- There will be a return to the "phase-out" of itemized deductions to the extent your AGI (adjusted gross income) exceeds a certain threshold. Therefore, 3% of the amount that exceeds this threshold will reduce your allowable itemized deductions.
- The "phase-out" of personal exemptions will be reinstated as well. Personal exemptions would be reduced 2% for each $2,500 by which the taxpayer’s AGI exceeds a certain threshold amount. The deduction for the personal exemption would be completely eliminated at approximately $175,000 for single taxpayers and $260,000 for married couples filing a joint return.
- Mortgage insurance premiums will no longer be deductible. (There presently is legislation pending which would extend the ability to deduct this expense).
- Medical expenses will be deductible as an itemized deduction to the extent those expenses exceed 7.5% of a taxpayers' AGI. Starting in 2012 the threshold increases to 10% of AGI. However, taxpayers who are 65 or older before January 1, 2013 will continue to be able to deduct their medical expenses to the extent the expenses exceed 7.5% for the taxable years 2013 through 2016.
- There have been discussions by both political parties in favor of eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on homes that are not the primary residence of a taxpayer. Presently, there is no actual bill, but since there seems to be bipartisan support C&R wants to inform you of this possibility. Taxpayers who are considering purchasing a vacation home, and are counting on a taxable mortgage interest deduction should factor in to their decision making process that the deduction may not be available long term.
- There have been discussions regarding the limitation of the charitable deduction for upper income taxpayers. The Obama proposal would limit the value of the itemized deduction to 28% for couples with incomes greater than $250,000 and individuals with incomes greater than $200,000. Although this has been proposed previously C&R does not believe that there is a high likelihood of legislation passing Congress due to large opposition by non-profit organizations.
Cover & Rossiter will be holding seminars at both our Wilmington and Middletown offices to discuss these changes and offer strategies for being proactive in 2012. The dates of these seminars are as follows: