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On Friday, Republicans released the final version of their tax bill. It combines parts of both the House and Senate versions. Here are the details.
On the individual side:
- We’re back up to seven tax brackets again, but the rates on each change slightly. They are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%. (The current ones are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%, respectively.)
- It eliminates the individual health insurance mandate which, as we all know, is actually a tax.
- The much-discussed state and local tax deduction remains, but the deduction is capped at $10,000.
- The cap on the mortgage interest deduction is lowered from $1 million to $750,000.
- The AMT remains, but the income exemption is raised to $70,300 for singles and $109,400 for married couples.
- The estate tax remains, but the exception is raised so only 0.2 percent of estates will get it.
- The standard deduction is almost doubled. From $6,350 to $12,000 for single filers and from $12,700 to $24,000 for joint filers. This probably means fewer people will itemize their deductions.
- The personal exemption is eliminated. You can currently claim a $4,050 personal exemption for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. That is gone now.
- The child tax credit is double to $2,000 and is now available to higher earners, up to $200,000 for single parents and $400,000 for married couples.
- There is a temporary tax credit for non-child dependents. People can take a $500 credit for non-dependent children, ailing elderly adults, or adult children with disabilities.
- There are other smaller tax breaks that were gone in earlier versions of the bill but are restored for the final version. For example, allowing teachers to deduct supplies they buy with their own money.
- There is a change to the inflation adjustment to the tax code. The new measure is slower than the current measure, so the net effect of deductions and credits will be worth slightly less.
On the corporate side:
- The corporate tax is cut from 35% to 21%.
- The AMT for corporations is gone.
- There is a change to how US multinationals are taxed. It goes from a worldwide to a territorial system, with extra rules to keep companies from gaming the system.
- The pass-through rate is lowered on business. There is a 20% deduction with lots of caveats.
The point of this bill was the corporate tax rate cut. The changes to individual taxation were included to make it more politically and fiscally palatable. The cost for these bills is calculated out to 10 years, so, to make the numbers “work” (to the extent they do), most of the individual provisions expire at the end of 2025.
Despite that, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the bill will increase the deficit by $1.46 trillion over a decade. And that number will be higher if Congress changes things so the individual tax cuts continue past 2015.
Also, it’s important to remember that this bill will not affect your 2017 taxes, so you have a whole year to learn all the changes, not just a few weeks.