Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Is Unconstitutional: On 12/14/18, a federal district court judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. The ruling was based on the reduction of the tax penalty to zero for individuals who do not comply with the individual mandate. The penalty was reduced to zero as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The judge determined that the individual mandate portion of the ACA is inseverable from other parts of the law and, therefore, the entire law is unconstitutional. However, the law remains in effect to give states and other affected parties the opportunity to appeal the decision. Some states have already announced they will appeal the decision.Texas v. U.S., Civil Action No. 4:18-cv-00167-O.
The IRS has released Notice 2019-02, updating the standard mileage rates for autos, pickup trucks, and vans. For 2019 the rate for business use is 58 cents per mile, for medical and moving it’s 24 cents per mile and for charitable use it’s 14 cents per mile. Keep in mind that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended until 2026 all itemized deductions subject to the 2-percent threshold. Members of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, state or local government officials paid on a fee basis, and certain performing artists can deduct unreimbursed employee travel as an adjustment to total income on line 24 of Schedule 1 of Form 1040. In addition, moving expenses are generally no longer deductible.