St. Petersburg tax professional: New tax code will simplify filing for many

By Jason Lanning, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A local tax professional calls the new tax code pushed through by Republicans a blend of both tax cuts and tax reforms.

But he says it falls short of the major reform of the 1986 Tax Reform Act signed by President Ronald Reagan.

"That was the last time we had any meaningful overhaul," said Bob Doyle of Doyle Wealth Management in St. Petersburg. "That was true and pure tax reform."

For the average tax paying American, Doyle says the new tax code will simplify the process of filing taxes because it will reduce the need for families to file itemized deductions.

The new tax code doubles the standard deduction, which Doyle thinks the majority of tax payers will use to their advantage.

"It's hard to put people into general buckets, but if you are a person who always has claimed a standard deduction, this is certainly going to benefit you," Doyle said.

Much like the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Doyle said the new tax code promises to put more money in the pockets of middle-class Americans, not just through a doubling of the standard deduction but also through the child tax credit increase from $1,400 to $2,000.

But the new tax code will also benefit major corporations, lowering their taxes -- in some cases -- by millions of dollars.

Protests in Tampa and elsewhere in recent weeks attacked tax cuts for the rich, and Democrats also seized on the political turmoil, arguing the new tax code would balloon the national debt by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

Doyle agrees with that estimate and said there are still some big question marks how major corporations may use tax reductions, whether it be to re-invest, hire more employees or raise wages.

"I think there's a lot of things that we have heard said that I am not necessarily certain are going to materialize," Doyle said.

Most Americans are expected to start seeing tax cuts trickle in on weekly pay checks starting in February, but Doyle says the biggest impact the tax code will have won't happen until spring or summer of 2019.

That's when a majority of tax payers are expected to see bigger tax returns, or refunds.