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Joint Committee On Taxation: Federal Tax System For 2018

Joint Committee On Taxation

This document, prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee On Taxation (“Joint Committee Staff”), provides a summary of the present-law Federal Tax System as in effect for 2018.

The current Federal tax system has four main elements:

(1) an income tax on individuals and corporations (which consists of both a “regular” income tax and, in the case of individuals, an alternative minimum tax);

(2) payroll taxes on wages (and corresponding taxes on self-employment income) to finance certain social insurance programs;

(3) estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes; and

(4) excise taxes on selected goods and services. This document provides a broad overview of each of these elements.

A number of aspects of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”), are subject to change over time. For example, some dollar amounts and income thresholds are indexed for inflation, including the standard deduction, tax rate brackets, and the annual gift tax exclusion. In general, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) adjusts these numbers annually and publishes the inflation-adjusted amounts in effect for tax years beginning in a calendar year before the beginning of that year. However the IRS publication for 2018 (Rev. Proc. 2017-58) is out of date due to the December 2017 passage of Public Law No. 115-97, An Act to Provide for
Reconciliation Pursuant to Titles II and V of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018, often referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”).Where applicable, this document generally includes actual or estimated dollar amounts in effect for 2018 and notes whether dollar amounts are indexed for inflation.

Please download this 32 page document in its entirety here.


Tax Reform Links and Examples

UPDATED 12/2/17: Tax reform is moving along. The House Ways and Means Committee introduced its bill – H.R. 1, on November 2 and the House passed it on November 16. The Senate Finance Committee released its proposal on November 9 and passed it on November 16. Late on 12/1/17, the Senate passed a bill that made numerous amendments to the bill passed by the Senate (see the list of amendments in this JCT document). Now the House and Senate need to create a conference committee to work out the differences among the bills and that version will go back to House and Senate for votes.  Or, perhaps the House will just pass the Senate version, but I don’t think so. I think there are some items the House doesn’t like such as the corporate rate reduction not starting until 2019.

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