Ask an expert: Greg Geisler examines burning questions as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act takes effect

UMSL Daily

Professor of Accounting Greg Geisler’s research has been published in the Journal of Accountancy, Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Financial Service Professionals, State Tax Notes, Tax Notes and many other journals. (Photo by August Jennewein)
A sweeping new tax code is now the law of the land.
Significant cuts to the corporate tax rate, a larger standard deduction and changes in tax rate brackets are all part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But what will these changes, as well as many others, mean for individuals, businesses and the American economy? 
UMSL Daily recently unpacked a few of these tax topics with Greg Geisler, a nationally lauded professor of accounting at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Geisler, who received a PhD from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, teaches courses on federal income tax, advanced federal income tax, and taxes and investments.
As you review the new tax code, what do you predict will be some of its greatest impacts?
We’re going to go from 45 million people itemizing their deductions to less than 10 million. For those more than 35 million Americans, it’s going to be a lot simpler to file their tax returns because they no longer have to calculate six different categories of itemized deductions. They just take a number called the standard deduction, which is an artificial number that’s going to be $12,000 for someone single and $24,0000 for married couples filing jointly, and use that instead of hunting for all of their itemized deductions.
While many individuals and households will have a simpler process for filing taxes, will they be better off financially?
Next year, compared to 2017, most people are getting a tax cut. It’s not a big tax cut unless you’re very wealthy or own a very profitable business. In those cases, it is a big tax cut. More …

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