As federal taxes go down, Louisiana income taxes go up

As federal taxes go down, Louisiana income taxes go up
(Source: Raycom Media)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's no fun getting a pay raise only to have it eaten up by an increase in your bills, which is what's happening with federal tax reform in Louisiana.

If you noticed a small increase in your paycheck from federal tax reform, it may be fleeting as state taxes go up.

The Louisiana constitution says if federal taxes go down, state taxes go up.

But tax preparer Jessica Fisher, who is an area manager for Jackson Hewitt, says the offset should still leave you with a little something extra on payday:

" For a family that makes $45,000 to $50,000 a year, they're going to save about $500 in their income tax for federal.  Well, Louisiana's going to take back about $70 of that," she said.

Fisher says they train employees to keep up with any changes.

Last week the State Department of Revenue released the withholding tax tables, so employers will know how much to take out of employees' checks.

And it's not to soon to think about changes that apply in 2018 that may cause fewer people to benefit by itemizing deductions.

Fisher says those who count on deducting employee business expenses may want to withhold more.

"For these workers that are contractors or they work in the plants and they travel from state to state, they need to be aware that all of those deductions that they've been claiming for hotels and mileage and meal expenses, they will not be able to deduct those next year," she said.

Of course, taxes owed depend on a variety of things including how much you earn and your filing status.  So, if in doubt, consult a tax professional.

Due to an increase in the standard deduction for 2018, Fisher says next year, many people will likely no longer itemize.

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