GOP releases its final tax plan - here's what's in it

17 December, 2017, 03:25 | Author: Edward Snyder

Marco Rubio injected some last-minute intrigue into the conference committee's proceedings Thursday, when he announced that he would oppose the final legislation if it did not make more of the child tax credit refundable.

Most individual changes would expire at the end of 2025, meaning the old tax code rates and deductions would kick back in in 2026, unless Congress passes another law before then. In all, the bill would cut taxes by about $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, adding billions to the nation's mounting debt. Two of the most significant changes from either original bill are the income tax rates paid by wealthy individuals and how generous the Child Tax Credit is.

The plan reduces rates for the majority of Americans and small businesses, with top income earners seeing their rate drop from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.

Congressional Republicans have released the finalized text of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as determined in conference between the House and the Senate.

Before approving the Senate bill on December 2, Republicans had rejected an amendment from Senator Rubio and Senator Mike Lee to increase the portion of the child tax credit that would be refundable under the bill (which is the portion of the credit that is available to low-income families) from $1,100 per child to $2,000 per child. The reduction to the corporate rate, unlike the individual rates, would be permanent.

The call claims the "average middle-class family" will receive a $1,200 tax cut, though independent analysts have said the amount differs by taxpayer and that any tax cut would shrink over the next decade.

Two of the main Republican holdouts threatening to vote against the bill, Sens.

The plan eliminates personal exemptions and a slew of itemized deductions but almost doubles the standard deduction in a bid to make tax filing simpler and to reduce rates.

Businesses income reported on owners' personal tax returns would get a 20% deduction on the first $315,000 of joint income.

It also changes the tax system for American households, temporarily lowering rates and creating new limits on deductions that are expected to lower the taxes of most Americans but could still lead millions to owe the government more. Both Republicans missed all Senate votes this week, but GOP leaders are hopeful they will be back next week. That's especially important to residents of high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California. The legislation includes seven individual tax brackets, eliminates the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate penalty, and preserves the tax-free status of graduate tuition waivers, among other things. This would have enabled Evangelical megachurches to donate to political candidates, while also empowering billionaire donors to start using nonprofit public advocacy "charities" as tax-exempt super-PACs.



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