Advocacy / AMAC Action In The Media / Politics

AMAC Chief Makes Front Page News with GOP Tax Plan Interview

Dan Weber republicans recess tax death taxIn the December 21st issue of local Florida newspaper The Villages Daily Sun, founder and president of AMAC, Dan Weber, was interviewed by journalist David R. Corder. Weber spoke in detail about the GOP tax plan and how it will affect seniors, focusing on how this pro-growth legislation will ease the tax burden faced by mature Americans.

Read below for an excerpt of the article:

What’s the No. 1 benefit of the new law to your members?

The No. 1 benefit is the immediate lowering of the tax rates in 2018. So, a single person earning from $9,525 to $38,700 and a married couple earning from $19,050 to $77,400 would see their tax bracket decrease by 3 percent to 12 percent. Pretty much everybody is going to get a tax break, with the average person saving about $2,000 a year in taxes. That should go into effect around February, with companies automatically withholding less in worker taxes because of the new standard rates.

Any changes in the standard deduction?

It increased the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for a single person and from $12,750 to $24,000 for married persons beginning with returns filed in 2019. So, they’re almost doubling the deduction. And the more you deduct, the less you pay in taxes.

What’s one change that affects the demographic of your membership?

Seniors who have worked hard all their lives and built up an estate will get a break, too. That’s a tremendous break. Most people will no longer pay an estate tax; only about one-quarter of 1 percent of the total U.S. population will be paying the new estate tax.

What else do you like about the new law?

We’re keeping and expanding the medical expense deduction. It expands the deduction in 2017 and 2018 for medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income, with it increasing to 10 percent in 2019.

What would you have liked to have seen in the new law that wasn’t in it?

Our purpose is to protect seniors. So, we are proposing a law that would remove the tax on Social Security income that in 2018 will affect about 40 percent of the people who are subject to an income tax. Right now, about 40 percent of older people are paying a tax on their Social Security even though we’ve already paid a tax on it before. If your income is now over $34,000, you’re going to get taxed on part of your Social Security. We’re trying to raise that to $50,000 or eliminate it entirely.

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June Barnett
4 years ago

I loved where Mr. Dan Weber would like to eliminate taking out taxes against our social security! I have often wondered why they double tax us to begin with! Please, continue to fight that issue! After not receiving an increase for three years, then just getting 2%, it was immediately taking up by Medicare cost! We just can’t seem to get ahead! We truly need help and by not taxing our Social Security would certainly be the answer!

June Barnett
4 years ago

I loved the idea Dan Weber make in regards to eliminating taxes on seniors social security! I have often wondered why we were being taxed again! Please, keep pushing that issue! We went three years without and increase in our social security and when we did get an increase it was only 2% which was taken up with the Medicare increase immediately!

5 years ago

I can understand some of the reasoning about taxing the part of SS that we didn’t pay in, usually paid by your employer. We’re receiving income that tax has never been paid on. But why weren’t the trigger amounts indexed like most everything else is? That’s the real problem – more and more people are paying tax on their SS because of raises, even though they’ve been meager lately. Forget the $50k, Dan, just find a number but get it indexed! Over the last 30 years the trigger amounts would probably have doubled, even with the small raises. Very few seniors would be paying tax on SS if the triggers were at $50k for single and $64k for joint like they should have been had they been indexed. If you pick any number and it isn’t indexed we’ll be back in the same boat in a few years!

Richard DellaValle
5 years ago

I am a 73 year old retired person with an adjusted gross income for the past 3 years of $24475. My taxes on that for this year and the past 2 years is/was $1410. I will see a slight increase in income this year thanks to a COLA allowance for my retired military pay – SSI remains the same because the COLA went to the Medicare deduction.

However, based on 2015, 2016 and 2017 income and without the additional age exemption of $1550 we seniors will lose (which no one is talking about) I will only see a 3% savings on the amount over $9525 which yields a tax savings of mere $104. That $8.66 a month I get won’t stimulate the economy very much.

How the hell can anyone say that is sufficient considering we had 3 years of no COLA. Are you really looking after senior issues Mr. AMAC?

5 years ago

I believe the senior exemption was left in the new legislation. Nonetheless, many seniors are struggling.

5 years ago

Honestly you shouldn’t be paying taxes on Social Security in the first place. Thank Al Gore for that one. He cast the deciding vote.

5 years ago

The extra for over 65 and/or blind hasn’t been eliminated. Without more information I can’t say for sure, but I think you’re not figuring your new taxes accurately. I think you’ll gain more than that.

Russel Goebert
4 years ago

You are correct. What isn’t mentioned is that the doubling of the standard deduction is offset by the elimination of the personal exemption ($8,100 for a married couple) leaving a net deduction increase of only about $3,200 for a married couple plus the age exemption you mentioned. The article seems to imply that you can itemize deductions in addition. I thought it was either/or. I typically exceed the standard deduction by a few thousand dollars so that, added to the $8,100 personal exemptions and the age exemption makes it a wash (no benefit.)

5 years ago

Yes, work on eliminating taxes on Social Security payments. But don’t forget the RMD issue and its impact on 70+ seniors. We are taxed at ordinary income rates on years and years worth of capital gains. I understand why IRA distributions are taxed. But they should not be taxed as ordinary income. Also, those RMDs push seniors into higher tax brackets for income taxes and for Medicare surtaxes. I recommend a flat tax on RMDs (10%?) and exempting them from income used to determine Medicare surtaxes. The older we get, the more burdensome RMDs become.

5 years ago
Reply to  Karen

Again, the initial investment should be taxed as regular income, as well as the portion of the final year’s distribution that can be attributable to unearned income for that year. The rest should be Long-term capital gain (LTCG). The Government devised IRA’s as a way to cheat taxpayers out of LTCG tax breaks. Instead, put your money into a ROTH IRA; Unearned income becomes tax-free.

5 years ago

How does the medical deduction work? It seems that if it is expanding from exceeding 7.5% to exceeding 10% of AGI, then it is an extra 2.5% that will not be included in the itemized deduction. On the social security, we need to understand what Reagan was signing. A portion of social security was paid in. The balance is unearned income in the form of interest from the Treasury notes in which the social security fund is invested. Whatever a taxpayer paid in should be tax free on the payout. $50,000 is rather arbitrary, as some people paid less and some paid more.

5 years ago
Reply to  Hank

While I agree with you 100% about the difference between what people paid in that was already taxed and the part of their SS check that is from interest, there is another factor to consider — inflation. Inflation acts as a tax on savers, including those SS “investments” and as the level inflation is largely controlled by the gov’t (through the Fed) one could argue that money has already been taxed (to a degree). I’d argue the same for all investment based income taxes (e.g. capital gains). Inflation is a tax the gov’t uses to pay off its debt, they borrow and then inflate away the value so its easier to pay off. That value loss is to the holders of those bonds, and as you point out, a lot of those are the SS IOU’s.

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