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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Over the past month we outlined how the new tax law will impact you, your family and your business. But the reality is, there have always been quick easy steps you can take and it can save you a lot of money.

“There’s no doubt that tax planning should be an ongoing process,” said Tiffany White, a financial planner with Halter Ferguson Financial in Indianapolis.

White said savings could be to the tune of thousands of dollars potentially. But, she said people don’t think ahead often enough to take advantage of those savings.

She sat down with 24-Hour News 8 to offer tips on some quick steps to save money.

One idea is to set up a 401(k) through your employer. It’s a way for you to save for retirement tax-free as it’s invested in the stock market.

White said many Hoosier businesses offer employees an option to put a percent of their paycheck into a 401(k). And she said many employers offer matching percentage.

“Do whatever it takes to get the full employer match because otherwise, again, that’s just dollars left on the table,” she said.

Another way to save for retirement is an Individual Retirement Account, also called an IRA, which unlike a 401(k), You don’t need a job to sign up for one.

But like a 401(k) it’s protected from taxes.

For both the 401(k) and IRA, you face a 10 percent penalty if you withdraw before you turn 59.5 years old. If you pull it after it does get taxed but without a penalty.

White said you can save on your healthcare costs if you have a low-premium high deductible plan. She said those plans are most suitable for people who do not believe they will have expensive doctors’ visits.

In order to take advantage of that, you need to have what’s called a health savings account.

You can put money in without being taxed to help pay for the doctor. You can save on your tax returns and potentially health care costs.

There are state tax benefits you can target, too. You can put money into a 529 plan, which you can learn more about here.

There’s also a deduction for donating to Hoosier universities.

You can also look to federal tax deductions for education costs, through the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifelong Learning Credit.

“So tuition, room  and board, books, computers are a lot of time acceptable expenses,” said White.

It’s never too early to start planning and you don’t need to wait for a tax law to start saving.

White said she recognizes some families do not have that luxury and are living paycheck to paycheck.

In that case, White said it’s important to budget your expenses year round.

“Every last penny is going somewhere but knowing where every single as much as possible the categories of where your money is going because money is power and that will help you be proactive in saving money,” she said.

“Even though you don’t have that extra dollar to invest or to save there are still ways you can save money by just trying to plan ahead and think ahead a little bit and that parlays a bit into having that cash bucket and putting as much as you can into the 401(k) and getting as much from your employer that you can.”

This is the last segment in the Money Monday series. Below are the links to watch any of the past stories about the new tax law:

Got a tax question for Eric?APP USERS: Click here to send your questions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — They line our streets. They’re our neighborhood spots. They fill offices that light up our sky. And now there are skyscraper-sized changes coming to how business owners run their shops.

Next year, there will be significant changes to how businesses large and small file their taxes. The corporate tax rate businesses pay drops from 35 percent to nearly 20 percent.

“All I know is that corporations with the reduction in the corporate tax rate will generally have more cash,” said Chad Halstead, who is a partner in the tax services group for Katz, Sapper & Miller. “I don’t know what they’re going to do with it.”

Some companies nationwide have announced bonuses for their employees, including Indianapolis’s Anthem.

Others have announced investments in the U.S. They can also pay back investors or put the money in the stock market. When President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence came to town, they talked with businesses about what they’d do with lower taxes.

But the corporate tax change affects a fraction of U.S. businesses. Many of them put their profits or losses on the owner’s taxes. It’s a way to avoid paying both individual and business taxes. They’re called pass-through entities.

Most are mom-and-pop stores and entrepreneurs. Since they paid individual taxes in the past, they have had pay as much as 39 percent in taxes. The new law calls for the amount these businesses pay to be slashed 20 percent. That’s a lot of money for those folks.

That is, if it works. There’s still a cloud of uncertainty around this change, if you ask mAccounting tax director Ann Vincent.

First off, not every business will qualify. Because it’s a new law, she and other tax experts are still trying to figure out what finances from your businesses will qualify you.

“It’s pulling in the assets of the company, not just the profits, in the equation,” said Vincent. “And that’s probably the biggest source of confusion for a lot of people.”

It may take years and court rulings to sort it all out. So Vincent has advice for pass-through entities.

“Right now would be a good time to get with their tax preparer and find out what does this mean for me,” said Vincent.Got a tax question for Eric?APP USERS: Click here to send your questions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Divorce settlements in Indiana and around the country could get uglier and more difficult.

Indianapolis divorce attorney Darryn Duchon said it’s because of a wrinkle in the new tax law.

As a family breaks apart, the problems go beyond starting new lives. The divorce itself can be ugly and costly.

Front and center on divorce attorneys minds: alimony payments.

How it works right now: whoever is paying the alimony gets that amount deducted off their income. The money is added to the spouse’s tax returns.

So Duchon said there was an incentive for couples to settle an alimony payment.

But now, he said they are not going to get a tax deduction.

The change is due to the new tax law. It only affects agreements made after the end of 2018.

Indiana happens to have the sixth-highest divorce rate in the country.

Duchon said even though the state has a very narrow definition of what qualifies for alimony, divorce attorneys often struck agreements between the divorcing couple thanks to that tax benefit.

Duchon said that could mean longer divorce negotiations but also it will impact how much money is paid out.

“For the person who is going to get alimony, they could potentially realize more because they don’t have to pay taxes on it,” he said. “The person who has to pay it, it’s going to cost them more because they don’t get a tax deduction.”We’re examining the new tax law every Monday this month. Got a question for Eric?APP USERS: Click here to send your questions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After the tax law passed you may have heard about lines at tax offices to pre-file their taxes. That was thanks to a new limit on how much you can deduct federally through state and local taxes.

If you itemized your taxes, you used to be able to deduct pretty much an unlimited amount off. You could pick two of the three: property, income and sales tax. It would lower your taxable income on your federal taxes.

But starting next year, you will only be allowed to deduct up to $10,000.

Even though the average Hoosier household will be below that $10,000 threshold, some Hoosiers will not.

For example, for a pediatrician and firefighter making $250,000, living in an Indianapolis home worth $250,000, they would have a total property and income tax total of just over $11,000.

Starting next tax season, this family will only be able to deduct $10,000 of that.

“There’s really no way to offset it, it is truly a — the deduction will be limited,” said Chad Halstead, a partner at Katz, Sapper & Miller, a CPA and tax firm in Indianapolis.

But Hoosiers, remember, tax experts say doubling the standard deduction helps soften the blow, because a couple now has $24,000 in income, instead of $12,000 that remains tax-free.

For individuals, the standard deduction is now $12,000 instead of $6,000.We’re examining the new tax law every Monday this month. Got a question for Eric?APP USERS: Click here to send your questions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As thousands of Hoosier parents prepare their children for college, they see it as an investment in their child’s future.

But if you’re not careful it could put you in debt for decades.

Every child has a dream. It’s an unfiltered optimism that consumes him or her to believe in endless opportunity. But what could topple that dream is a tower of student loan debt.

Nearly 60 percent of students leave college in Indiana with debt. On average that debt is nearly $30,000.

Many families start preparing for this financial battle in middle school or high school. College planners say you should be preparing from birth.

“Just as we don’t want you to plan for your retirement at 62 years old,” said Bill Wozniak, from the non-profit INvestEd, which helps thousands of students prepare financially for college in Indiana.

The Trump administration projects most Americans will get a tax break from the new law. What’s one question Hoosier families must ask themselves now?

“Is college present or college future something that you’re considering with that tax refund?” said Wozniak.

He said one option is investing in a 529 plan. You can save money, tax-free, for your education. It used to be just for college. Under the new tax law, the 529 plan can now fund private elementary and high school costs.

Experts say more people can now use it, and the new law could allow more families to save for college.

“We think it’s a very good thing as long as the planning is done properly,” said Wozniak.

That means saving the appropriate amount of money for school and not letting it run out too soon.

But some Hoosier families live paycheck-to-paycheck, and the 529 plan is just not realistic.

“This is the rule, not the exception. This is the main group where families say, ‘I would love to put that money away, I would love to have that 529 account but we’re just not able,'” he said

In that case INvestED said you should plan several years before college to see what schools your child may be interested in, what it costs, and what grants and financial aid programs are available.

There were some other changes that were discussed, but they did not make it into the final bill.

To be clear, graduate students will remain untaxed on tuition waivers, where they teach classes or help conduct research. And you can still claim $2,500 in student loan interest.

Consulting with INvestED is free by the way. For their information, click here.We’re examining the new tax law every Monday this month. Got a question for Eric?APP USERS: Click here to send your questions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The tax law means changes not only for you but for your entire family. Whether or not you will see lower taxes will depend on your family’s situation.

When President Donald Trump came to Indianapolis, he said who his tax plan will benefit.

“For those that love your family, it matters a lot,” he said, as the crowd laughed.

Let’s take a family of four. Here’s how it will work up until next year’s filings. The standard deduction was $12,000. You take off another $4,000 per person, as part of personal exemptions. That means it was taken off your taxable income.

Starting for your 2018 taxes — filed in 2019 — the standard deduction doubles to $24,000 but the personal exemption is gone. That’s a $4,000 difference.

“The question will be will the lower tax rates combined with some of the other provisions in the tax code be enough for them to recoup the $4,000 in lost deductions,” asked Chad Halstead, a partner at Katz, Sapper & Miller, a CPA and tax firm in Indianapolis.

