Q. Now that the dust from tax reform has settled, can we rest easy for awhile?
Unfortunately, no. Tax reform was a disruptive event for both individuals and businesses. From the standard and itemized deductions, to the impact on multi-national companies, all taxpayers are waiting to see how the changes will be enforced by both the federal and state governments. Couple that with the fact that many of the provisions have a sunset date, tax planning is not a luxury – it is essential.
For example, a large part of tax reform’s provisions will expire in a time-released manner through 2027. This includes a return of the estate tax exemption ($11.4 million in 2019) to pre-reform levels ($5.5 million). However, with the potential political climate change in Washington next year, most experts agree that the next tax reform will be much less friendly for wealthy individuals and for businesses.
At the state level, an overwhelming majority of states have enacted some form of economic nexus, requiring sellers to collect sales tax despite not having a physical presence there. The unsettling trend for businesses is that a few states are extending this concept to the income tax realm, which would lead to higher compliance and tax costs.
Finally, countries worldwide, including the United States, are quickly beginning to implement a digital tax to impose taxes on revenues derived from the digital economy, which could impact U.S. companies based on where their customers are located.