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That big tax law that was signed late in 2017 means you can expect to see major changes this year, when you file your taxes for 2018.

Got it?

Here's the basic point: Taxes will look a whole lot different when you do them next spring, so you may want to start getting mentally prepared for that. You won't want to be surprised by these changes.

1. You might not itemize anymore

Couple filing a joint tax return
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Standard deductions are going up

In past years you may have enjoyed big tax savings by writing off mortgage interest, student loan interest, charitable donations and many other expenses. But those deductions will be harder to come by, starting with your return for 2018.

That's because the tax law raises the standard deductions. For individuals, the amount is nearly doubling, from $6,350 to $12,000.

Married couples filing jointly will see an increase from $12,700 to $24,000, and heads of households will see a jump in their standard deduction from $9,350 to $18,000.

2. Say goodbye to exemptions

The child tax credit is being doubled
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The child tax credit is being doubled

Next tax season, you'll notice another big category of tax-savers — exemptions — will be gone entirely.

Like deductions, exemptions reduce your taxable income. Without the new tax law, you would have been able to take a $4,150 exemption for yourself, plus additional ones in the same amount for each dependent.

To ease some of the sting for parents, the law has doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. It also created a new $500 credit for a qualifying dependent who is not a child.

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