icon-services-white-individual -tax-servicesINDIVIDUAL TAX SERVICES


Download our Tax Reform Law Comparison Guide


Wondering how the newly passed tax reform bill will be affecting you and your business? Download this report - it outlines all of the major changes.


The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law for 2018 provides the most significant tax reforms since the Tax Act of 1986. These new sweeping changes will impact nearly everyone in the United States. Our tax preparation experts know the Tax Cuts and Job Act’s new laws…while the provisions within are still fine-tuning. Now more than ever, you need to consult with a tax preparer. With our year-round tax planning and tax compliance services, you can count on SVA’s tax preparation professionals to know what you need to know. 

Here’s a quick review of a few key changes that may have an impact on your individual taxes:

Individual Tax Rates: The bill retains the current seven brackets, but the rates and income levels to which they apply have changed. The tax rates decreased for most income brackets by 1%-4%.

Notably, the top rate drops to 37% from the 2017 rate of 39.6%. And the 37% won't kick in until your taxable income hits $600,000, up from the 2017 amount of $470,700 for marrieds filing jointly. For singles, the threshold rises to $500,000, up from $418,400.

The new 35% bracket will have lower starting points: $400,000 vs. the 2017 amount of $416,700 for marrieds filing jointly, and for singles $200,000 vs. today's $416,700.

Standard Deduction: Increased from $12,700 to $24,000 (married filing jointly), $6350 to $12,000 (single) and from $9,300 to $18,000 (head of household). If you are age 65 or over, blind or disabled, you can add $1,300 to your standard deductions ($1,600 for unmarried tax payers). Consult your SVA professional on the benefits of tax planning for reporting your itemized deductions or standard deduction.

Personal Exemptions: Repealed (it was a $4,050 deduction that each taxpayer could take for themselves, spouse and dependents).

Medical Expenses: The AGI threshold for medical expenses has been lowered to 7.5% for 2017 and 2018.

State Income (or Sales Tax) and Real Estate Taxes: Deduction is limited to a maximum of $10,000 (the limit is the same for married couples and single taxpayers).

Mortgage Interest: Deduction is limited to the interest on the first $750,000 of debt. For mortgages prior to December 16, 2017, the interest on the first $1 million of debt is deductible. Interest on a second home is deductible within the mortgage debt caps. Refinancing has specific limitations.

Home Equity Interest: On February 21, the IRS issued a release (IR 2018-32) explaining that the law suspends the deduction only for interest on home equity loans and lines of credit that aren’t used to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan. In other words, the interest isn’t deductible if the loan proceeds are used for certain personal expenses, but it is if the proceeds go toward, for example, a new roof on the home that secures the loan. The IRS further stated that the deduction limits apply to the combined amount of mortgage and home equity acquisition loans — home equity debt is no longer capped at $100,000 for purposes of the deduction.

Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions: No longer deductible. Examples: investment expenses, employee business expenses, professional fees.

Child Tax Credit: Doubled to $2,000 for each qualifying child under the age of 17. The phase-out of the credit starts at $400,000, which is a significant increase. There is a $1400 refundable credit.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT): AMT exemption was increased from $84,500 to $109,400 (married filing jointly) and from $54,300 to $70,300 (single). The threshold for phase-out of the exemption starts at $1 million (married filing jointly) and $500,000 (single) which is a significant increase.

Alimony: For a divorce or separation after 12/31/18, alimony is not deductible by the payer and is not income to the recipient. See our divorce consultants for additional details.

Estate and Gift Tax Exemption: The lifetime exemption was doubled to $11.2 million. Annual gift exclusion for 2018 increased from $14,000 to $15,000.

Pass-through Income Deduction: Up to 20% of qualified business income is subject to various limitations. The deduction is not available for professional service businesses (including accounting, health, law, consulting, athletics, financial services, and brokerage services) except architecture and engineering.

The W-2 and capital limitations and the professional service businesses exclusion do not apply to individuals with taxable income of less than $315,000 (married filing jointly) or $157,500 (single). Limitation phase-in is over the next $100,000 of taxable income.



Planning for current and future education expenses is very important. There are several tax incentives that can help reduce the cost of paying for higher education. These incentives include the American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Qualified Tuition Programs, Student Loan Interest Deduction, 529 Plans, and the Coverdell Education Savings Account to name a few. The incentives can be a credit deduction or exclusion and may be limited by income.

The new law modified 529 Plans to include payment for K-12 tuition, up to $10,000 annually. Check with your SVA tax professional to see how these modifications may impact education planning for your family.

Estate Planning and Trust Management

Making sure your assets will be professionally administered is a source of security and peace of mind for you and your family. We help you preserve your wealth for the next generation and make sure your trusts are administered according to your wishes.

