The new tax law states that the IRS may choose to continue current withholding rules through 2018. The good news is that the withholding tables are a changing this month and the Republicans say we are all getting a tax cut, so how will you spend your extra dollars? The lowest two new tax brackets apply to income ranges that nearly match the pre-2018 brackets but the second bracket does reduce the tax rate from 15% to 12%. Since the average American household is currently at that former 15% tax bracket, there’s money to be found in their adjusted withholding paychecks.
So, you’ll notice it this month. No, you didn’t get a raise, but you will have more to spend. Another option is to invest in your future and start or increase your 401(K). The biggest retirement planning mistake people make isn’t always that they didn’t set enough aside, but it’s not taking advantage of the matching contribution from their employers. So, contact HR and be sure you are contributing at least enough to get this free money. You might want to determine what’s the minimum amount you need to contribute to grab the maximum amount your employer is offering. That’s just plain good business on your part.
If you can’t reach that level don’t grow anxious. Take the time to look over your budget and some of your discretionary spending. If there is any of that, you at least are better off than many who scrape by and can’t take advantage of their employer’s matching offer. Then decide if you can do without, in the interest of finally starting that retirement account that you know you should have started years ago.