2017-12-13 — nytimes.com
Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip, told reporters that Republicans will be briefed on the deal today, and that he is confident it will be approved next week.
The agreement drops the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from the current 35 percent rate and will go into effect in 2018, rather than 2019, as the Senate bill originally called for, according to a senior Republican congressional aide. The bill also allows individuals to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes, split between property taxes and either income or sales taxes paid. That move is intended to alleviate the concerns of House Republicans, particularly those from California, over the bill's treatment of the state and local tax deduction.
Lawmakers also agreed to rescind the corporate alternative minimum tax, which was tucked into the Senate bill at the last minute as a way to pay for the $1.5 trillion bill. The inclusion of the corporate A.M.T. was criticized by many business groups, who said it would prohibit the ability of companies to use tax breaks such as the research and development tax credit.
The top individual income tax rate will drop to 37 percent, down from the current rate of 39.6 percent. But the rate will kick in for income levels below the $1 million cutoff outlined in both the House and Senate bills.
The conference bill will preserve the individual alternative minimum tax, which the House bill had eliminated and the Senate bill retained in a watered-down form. The conference version will apply to even fewer taxpayers than the Senate bill would have, the congressional aide said.
The agreement in principle appears to allow some high-earning business owners to claim an even larger tax break than the Senate bill would have. Negotiators agreed to keep the Senate's approach to provide a tax deduction for so-called pass-through companies, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the individual code. That deduction will likely be lower than the 23 percent deduction in the Senate-passed bill.
But, the aide said, the conference bill will include a House provision that would allow some pass-through owners with few employees -- but large amounts of investment in their businesses -- to bypass a limit on how much income qualifies for the preferential deduction.
It is not clear if Republican senators will roundly endorse the deal, which would allow provisions that Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Marco Rubio of Florida had raised concerns about earlier this week. Ms. Collins has said she's not in favor of a lower individual rate and Mr. Rubio has pushed for a more generous child tax credit.
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