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Klingman Insights

Implication of House Republican Proposed Tax Reform

November 3, 2017

Dear Valued Client:

Yesterday, the House Republican leadership introduced the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Given that the draft was 429 pages long, I think we can call this an attempt at tax reform, but certainly not simplification.

Among the highlights:

  • The top marginal income tax rate for individuals remains the same at 39.6%, although it kicks in at higher income levels. There were additional changes to/removals of lower tax brackets as well.
  • Deductions for state and local income taxes would be eliminated and the deduction for property taxes would be capped at $10,000.
  • The mortgage interest deduction would be grandfathered for existing homes but reduced for new home purchases and eliminated for second home purchases
  • Taxes on capital gains are unchanged.
  • Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is repealed.
  • The estate tax exemption would be doubled and estate taxes would be eliminated by 2024.
  • Corporate tax rates would be lowered from 35% to 20%.
  • The application of a lower tax rate to “pass through vehicles” (Subchapter S Corps and partnerships) is included, but the rules would be very complex and restrictions would exist.

Here is a link to a Wall St. Journal article with more details of the Republican proposal: https://on.wsj.com/2zZsujM.

While the structure of this proposal gives us some insight into the Republican’s plans, this is still a long way from being law. The proposal will now be debated in committee and there are many constituencies that will be lobbying for changes. The Republicans hope to have a bill for the House to vote on in the coming weeks. The Senate Republicans also plan to propose their version of tax reform, potentially as early as next week.

It is still too early to make any planning decisions related to a potential tax law change. Having said that, this proposal calls for the changes to start in 2018, with no changes being retroactive for 2017 (as we suspected). If something does pass before the end of the year and the President signs it into law, we will have a short window in order to make some planning decisions for 2017 and 2018.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any specific questions. We will be in touch with more details as the events unfold.


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