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Tax Bill Stocking Stuffer Looks Likely

Wednesday, December 20, 2017  
Posted by: Jennifer Addington
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Tax Bill Stocking Stuffer Looks Likely



Tal Coley and Craig Regelbrugge

Congressional Republicans are scrambling to fulfill their commitment to send a tax bill to President Trump before Christmas. House and Senate negotiators announced they had reached an agreement on a final bill on December 13, and by late Friday, had resolved concerns of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who wanted to increase the refundable portion of the child tax credit. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) also signaled support for the bill after expressing earlier concerns over the national debt. There is little room for error on a Senate vote; the GOP holds a narrow two-seat majority, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is hospitalized fighting brain cancer.


The bill (H.R. 1) would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective in 2018. It would also lower the top tax rate for individuals to 37%. "Pass-through" businesses that pay taxes at individual rates would receive a 20% deduction. Businesses would be allowed to immediately write off investments for the next five years.


The bill maintains the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals but raises the exemption to $1 million for couples. The corporate AMT was eliminated in the final bill. The exemption for the estate tax would be doubled to $22 million for married couples.


The final bill would eliminate the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, individual mandate penalty. It will allow a deduction of up to $10,000 in state and local taxes. But instead of limiting that deduction to only property taxes, as the House and Senate bills would have done, the $10,000 amount can be made up of property taxes as well as either income taxes or sales taxes. The bill would also allow homeowners to deduct interest on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage.

Presuming tax bill passage, the last hurdle Congress will face before heading home for the holidays will be passage of a measure to fund the federal government. That means we can expect a bit more pre-holiday brinksmanship. AmericanHort and our grassroots partners are actively urging Congress to address H-2B program cap relief on the spending bill. If you have not yet responded to the industry-wide grassroots call for action, please do so now!

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