Our estate and trust CPAs have specialized experience in estate and gift tax regulations governing trust and estate accounting and tax compliance. We assist executors and trustees including preparing the estate tax, gift tax, individual income tax and fiduciary income tax returns. Working in tandem with the professionals from SVA Trust Company, we also provide trust administration and custody as well as fiduciary and financial services.

Click the link to learn more about SVA Trust Company.

Individual Income Tax Strategies

The more you pay in taxes, the less money you have to invest toward your personal financial goals. The key to reducing your tax liability rests in proactive planning where we are able to identify and implement key planning opportunities to minimize your current tax liability and impact subsequent years as well.

Reach out to our experienced tax professionals who can take a look at your overall tax situation and help you understand and reduce the tax impact of decisions. You may miss out on potential tax savings opportunities if you don’t have a trusted resource you can turn to year-round. That’s how we help you see beyond the numbers.

Alternative Minimum Tax
This tax runs parallel to the regular tax and is very complex. We provide comprehensive and creative planning to the extent possible to minimize this tax and if applicable, plan for and claim the credits it may create. We prepare extensive projections that may involve several years and/or many different scenarios.

There have been some modifications to exemption amounts that are subject to AMT so please make certain you are working with your SVA tax expert.

At-Risk Rules
The at-risk rules determine the amount of loss that can be deducted on a tax return and are quite complex. We provide planning and ideas for creating basis and utilizing tax losses.

Individual Audit Assistance
We can assist clients in dealing with various tax authorities at the federal, state and local levels, including all kinds of taxes. We will provide only the records requested by the auditor and encourage the client to have the auditor meet with us in our office.

Divorce Tax Planning
Decisions related to divorce have a long lasting impact and are magnified if children are involved. We can help you resolve conflicts that affect your financial future. We provide evaluation and recommendations related to equitable income division, analyze prior tax returns and calculate after-tax income and cash flows, valuation, prepare future budgets and tax projections, provide expert testimony, and work with you and your attorney during the mediation process.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
HSAs were designed to help individuals save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. HSAs have a high deductible, but allow the employer or employee to set aside money on a tax-free basis to cover the deductible and other non-covered health expenses. We can help determine if you qualify and how to maximize the benefits of an HSA.

Passive Activity Rules
The passive activity rules determine if losses can be deductible based on participation of the client. We work with clients to determine if these loss rules apply to the activity, how the losses can be best utilized, and make suggestions for the activity to be classified as active rather than passive.

Payment Planning
We do advanced tax planning to minimize tax and underpayment penalties and help clients plan their quarterly tax payments and their balance due on April 15. We also prepare the quarterly vouchers.

We take a proactive approach by working with our clients to reduce taxes and develop creative ideas and solutions, which minimize surprises for tax purposes. We communicate on a regular basis and prepare tax projections as needed.

We prepare and review an accurate return with the appropriate documentation by using the most highly qualified personnel. We work with clients to provide the relevant information on a timely basis.

Professional Athletes
We provide special services to accommodate athletes, which include communication and coordination with all appropriate parties, extensive knowledge of the applicable types of compensation, the appropriate tax and multi-state rules, and preparation.

There are many gray areas of the tax law that, depending on the facts and circumstances, will have many different results. Our team of experienced tax professionals will research the particular tax area with the intent of resolving the issue and backing up the stated position that will stand up against a governmental objection.

Retirement Planning
When planning for retirement, you need to set goals, plan how much money is needed to meet these goals, and work hard to achieve them. We assist in making the right financial decisions that fit your income, lifestyle and needs. By making the right decisions, your financial future and the financial future of your family will be protected.

Stock-Based Compensation Planning
We work with clients on the ramifications of the different stock-based compensations (i.e., non-qualified options, incentive stock options, stock awards, etc.), how to best use them, and when to best use them. This may involve research, analysis and tax projections.

Tax Compliance

Tax laws, statutes and regulations are constantly changing. Taxpayers need to comply with these changes. You work hard to earn the money you do. The last thing you want to do is pay more in taxes than you are legally required to pay. The tax professionals at SVA have over 40 years of knowledge experience managing our clients’ compliance needs, while putting tax savings within reach. We have expertise in law interpretations, completing foreign reporting requirements and providing reliable, high quality tax preparation services.

Tax Debt Resolution

Being delinquent in your tax payments can result in a vast array of problems and cause large amounts of undue stress. In some instances, credit scores can take a negative hit or you could end up having your bank accounts levied upon.

Our qualified professionals can work with you in dealing with the IRS and other taxing authorities on delinquent tax liability, tax penalty and interest issues as well as challenges in your ability to pay the amount due.

Offer in Compromise (OIC), bankruptcy and negotiated payment schedules are a few of the strategies we can utilize in helping you deal with delinquent and/or disputed tax issues.

Measurable Results.
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Measurable Results.

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Mark Nolen, President & CEO

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Lincoln Fowler, Co-Founder

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Madison Public Library Foundation


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