Business Report Plus: What the tax bill means for you

BY Rhonda Schaffler, Correspondent |

Heading into the holiday weekend, many businesses start winding down operations, unless you are a retailer or restaurant owner, and workers look forward to some time off. This year, both small businesses owners and New Jersey residents may spend some of that time trying to sort out the brand new federal tax law signed by President Trump on Friday.

Our team at NTV has reported extensively on the tax reform debate over the last few weeks. Now that it’s over, we’ll try to help you make sense of what the changes mean for your financial health. It’s a bit complicated for those who itemize their tax deductions
on their federal tax returns, as there will be many changes next year.

Senior Correspondent Brenda Flanagan reported on how residents are rushing to pay a portion of their 2018 property taxes next week in order to be able to claim the deduction when they file federal tax returns for 2017. As you may recall, the deduction on property taxes is capped at $10,00 under the new law, starting next year.

So what else changes? I spoke with Ralph Albert Thomas, the CEO and Executive Director of the New Jersey Society of CPAs about the tax treatment of some other items, like student loan debt and medical expenses.

Mr. Thomas also joined us for an hour-long Lunch and Learn on the tax code changes, answering questions from our viewers.

It’s too soon to know how all these tax changes will impact the New Jersey economy. Most of our state’s congressmen of course were worried enough about a potential negative impact to vote against tax reform. The one exception was Congressman Tom MacArthur, who told our Michael Hill why he backed it.

No doubt we’ll continue to report on the effects of the tax law in the weeks ahead. Next week we’ll look ahead to what tops the agenda for New Jersey businesses in 2018, and we’ll also spend some time looking at one of the most unusual stories of 2017 — the rise of Bitcoin. Happy Holidays!