The Individual Mandate Lingers On.
You may have heard the Tax Cut and Jobs Act eliminated the ObamaCare individual mandate penalty, but the headlines don't tell the whole story: The penalty is not gone for 2017, and not gone for 2018. It is not gone until January 2019. And if you don't maintain coverage until then, you face a substantial penalty.
The new tax law contains a remarkable new deduction for individuals who earn "pass-thru" business income.(Yup, the law actually spells it "pass-thru".) Basically, if you are reporting business income from K-1, a Schedule C, or a Schedule F, you get a deduction for 20% of your net business income, subject to some limitations.
The NY Times and the LA Times described this a the "Gig" deduction, and the biggest loophole for the next decade. They worry that salaried employees will forgo their paycheck, benefits, and job security (whatever that is), and become independent contractors to qualify for the 20% deduction.
They're both wrong.
The IRS no longer publishes a refund "cycle chart" that predicts when refund checks will be issued. Instead, it allows taxpayers to check the progress of their return up to the point the refund is issued. The data is only updated daily, usually overnight, so don't bother to check more than once a day. Here's how to track your refund.