New Republican Trump Tax Bill 2017
A new tax cut for the rich: The final plan lowers the top tax rate for top earners. Under current law, the highest rate is 39.6 percent for married couples earning over $470,700. The GOP bill would drop that to 37 percent and raise the threshold at which that top rate kicks in, to $500,000 for individuals and $600,000 for married couples. This amounts to a significant tax break for the very wealthy, a departure from repeated claims by Trump and his top officials that the bill would not cut taxes on the rich. The new tax break for millionaires goes beyond what was in the original House and Senate bills, with Republicans seeking to ensure wealthy earners in states such as New York, Connecticut and California don’t end up paying substantially higher taxes as a result of the bill.
A massive tax cut for corporations: Starting on Jan. 1, 2018, big businesses’ tax rate would fall from 35 percent to just 21 percent, the largest one-time rate cut in U.S. history for the nation’s largest companies. The House and Senate bills originally had the big-business tax rate falling to 20 percent, but Republicans were not able to make the math work to keep the rate that low and start it right away in the new year, so they compromised by moving the rate to 21 percent. It still amounts to roughly a $1 trillion tax cut for businesses over the next decade. Republicans argue this will make the economy surge in the coming years, but most independent economists and Wall Street banks predict only a modest and short-lived boost to growth.
You can deduct just $10,000 in state, local and property taxes: One of the most controversial parts of the GOP tax plan is the push to greatly scale back how much state and local taxes Americans can deduct on their federal income taxes. Under current law, the state and local deduction (SALT) is unlimited. In the final GOP plan, people can deduct up to $10,000. The House initially restricted the $10,000 deduction to just property taxes, but the final bill allows any state and local taxes to be deducted, whether for property, income or sales taxes. The move is widely viewed as a hit to blue states such as New York, Connecticut and California, and there are concerns it could cause property values to fall in high-tax cities and leave less money for public schools and road repairs.
Working-class families get a bigger child tax credit: Thanks to a late push by Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the child tax credit would be more generous for low-income families and the working class. The current child tax credit is $1,000 per child. The House and Senate bills expanded the child tax credit, with the Senate going up to a maximum of $2,000 per child. The final bill keeps the $2,000-per-child credit (families making up to about $400,000 get to take the credit), but it also makes more of the tax credit refundable, meaning families that work but don’t earn enough to actually owe any federal income taxes will get a large check back from the government. Benefits for those families were initially limited to about $1,100, but through changes Rubio and Lee pushed for, it’s now up to $1,400.
The individual health insurance mandate goes away in 2019:Beginning in 2019, Americans would no longer be required by law to buy health insurance (or pay a penalty if they don’t). The individual mandate is part of the Affordable Care Act, and removing it was a top priority for Trump and congressional Republicans. The final bill does not start the repeal until 2019, though. The Congressional Budget Office projects the change will increase insurance premiums and lead to 13 million fewer Americans with insurance in a decade, while also cutting government spending by more than $300 billion over that period. Some Republicans hope to make other changes to health care to prevent insurance costs from rising dramatically by the time the repeal kicks in.
You can inherit up to $22 million tax-free: In the end, the estate tax (often called the “death tax” by opponents) would remain part of the U.S. tax code, but far fewer families will pay it. Under current law, Americans can inherit up to $5.5 million tax-free (that threshold is $11 million for married couples). The House wanted to do away with the estate tax entirely, but some senators felt that was too much of a giveaway to the mega-rich. The final compromise was to double the threshold, so now the first $11 million that people inherit in property, stocks and other assets won’t be taxed (and yes, that means $22 million for married couples).
“Pass through” companies get a 20 percent reduction: Most American businesses are organized as “pass through” companies in which the income from the business is “passed through” to the business owner’s individual tax return. S corporations, LLCs, partnerships and sole proprietorships are all examples of pass-through businesses. In the final GOP bill, the majority of these companies get to deduct 20 percent of their income tax-free, a large reduction that mirrors what was in the Senate bill. The changes, however, expire after 2025. The National Federation of Independent Business initially opposed the House version, arguing that it didn’t do enough for small businesses. But the NFIB later endorsed the House and Senate plans. Service businesses such as law firms, doctor’s offices and investment offices can take only the 20 percent deduction if they make up to $315,000 (for married couples).
No corporate “AMT” tax: The final GOP bill gets rid of the corporate alternative minimum tax, a big relief to the business community. The Senate included the corporate AMT in its version of the bill, but the House did not. The corporate AMT makes it difficult for businesses to reduce their tax bill much lower than 21 percent. CEOs complained that this was a backdoor tax that would make them less likely to build new plants, buy more equipment and invest in more research, since the corporate AMT made the tax credits for those investments essentially null and void.
Fewer families will have to pay the individual AMT: The AMT for individuals started in 1969 as a way to prevent rich families from using so many credits and loopholes to lower their tax bill to almost nothing. But what started out as a way to prevent the wealthiest Americans from tax dodging started to hit more and more families over time. The AMT begins to apply to singles earning over $54,300 and couples earning over $84,500, although nearly everyone who ends up paying the AMT earns six figures. The House wanted to scrap the AMT entirely, but in the end, the final GOP tax plan lifts the threshold.
The mortgage interest deduction gets smaller: Under the current tax code, taxpayers can deduct any interest they pay on up to $1 million worth of mortgage loans. House Republicans tried to cap that at $500,000 for new loans (existing mortgages are unaffected by the plan) but in the final version of their, Republicans have settled on a $750,000 cap.
What is NOT changing:
The bill keeps in place the student loan deduction, the medical expense deduction and the graduate student tuition waivers. The House bill got rid of these popular deductions, but the Senate bill kept them, and the final bill even makes the medical deduction a bit more generous for two years before dropping its benefits back down to their current level. In the end, Republicans decided it was better to allow millions of middle-class families to continue using these breaks if they qualify for them.
Retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans stay the same. No changes to the tax-free amounts people are allowed to put into 401(k)s, IRAs and Roth IRAs.
Churches, synagogues, mosques and other nonprofits (the Johnson Amendment stays in place) can’t get political and endorse candidates in elections. Trump and conservative Republicans wanted to “totally destroy” (Trump’s words) the Johnson Amendment, which has been in place since 1954 and prevents religious institutions and nonprofits from getting involved in elections via fundraising or endorsements. The House bill included a repeal of the Johnson Amendment, but Democrats were able to get the Senate parliamentarian to determine that including the repeal in the bill didn’t comply with the rules of the Senate.
New Republican Trump Tax Bill 2017
New Republican Trump Tax Bill 2017