NerdWallet Guide

2018 Tax Changes

The most sweeping changes to the tax code in 30 years have taken effect. Here's what they mean for you.


New rules passed at the close of 2017 will touch all corners of Americans' finances. While most of the changes won't affect the tax return you'll file this April, they will start to affect your paycheck early in 2018.

The entire law runs to 1,000 pages. But we've read it and have you covered — with calculators to help you figure out the new tax brackets and rules for mortgage interest deduction, plus a host of articles to help you take action.

Let's dig in.

See how the changes will affect you personally

The new rules include some changes to federal income tax brackets. There are still seven brackets, but the rates are broadly lower and the thresholds have changed.

  • For the 2017 tax year, it’s 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, 39.6%.
  • For the 2018 tax year, it’s 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, 37%.

Our tool gives you a quick look at where you’d land under the new rules. Generally speaking, the bill lowers individual tax rates. But the new rules expire after 2025 unless a future Congress chooses to extend them. So the effects could be temporary.

» Want to know more? Check out our full breakdown of the bill and what it means for you.

Homeownership tax breaks may be pared back for some. The mortgage interest deduction is scaled back for those with large mortgages, and the tax deduction for property taxes and state and local taxes is capped.

Use our mortgage interest deduction calculator to find out what the changes mean for you.

» Want to know more? See how the tax bill impacts homeowners.

The child tax credit is bigger — up from $1,000 per child to $2,000 per child — and more families will qualify for it.

Taxpayers with non-child dependents also get a break with a $500 credit.

Up to $1,400 of this credit is refundable, which means lower-income families could get bigger refunds.

The standard deduction for single filers goes from $6,500 to $12,000; for joint filers, from $13,000 to $24,000.

Taking the standard deduction for the 2018 tax year might score you a lower tax bill than itemizing would. Using the standard deduction generally takes less time than itemizing does, so it also could lower your tax-prep bill (and your stress level).

What else do I need to know?

There’s a lot to unpack in the new tax rules, and NerdWallet will keep on it.

For now, here are some more articles that might help you.