Many of you have heard that President Donald Trump has proposed changes to the tax laws, some of which includes lowering the rates paid by businesses. Here are a few of the highlight's of the proposed plan:

Individuals have a higher standard deduction.

The standard deduction is a default amount of money that can be exempted from income taxes. Currently the standard deduction amount for single filers is $6,300, while the number for married couples is $12,700. Under Trump's plan, the standard deduction would double. A single filer would be able to deduct $12,600 from his taxes, while the deduction for joint filers would be $24,000.

For those of you who may have to fork over soem additional funds to Uncle Sam, there are several options available for making payments.

If you can't pay your tax bill in full, a payment plan may be an option. Additional information about all payment and payment plan options can be found at and in Publication 5034, Need to Make a Payment? (English & Spanish).

The IRS also offers taxpayers the ability to pay using their mobile device through the IRS2Go app, available on the Apple or Google Play store.

On January 23, Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) released legislative text for the "Patient Freedom Act of 2017," a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA, i.e., Obamacare). The bill would repeal the individual and employer mandate and other ACA provisions, but allow States to either (a) elect to retain ACA provisions (with federal assistance), or (b) chose one of two alternatives: either adopt a market-based health insurance system under which Roth Health Savings Accounts are created for residents enrolled in qualified health plans (with federal assistance), or design and regulate insurance markets for their specific needs (without any federal assistance). The lawmakers said this was not intended as a final bill, but rather a starting point for discussions around repealing the ACA.

We will keep you posted as things develop.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the launch of a new online application to help taxpayers. The new tool, available on, allows taxpayers to view their tax account balance online. The balance includes any amount owed for tax, as well as penalties and interest for each tax year. Once you view your balance, you can take advantage of online payment options, including direct pay, pay by debit or credit card and Online Payment Agreement.

Under the 21st Century Cures Act enacted 12/13/16, certain small employers are allowed to offer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to employees without also offering other health insurance coverage in 2017. The HRA must meet certain requirements and the amount the employer can contribute to the HRA is limited. Additionally, reimbursements to the employee for medical expenses are tax-free only if the employee is enrolled in other health coverage (e.g., individual coverage) that is minimum essential coverage. The HRAs also can affect an employee's eligibility for a premium tax credit, or the amount of premium tax credit that is available. The new law also provides that small employers who have reimbursed individual health insurance premiums from a standalone HRA before 1/1/17 will not be subject to the Section 4980D penalty.