Summers McNea and Company PC logo

Summers, McNea & Company, PC


80 25th Street West, Billings, MT 59102


Phone: 406-652-2320

Fax:     406-652-2043

June 2019

June 2019 Question and Answer

Q and A

My income last year was too high to take the full qualified business deduction. What can I do to come closer to getting the full deduction next year?

The qualified business deduction (QBI), also known as a Section 199(a) deduction, is available to owners of businesses whose tax structures are pass-through entities. This deduction was subject to limits for couples filing taxes jointly with taxable income over $315,000 and for all others with taxable income over $157,500 in 2018.

If your business income fluctuates and you’re close to the threshold, you might push sales into next year to lower this year’s income. You might also open a SEP-IRA, SIMPLE plan or 401(k) plan, where contributions are made pre-tax, lowering your taxable income.

With all of the new tax rules, can I still deduct the interest I pay on student loans?

It depends on the amount of your interest payments and your income. Beginning in 2019, you can deduct up to 2,500 in qualified student loan interest if you meet income requirements. Take the full deduction if you are single or head of a household and have a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) under $70,000, or if you are married and filing taxes jointly with a combined MAGI of less than $140,000. You can take a partial deduction up to $85,000 and $170,000, respectively.


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