Government | Legislative / Regulatory | Taxation

House GOP tax-reform plan: What it means for you

It’s here: The long-awaited Republican tax reform proposal is on the table, thanks to a House of Representatives plan that hit congressional desks on Nov. 2.

The 429-page bill, dubbed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” is the first step toward significant U.S. tax reform in nearly 30 years.

Experts are still sifting through the details, but more than a few analysts have already begun offering their views on what this will mean for taxpayers and those who serve them.

Some early observations, courtesy of Forbes writer Kelly Phillips Erb:

  • The standard deduction would stay, and would, in fact, “double to $12,200 for individuals, $18,300 for heads of household and $24,400 for married couples,” Phillips Erb writes.
  • The mortgage interest deduction would be capped at $500,000.
  • State and local income tax deductions would be eliminated.
  • Property tax deductions would remain, at a limit of $10,000.
  • Charitable donation deductions would remain in place.
  • Child tax credits would jump to $1,600 per child under 17 years of age, “with an additional $300 credit for each parent as part of a consolidated family tax credit,” Phillips Erb writes.
  • Corporate tax rates would drop to 20 percent.
  • The much-discussed tax breaks for 401(k) and IRA accounts? They would remain in place unchanged.
  • And Phillips Erb also offered this early tidbit on her Facebook page: “First out of the box — and I'm not making this up — doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professional service providers would NOT be entitled to corporate tax relief under the House plan. The most benefit would go to passive shareholders — meaning those who invest in companies but do not perform services.”

All of that is contingent on the bill being enacted as-is, which would take a miracle. Count on some changes before the final version is signed into law … if, in fact, it is signed into law.

Here are some more of the early analyses:


Bill Sheridan