricola on March 14th and Cybersecurity: Future of the Security of the Cloud with John Warnagiris on April 18th.