But Halstead said there’s another major change: the child tax credit. It is now $2,000 instead of $1,000 per child.

That money comes directly off what you owe in income tax. A lot more families will be eligible because the threshold for a married couple has been $110,000 in income.

Now it will be $400,000.

“If you’re preparing taxes yourself, there’s a special line item for the tax return for the child tax credit. Make sure you’re taking advantage of that,” said Halstead.

If you have the child tax credit but do not have tax liability, meaning you don’t owe anything in income tax, you will get a refund from the government up of to $1,400 per child.We’re examining the new tax law every Monday this month. Got a question for Eric?APP USERS: Click here to send your questions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — How simple will it be to fill out your taxes next year? Supporters of the new tax law say it could be a single page.

But is that true?

We have heard the calls to change that in Washington, D.C. and Indianapolis, so that you could file your taxes on a postcard or a single page.

Right now the IRS said it takes the average American 13 hours to do their taxes. That’s as long as binging the past season of Game of Thrones, bopping to the broadway musical Hamilton, cheering at the Indy 500 and re-watching President Trump’s inauguration address three times.

So will this new law ease the brain-numbing, head-scratching, time-consuming tax process?

“I don’t see a lot of people moving to what I would call a more simplified tax return filing,” said Chad Halstead, a partner at Katz, Sapper & Miller, a CPA and tax firm in Indianapolis.

Yes, some parts of filing taxes will be easier. For example, the standard deduction will double. That means fewer people will need to itemize every single item they want deducted from their income. But tax experts say that’s not enough.

“Getting rid of the itemized deductions is one piece of a very intricate puzzle,” said Halstead.

There is a 10-40 tax form, which is only two pages.

But tax experts say a majority of people still won’t use that form. There are so many more forms you could fill out, for child care to stock sales to itemizing your tax returns.

“For most folks, it’s going to be business as usual as far as filling out their tax returns,” said Halstead.We’re examining the new tax law every Monday this month. Got a question for Eric?APP USERS: Click here to send your questions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Tax experts say the new tax law has led to plenty of changes on how you file taxes. Many of the changes won’t affect you until next year, but there are things you need to know now.

It’s intended to help keep more money in your pocket and take less time to fill out. Want to read it? You can. It’s more than 1,000 pages though.

To save you the time we narrowed it down to some highlights.

The one you may notice first: the tax brackets are changing.

“A large number of taxpayers will pay lower tax because they will have more of their taxable income hitting those lower tax brackets,” said David Winters, who is the director of tax for Simons Bitzer & Associates, which is a CPA firm in Indianapolis.

Here’s what the tax brackets used to be for married couples.

The new brackets are as follows for married couples:

Just based on the change in tax brackets, 24-Hour News 8 calculated savings to be as follows for married couples:

Another change is the doubling of the standard deduction. That is a flat rate you remove from your taxable income.

This new tax law doubles that amount for individuals and married couples.

Now, a couple can take off $24,000 off their income, instead of $12,000. If you file your taxes as an individual, the new number is $12,000. It used to be $6,000.

“A lot of taxpayers won’t have to itemize and take that time and have to track all that information,” said Winters.

At the same time, personal exemptions are pretty much gone. The $4,000 you used to deduct for every member of your household is no more.

“So for a family of four they would get that $16,000 worth of deductions and in 2018, those are completely eliminated,” said Chad Halstead, a partner at Katz, Sapper & Miller, a CPA and tax firm in Indianapolis.

Another change is that the limit is now $10,000 on what you can deduct on your state and local property, income and sales taxes.

Tax experts say that could impact upper-middle class Hoosiers.

“The deduction will be limited and I don’t know how else to say it but there’s nothing you can do right, it’ll be gone,” said Halstead, when asked if people can do anything to avoid the change.

These are some of the larger changes you can expect thanks to the new law. In the coming weeks, 24-Hour News 8 will break these changes down even further, and delve deeper into this new tax law, so you are prepared to file your taxes.We’re examining the new tax law every Monday this month. Got a question for Eric?APP USERS: Click here to send your questions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — How is the new tax law going to affect me? That’s what everyone wants to know.

24-Hour News 8’s Eric Feldman has been digging into the new tax law to see how it will affect Hoosiers.

All February long, Eric will be taking a look at the changes and how it will affect your wallet. Every Monday at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., Eric will look at another aspect of the law.

Topics you will see include:

Additionally, 24-Hour News 8’s Daybreak will feature interviews every Monday with local tax experts.

Do you have a question regarding the new tax law? Send in your questions below and Eric will answer them on Facebook Live on each Friday of the month. Be sure to follow WISH-TV and Eric Feldman on Facebook to get notifications.