Today, the House of Representatives passed the tax conference committee’s agreement (Conference Report for H.R.1) to make large-scale changes to the U.S. tax code. The measure passed by a vote of 227-203 with 12 Republican legislators crossing party lines. The legislation overhauling the tax code must still be approved by the U.S. Senate, which is expected to act on the House-adopted measure later this evening, to then be sent to the President for enactment.
The conference committee’s agreement would make a number of changes to corporate and individual tax rates, including increasing the individual standard deduction, adjusting the cap on the mortgage interest deduction, and repealing the individual mandate in the 2010 health care law. The agreement also retains both the estate tax and the personal alternative minimum tax, though the exemption thresholds would be raised.
Overall, NTEU remains significantly concerned about the legislation’s impact on the nation’s debt levels that will drive efforts to cut federal programs that include federal employee benefit programs, Social Security, and Medicare.
In addition, the IRS will be charged with implementing the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years. In order to successfully implement the tax code changes, and assist the taxpaying public, the IRS must, among other things, extensively and swiftly reprogram its computers, develop new regulations and tax forms, educate taxpayers, businesses, and the tax practitioner community so they can understand and comply with the new tax law, respond to what is expected to be a significant increase in taxpayer requests for direct assistance, and train IRS employees. NTEU is working to ensure that legislators are aware of this additional reason to increase IRS funding.
I will keep you updated on further action regarding changes to the tax code.