Accountant: Larger families could suffer from new tax law

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Like a lot of people, Clay Quinton has been finding out about the new tax law little by little.

“I’ve been following it a bit, but I haven’t really dug into details, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m going to save some money on my taxes,” he said.

He said he’s heard things about the increase in standard deduction and tax rates going down that sound like they could be good.

“That makes it sound like I’m going to get a little bit more money back,” Quinton said.

There could be a snagging point for his family moving forward, because Quinton has five kids.

Jared Heward, an accountant with Holmstead, Howe and Heward, said families with that many kids could be in for a tougher tax system.

“If you’re a family that has four to six kids, you’re going to see your tax go up,” Heward said, "because they're taking away what was built in to the tax code to help you take care of your children."

Heward said that’s because the new law does away with the exemption for dependents, like children.

Some of that would be offset because of the doubling of the standard deduction from about $12,000 to $24,000. However, if you have enough kids that likely won’t be enough to save you money on taxes or even stay the same.

“If you have four kids, you go from having $12,000 and another $16,000 to just $24,000 and no exemption, so you’ve lost $4,000 of deduction,” Heward said.

Heward has clients on both sides of the tax bill. Clients with smaller families may get more money back.

Quinton, like a lot of people, hadn’t heard the exemption was going away. But most people don’t really know what could or couldn’t be in the bill or how it affects them. He said not knowing what will happen with large bills like this is frustrating.

“When I hear that the government is going to take less from my paycheck, that makes me happy,” Quinton said. “On the flip side of that you never know what’s really going to happen.”

So Quinton is going to just wait and see what happens for his family.

“I may in the next couple of months estimate what it’s going to do, but again I don’t know that we know all of the details yet,” Quinton said.

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