John has always wanted to operate his own business. In October 2018, he incurred expenses of $15,000 in investigating the establishment of a retail computer franchise. With the birth of their child expected next year, however, he decides to forgo self-employment for at least a couple of years.
John and Mary Jane made charitable contributions of $3,700 during the year and paid an additional $1,800 in state income taxes in 2018 upon filing their 2017 state income tax return. Their deductible home mortgage interest was $8,200, and their property taxes came to $4,800. They paid sales taxes of $2,000, for which they have receipts. They paid a ticket of $150 that Mary Jane received for running a red light (detected by a red light camera).
Part 1—Tax Computation
Calculate John and Mary Jane’s tax (or refund) due for 2018.