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  • EnactedDecember 22nd, 2017
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed December 2nd, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 51 Yea / 49 Nay
  • The house Passed December 20th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 223 Yea / 201 Nay
      house Committees
      House Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedNovember 2nd, 2017

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What is it?

(Updated 12/16/17): This bill — known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — would overhaul the tax code with the goal of reducing the tax burden on individuals and businesses. It would lower tax rates, double the standard deduction and increase the child tax credit, eliminate or cap certain deductions, and also reduce the corporate tax rate. The bill was amended from its original form by the Senate, which replaced the House-passed version in its entirety and made further amendments to it during floor debate before approving it. This summary currently reflects the final version of the bill reported by the conference committee.

Personal Tax Rates 

The current seven tax bracket tax code (ranging from 10 percent to 39.6 percent) would be revised, with all but two of those brackets being reduced slightly. The cuts would be temporary under the bill, sunsetting after 10 years unless they’re extended by Congress.

  • The 10% bracket would remain unchanged (up to $9,525 for individuals; $19,050 for joint filers).

  • The 15% bracket would be cut to 12% ($9,525 - $38,700 for individuals; $19,050 - $77,400 for joint filers).

  • The 25% bracket would be cut to 22% ($38,700 - $82,500 for individuals; $77,400 - $165,000 for joint filers).

  • The 28% bracket would be cut to 24% ($82,500 - $157,500 for individuals; $165,000 - $315,000 for joint filers).

  • The 33% bracket would be cut to 32% ($157,500 - $200,000 for individuals; $315,000 - $400,000 for joint filers).

  • The 35% bracket would remain unchanged ($200,000 - $500,000 for individuals; $400,000 - $600,000 for joint filers).

  • The 39.6% bracket would be cut to 37% ($500,000+ for individuals; $600,000+ for joint filers).

Personal Tax Credits and Deductions

Several tax credits and deductions would be expanded, preserved, or created including:

  • The standard deduction would be doubled to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly -- up from $6,350 and $12,700 under current law.

  • The individual mandate to buy health insurance imposed by Obamacare would be repealed effective in 2019.

  • The Child Tax Credit would be doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 to help parents with the cost of raising children. It would be fully refundable up to $1,400 and phases-out for families making over $400,000. Parents have to provide a child's valid Social Security Number in order to receive the credit.

  • The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit would be preserved to help families care for children and older dependents who need additional support.

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit would be preserved to provide low-income, working Americans with additional tax relief.

  • The state and local property tax deduction would remain in effect with a $10,000 cap.

  • The deduction for charitable contributions would remain in effect.

  • The adoption tax credit would remain in effect.

  • The electric vehicle tax credit would remain in effect.

Several tax credits and deductions would be modified or eliminated including:

  • The mortgage interest deduction would be unchanged for all homeowners with existing mortgages, and for new mortgages the deduction would be available up to $750,000.

  • The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which taxpayers must pay if their AMT tax liability exceeds their regular income tax liability, would remain in effect but the exemption amounts would be increased, while its thresholds would be phased out.

  • The deduction for state and local taxes would be capped at $10,000 and taxpayers could choose from sales, income, and property taxes to count toward the deduction.

  • The deduction for medical expenses would be available for medical expenses exceeding 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income in 2018 and 2019, which would rise to 10 percent beginning in 2020.

  • The personal exemption would be eliminated.

  • The $3,000 tax deduction for living expenses like meals and lodging incurred by members of Congress while away from their home would be repealed. (This provision was also introduced as a standalone bill, the SQUEAL Act.)

Other Personal Tax Provisions

  • The exclusion threshold for the estate tax (aka the death tax) would be increased to $11 million for individuals and $22 million for married couples.

  • The gift tax tax rate would be lowered from 40 percent to 30 percent, with the basic exclusion of $10 million and the annual exclusion of $14,000 remaining at their current levels, indexed for inflation.

  • No changes would be made to the tax treatment of 401(k) retirement accounts or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

  • Individuals would be able to rollover funds in a 529 savings plan to ABLE accounts, which are tax-advantaged for individuals with disabilities and their families.

  • The $3,000 tax deduction for living expenses like meals and lodging incurred by members of Congress while away from their home would be repealed. (This provision was also introduced as a standalone bill, the SQUEAL Act.)

  • Graduate students would continue to be able to exempt the value of reduced tuition from their tax liability.

  • The student loan interest deduction would remain in place.

Corporate Tax Provisions

  • The corporate tax rate would be lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent starting in 2018.

  • Pass-through businesses would have a 20 percent deduction for non-wage income under certain circumstances, reducing their effective marginal tax rate to no more than 29.6 percent.

  • Businesses would be allowed to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment to improve operations and enhance the skills of their workers. They would also be able to continue writing off interest on loans.

  • The Research & Development Tax Credit would be preserved, as would the low-income housing tax credit that encourages investment in affordable housing.

  • The international tax system would be modernized so that American companies don’t face double taxation, and earnings could be repatriated at a reduced tax rate of 14 percent for cash profits and 7 percent for non-cash assets.

  • Incentives that reward companies for shifting jobs, profits, and manufacturing plants overseas would be eliminated.

  • Tax-exempt organizations like churches, charities, and foundations would have to comply with additional accountability rules.

Other Provisions

  • This bill would open a portion of the non-wilderness coastal plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy development, estimated to raise $1.1 billion in tax revenue over the 10-year budget window.
  • Revenue from offshore energy production would be temporarily increased for the Gulf Coast in 2020 and 2021 to allow states to invest in coastal restoration and hurricane protection.


American taxpayers; businesses; and the federal government.


The CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would increase budget deficits by about $1.46 trillion over the 2018-2027 period (not including the effects of enacting the legislation on the economy).

More Information

In-Depth: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said of this bill:

“This is what the American people have been waiting for: more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks. The conference committee took the best ideas from the House and Senate plans and made an even better bill. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is now only votes and a signature away from becoming the law of the land. This is the first major tax reform in a generation. It means relief for hardworking families and jumpstart for our economy. We're in the final stretch -- and we're ready to get this done for the American people by Christmas.”

The Finance Committee’s ranking member, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), expressed opposition to this bill saying:

“Americans are learning how many tax promises Republicans are wiling to break, how many cons they're willing to run, how many hardworking families they're willing to betray to guarantee handouts to powerful CEOs and campaign donors. The country has been watching and protesting with anger as Republicans are now days away from passing their back door deal that digs into the pockets of the middle class to pay for massive tax breaks for multinational corporations. This is a historically unpopular bill that hikes rates on the middle class, leaves 13 million Americans uninsured and raises premiums for millions more.”

Earlier versions of this legislation passed the House on November 16 and passed the Senate on December 1.


Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Xesai / iStock)


Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Official Title

An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.