Being lazy…well not really…wrapping gifts and addressing cards. But here’s a snap shot of what’s in the GOP tax bill from yesterday:


Personal exemptions, which in 2017 reduce taxable income by $4,050 each for taxpayers, spouses and dependent children.


The standard deduction, from $12,700 this year to $24,000 next year for couples filing jointly. For individuals, the amount goes from $6,350 to $12,000. The additional standard deduction for the elderly and the blind is unchanged.

State and local tax deduction

New maximum of $10,000 for a combination of property and income taxes or property and sales taxes.

Tax brackets and rates

10% on the first $19,050 of income for couples and $9,525 for individuals
12% above $19,050 for couples and $9,525 for individuals
22% above $77,400 for couples and $38,700 for individuals
24% above $165,000 for couples and $82,500 for individuals
32% above $315,000 for couples and $157,500 for individuals
35% above $400,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals
37% above $600,000 for couples and $500,000 for individuals

Charitable contributions

Remain deductible for those who itemize, and the current limitation of 50% of income is increased to 60%.

Child tax credit

Increased from $1,000 per child to $2,000 of which $1,400 is refundable, meaning it would be paid to parents even if they do not owe income tax. Value of the credit begins to decrease when family income exceeds $400,000.

Mortgage interest

Remains deductible for those who itemize, but for new mortgages on first and second homes, only the interest on the first $750,000 borrowed is deductible. The interest on home equity loans will no longer be deductible.

Important dates

Changes to the individual tax code are effective Jan. 1. Therefore, they will not affect quarterly payments due in January or the tax return due in April, since those cover income earned in 2017.

Taxpayers could still experience new rates this winter because the Internal Revenue Service says it could have information out by February on how workers could adjust withholding from their paychecks.

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

Estate tax

Exemption is doubled so no estate worth less than nearly $11 million would be taxed.

Pass-through businesses

Businesses income reported on owners’ personal tax returns would get a 20% deduction on the first $315,000 of joint income. The bill contains “safeguards” to ensure wealthy taxpayers are not able to disguise personal income as business income to get lower rates.

New 21% rate would take effect Jan. 1 and unlike changes for individuals, it would be permanent. Assets held by U.S. corporations overseas would face a one-time “deemed repatriation” tax of 8% on fixed assets and 15.5% on cash.

Arctic oil

Lifts the ban on drilling for a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a provision not related to the tax code but one that was in the same budget resolution that set up the process the Senate will use to pass the tax bill with only 51 votes, rather than the 60 needed to end filibusters on normal legislation.
Health insurance

Starting in 2019, the Affordable Care Act mandate that people have insurance or face a fine imposed by the IRS would be repealed. This is expected to save more than $300 billion over the coming decade, which was applied to offset the cost of tax reductions. Separate legislation is expected to be considered to stabilize insurance marketplaces as part of an agreement to win the the support of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who opposed the mandate repeal.

The Congressional Budget Office said the repeal would reduce the number of people with insurance by 13 million within 10 years because fewer will enroll in Medicaid or buy coverage in government-managed exchanges, including some who will no longer be able to afford insurance because rates will rise about 10% annually.

Alternative minimum tax

Repealed for corporations. Remains for individuals, but exemption increased to $1 million for couples.
Church and state

The bill does not change the ban on churches and other charities from endorsing political candidates. The bill that passed the House would have repealed this restriction.

College students

Student loan interest would continue to be deductible. The deferred tuition provided to graduate students who teach or the children of university employees would not be taxable.
Medical expenses

People could continue to deduct medical expenses. For 2018 and 2019, expenses exceeding 7.5% of income are deductible; that percentage increases to 10%, the level in current law, in 2020. The bill also made the reduction in the threshold from 10% to 7.5% retroactive to 2016.
Losses from fires, floods or other events

No longer deductible unless covered by specific federal disaster declarations.

Not changed

Private activity bonds used to build hospitals or low-income housing
IRA and 401(k) accounts
Adoption tax credit
Earned income tax credit
Affordable Care Act tax on investment income

College endowments

New 1.4% tax on investment earnings for schools with endowments greater than $500,000 per paying student.


Starting in 2019, alimony would no longer be deductible by the payor for new decrees. Payments would be excluded from the recipient’s income.

School supplies

Teachers could still deduct supplies they buy for their classrooms.

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One Response to What’s in the latest version of the tax bill:

  1. AJ says:

    Just all around bad policy that Paul Ryan had a Republican dream over. Sequestration from 2010 PAYGO will screw a lot of people over than what their projected tax benefit will save them. The costs of health care and education will continue to go up at a much sharper rate than in the past.

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