Culture

Final Republican Tax Bill Slashes Corporate Rate

Under of the Senate version of the tax plan, numerous cuts and credits for individuals are set to phase out in 2025, but Republicans are considering moving the expiration date to 2024.

Generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans would be delivered in a sweeping overhaul of the tax laws, under a new agreement crafted by Republicans in Congress.

The Senate and the House of Representatives - which both have Republican majorities - are due to vote on the measures next week.

Republicans, including Trump, have touted their plan as a middle-class tax cut, but by further shortening the duration of individual tax cuts while leaving most corporate rate cuts permanent, the GOP could bolster Democrats' argument that the package is tilted in favor of the wealthy and corporations.

Members of a House-Senate conference committee signed the final version of the legislation Friday, sending it to the two chambers for final passage next week.

The plan brings the U.S. corporate tax rate down to 21% from the current 35%.

The House and Senate plan to vote on the measure next week.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Senate negotiators got the best deal they could on the overall child tax credit.

The child tax credit now in the US tax code is meant to lower the tax bills of working families with children.

The change was added to meet demands from Sen. Issues where there were significant differences included the tax rates for all types of companies and the size of deductions for equipment, property and interest charges. It would be 37% instead of the current 39.6%. That's more generous than the 38% proposed in the Senate version.

It would adjust the individual tax brackets. The deduction is especially important to residents of high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California.

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.

The final measure allows a $10,000 deduction for state and local taxes, but it apparently will require taxpayers to choose one of three major types of taxes: income, sales, or property taxes. It's unclear whether that figure is the same for joint and individual filers.

Business owners who report business income on their personal tax returns would be able to deduct 20 percent of that income. The benefit would also phase out starting at $315,000 for couples, down from $500,000 in the Senate version.

Proposed: Double the thresholds so the levy applies to fewer estates. It's now $5.6 million.

But in opposing the Rubio-Lee plan, Republican leaders said they need to keep the corporate tax rate at 20 percent to help USA companies compete globally.

It would not repeal the Johnson amendment.

The deduction that lets companies write off many types of equipment purchases up front rather than depreciate them over a period of years would increase under both bills from its current level of $510,000.

People could continue to deduct medical expenses. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who opposed the mandate repeal.

A spokesman says Republican Mike Lee is another senator who is undecided on the bill.

Friday's agreement came after hours of talks in which the bill's supporters sought to win over wavering Republicans. Corker voted against the original bill because he was concerned over how much it would add to the deficit, and he did not say if the new bill specifically changed to address those concerns.

This will certainly satisfy critics within the Republican Party, particularly the big-business donors, who were lamenting Congress's inability to enact even modest parts of their party's legislative agenda.



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