Republicans in the U.S. Congress reached a deal on final tax legislation on Wednesday, clearing the way for final votes next week on a package that, if approved, would be sent to President Donald Trump to sign into law.
Formal language of the legislation has not been released. The following are known provisions on which House of Representatives and Senate tax writers have agreed, based on conversations with aides and lawmakers:
CORPORATE TAX RATE: Falls to 21 percent from 35 percent. The House and Senate bills, as well as Trump, had earlier proposed 20 percent. Going to 21 percent gave tax writers more federal revenue needed to make the tax cut immediate. U.S. corporations have been seeking a large tax cut like this for many years.
PASS-THROUGH BUSINESSES: Creates a 20 percent business income deduction for owners of pass-through businesses, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships. The House had proposed a 25 percent tax rate; the Senate, a 23 percent deduction.
CORPORATE MINIMUM: Repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax, which was set up to ensure profitable companies pay at least some federal tax.
TOP INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RATE: Falls to 37 percent from 39.6 percent. The House had proposed maintaining the 39.6 percent top rate and condensing the current seven tax brackets to four. The Senate had proposed cutting the top rate to 38.5 percent and maintaining the seven brackets.
PERMANENCE: The expectation is individual tax rates will snap back to current levels in less than 10 years. The individual tax rates in the House bill were permanent. The individual tax rates in the Senate bill would have expired after 10 years.
STATE AND LOCAL TAX (SALT): Both the House and Senate had proposed scaling back a popular individual deduction for state and local tax payments by limiting it to property-tax payments and capping it at $10,000. The compromise bill is expected to keep that cap, but also allow for continued deduction of state and local income tax payments.
MORTGAGE INTEREST: Caps the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 in home loan value, down from the current $1 million. The House had proposed a $500,000 cap. The Senate bill left it at $1 million.
ESTATE TAX: Roughly doubles the exemption from the federal estate tax on inherited assets to about $11 million, but leaves the tax in place, mirroring the Senate proposal. The House bill had raised the deduction, but also entirely phased out the tax.
OBAMACARE MANDATE: Repeals a federal fine imposed on Americans under Obamacare for not obtaining health insurance coverage. The House bill did not repeal the Obamacare individual mandate.
ANWR DRILLING: Allows oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The provision was sponsored by Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
(Reporting by David Morgan, Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan in Washington; Writing by Amanda Becker; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney)
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