We have a few proposed changes under consideration that very much need a deep policy discussion rather than only a cost estimate and a general like or dislike. Here are three such items:
1. What is an appropriate phase-out rule for the next economic impact payments? The current ones cause a credit to still be allowed for high income taxpayers who have a few children. The CASH Act (H.R. 9051; 116th Congress) that the House passed late 2020, called for EIP of $2,000 including for dependents. If a married couple has 4 dependents, they credit would be $12,000. The phaseout rule would not cause this entire credit to reach $0 until AGI reached $390,000! That is not an income level in need of assistance typically.
2. Should the TCJA be made permanent? On 12/22/20, Senator Grassley sent a letter to President-elect Biden suggesting this. While this could be done with a single piece of legislation, it really needs major tax policy discussions. This should include what the goals were of the TCJA beyond the need to reduce the corporate tax rate and move the international tax system for businesses to be more territorial rather than worldwide. Examples of things to discuss:
Here are some of the most significant changes in taxation for 2018 – 2025:
Individual Tax Changes
1. Individual tax rates have been reduced – maximum rate reduced to 37%
2. Miscellaneous itemized deductions – not deductible from 2018-2025!
a. Applies to total of all miscellaneous deductions
b. Includes home office, auto, and similar deductions
3. State and local tax deduction – $10,000 limitation
Some states have enacted (or are preparing to enact) laws that permit taxpayers to make a charitable contribution in lieu of taxes, hoping to get around the $10,000 limit on deducting state and local taxes.
In the case of individuals, the IRS has announced that it will issue regulations which disallow any such payments as charitable contributions. The $10,000 limit will certainly apply to such payments.
The IRS has issued rules that allow business entities that make such payments to deduct them as ordinary and necessary business expenses, but not as charitable contributions. The rule doesn’t spell out what happens to any remaining balance of tax payments made that exceed $10,000, but it appears likely that any such will not be deductible.
There’s no easy answer to this question, though the entity choice considerations have undergone some changes due to the new tax law. For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, C corporations were taxed at rates as high as 35%. The TCJA also reduced individual income tax rates, which apply to sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, including partnerships, S corporations, and, typically, limited liability companies (LLCs). The top rate, however, dropped only slightly, from 39.6% to 37%.
On the surface, that may make choosing C corporation structure seem like a no-brainer. But there are many other considerations involved.
This series originated from the House of Representatives Congressional Record on the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act. TaxConnections provides this important document to you in a multipart series to educate tax professionals and taxpayers.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 1(c) of rule XIX, further consideration of the bill (H.R. 1) to provide for reconciliation pursuant to title II of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018, will now resume. The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. When proceedings were postponed on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 1 hour 58\1/2\ minutes of debate remained on the bill. The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Brady) has 61 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Neal) has 57\1/2\ minutes remaining. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas. Mr. BRADY of Texas.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed last year included a new tax credit for employers that allows them to claim a credit based on wages paid to qualifying employees while they are on family and medical leave.
To qualify for the credit, an employer must have a written policy that provides at least two weeks of paid family and medical leave annually to all qualifying employees who work full time, which can be prorated for part-time. The wages paid during the leave period cannot be less than 50 percent of what the employee is normally paid.
The credit is variable. It begins at 12.5% and increases by 0.25%, up to a maximum of 25%, for each percentage point that the rate of payment exceeds 50% of the employee’s normal pay.
Prior to the passage of tax reform, individuals who moved as the result of a job change or job relocation could deduct their unreimbursed moving expenses if the driving distance from their home to the new job location was at least 50 miles more than the driving distance from home to the old job location. There was also a requirement that the individual work in the new location for a specified minimum period of time after the move.
Unfortunately, tax reform effectively repealed that deduction after 2017, except for members of the Armed Forces on active duty who move pursuant to a military order. On top of that, if an employer reimburses the employee for the expenses—whether by paying a moving van company, airline, or other vendor directly, or by reimbursing the employee for their moving expenses—the reimbursement will be treated as taxable wages subject to withholding of income, Medicare, and Social Security taxes.
If a move is required by an employer, there is a possible workaround by having the employer include enough in the
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a $1.5 trillion tax cut package, was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The centerpiece of the legislation is a permanent reduction of the corporate income tax rate. The corporate rate change and some of the other major provisions that affect businesses and business income are summarized below. Provisions take effect in tax year 2018 unless otherwise stated.
Corporate Tax Rates
- Instead of the previous graduated corporate tax structure with four rate brackets (15%, 25%, 34%, and 35%), the new legislation establishes a single flat corporate rate of 21%.
- The Act reduces the dividends-received deduction (corporations are allowed a deduction for dividends received from other domestic corporations) from 70% to 50%. If the corporation owns 20% or more of the company paying the dividend, the percentage is now 65%, down from 80%.
- The Act permanently repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT).
Now that small businesses and their owners have filed their 2017 income tax returns (or filed for an extension), it’s a good time to review some of the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that may significantly impact their taxes for 2018 and beyond. Generally, the changes apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and are permanent, unless otherwise noted.
- Replacement of graduated corporate rates ranging from 15% to 35% with a flat corporate rate of 21%
- Replacement of the flat personal service corporation (PSC) rate of 35% with a flat rate of 21%
- Repeal of the 20% corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT)
WASHINGTON – With tax reform bringing major changes for the year ahead, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded the many self-employed individuals, retirees, investors and others who need to pay their taxes quarterly that the first estimated tax payment for 2018 is due on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, changed the way tax is calculated for most taxpayers, including those with substantial income not subject to withholding. Among other things, the new law changed the tax rates and brackets, revised business expense deductions, increased the standard deduction, removed personal exemptions, increased the child tax credit and limited or discontinued certain deductions. As a result, many taxpayers may need to raise or lower the amount of tax they pay each quarter through the estimated tax system. Read More
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has updated the tax year 2018 annual inflation adjustments to reflect changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The tax year 2018 adjustments are generally used on tax returns filed in 2019.
The tax items affected by TCJA for tax year 2018 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following dollar amounts: Read More
WASHINGTON – Many U.S. corporations elect to use a fiscal year end and not a calendar year end for federal income tax reporting purposes. Due to a provision in the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a corporation with a fiscal year that includes Jan. 1, 2018 will pay federal income tax using a blended tax rate and not the flat 21 percent tax rate under the TCJA that would generally apply to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017.
Corporations determine their federal income tax for fiscal years that include Jan. 1, 2018, by first calculating their tax for the entire taxable year using the tax rates in effect prior to TCJA and then calculating their tax using the new 21 percent rate, subsequently proportioning each tax amount based on the number of days in the taxable year when the different rates were in effect. Read More
WASHINGTON — U.S. Armed Forces members who served in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt may qualify for combat zone tax benefits retroactive to June 2015, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted in December 2017, members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard who performed services in the Sinai Peninsula can now claim combat zone tax benefits. Eligible service members should review Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, available on IRS.gov. Read More