After months of drafting, revising and voting, Congress has passed a bill that will overhaul our national tax code.
The two groups of lawmakers came together to create one plan that they thought was the best of both worlds. That’s the plan that will go to President Donald Trump. Trump touted the plan as a Christmas gift that he expected to be signed into law by the holiday.
Let’s take a look at the bill that is headed to Trump’s desk.
Here’s What’s in the Final Tax Bill
Individual Taxes Will Go Down, but There Are Still 7 Brackets
One of the early promises was the new tax code would simplify the tax brackets from seven to four. That didn’t happen in the final bill.
When you file your taxes under the new bill, there will still be seven brackets that range from 10% to 37%. The current tax code requires that Americans in the top income bracket pay 39.6%.
While the number of brackets won’t change, taxes will be lowered across the board. At least for now. Most of the individual tax cuts will disappear in 2025.
Corporations Will Pay a 21% Tax Rate
Although individual tax breaks are temporary, the corporate tax cut is permanent in the bill headed to Trump. Early plans said businesses would pay a 20% rate. The final plan bumped that up to 21%. Under current law, the top corporate tax rate is 35%.
Proponents say this cut will create more jobs with higher wages. But critics say workers won’t see the benefits. Instead, they say, it will only widen the wealth gap by concentrating more money in the hands of the rich.
Standard Deduction, Child Tax Credit Will Double… for Now
Temporary changes are coming to what deductions and credits you can claim when you file your taxes.
As promised, the standard deduction — the dollar amount those who don’t itemize their deductions can subtract from their taxable income — will nearly double.
In the past, single filers could deduct $6,300, and joint filers could deduct $12,600. Those deductions jump to $12,000 and $24,000 respectively.
The child tax credit will double from $1,000 to $2,000 and will also come with a larger refundable portion that will likely be helpful to lower-income parents.
Homeowners can expect the mortgage interest deduction to change as well. The new bill limits the deduction to the first $750,000 of mortgage debt for homes purchased after Jan. 1, 2018. The current law capped it at $1 million.
This will impact Americans who own expensive homes and middle-class people in large cities like New York City and Los Angeles, where even middle-income people are forced to pay high prices for homes.
All three of these changes will expire in 2025 as well. If no additional laws are passed to extend them, the standard deduction increase, the child tax credit increase and the mortgage interest deduction cap will all revert back to where they are now.
Finally, graduate students will be glad to learn that plans to tax tuition waivers as income didn’t make the final bill.
When Will These Changes Take Effect?
Tax season is almost here again. In the next few months, we’ll all be gathering up our W-2s and other payment documents to calculate how much we owe the government or how much we’ll get back.
During this tax cycle, the old rules still apply. Once Trump signs the new bill into law, it will impact how we pay taxes on our 2018 income.
Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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