The GOP released the “talking point” highlights of the republican tax plan which, as previewed earlier this morning, will keep the 20% corporate tax cut as permanent, and which allegedly will assure that a family of 4 making $59,000 will get a $1,182 tax cut.
As discussed previously, the bill keeps a top rate of 39.6% for the highest-earners and doubles the standard deduction for middle class families. It expands the child tax credit to $1,600 from $1,000 and will not make any changes to the 401(k) plans. The bill also “makes no changes to the popular retirement savings options that Americans have today — including 401(k)’s and Individual Retirement Accounts, or I.R.A.s. Americans will be able to continuing making both traditional, pretax contributions and ‘Roth’ contributions in the way that works best for them.”
So far so good; where there will be problems however, is that the bill also includes the repeal of an itemized deduction for medical expenses, a key provision for households with extraordinary health-care costs. It also repeals the tax credit for adoption and the deduction of student-loan interest. The bill also limits the home mortgage interest deduction: for new home purchases interest would be deductible only on loans up to $500,000, down from $1 million, although existing loans would be grandfathered.
A key issue will be the treatment of the state and local tax deduction, which lawmakers are proposing to cap at $10,000. That will not be enough for Republicans in some high-tax states, where middle-class families make heavy use of the deduction. As the NYT notes, “the compromise, as it had been sketched out this week, would preserve the deduction for property taxes, but not for state and local income taxes, and it appeared as if there would be a cap on the deduction. But at first glance, it did not appear as if that was enough to win over all of the New York and New Jersey members.”
Here are the most notable changes:
- Lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans to Zero, 12%, 25%, and 35%; keeps tax rate for those making over $1 million at 39.6%
- Increases the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples.
- Establishing a new Family Credit, which includes expanding the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600
- Preserving the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
- Preserves the Earned Income Tax Credit
- Preserves the home mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages and maintains the home mortgage interest deduction for newly purchased homes up to $500,000, half the current $1,000,000
- Continues to allow people to write off the cost of state and local property taxes up to $10,000
- Retains popular retirement savings options such as 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts
- Repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax
- Lowers the corporate tax rate to 20% – down from 35%
- Reduces the tax rate on business income to no more than 25%
- Establishes strong safeguards to distinguish between individual wage income and “pass-through” business income
- Allows businesses to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment
- Retains the low-income housing tax credit
A visual summary of the new tax brackets:
And the full document: