Final US tax reform bill released

Final US tax reform bill released

Republicans unveiled their final tax bill Friday evening, a step that will place them on track to vote on their plan next week and potentially have President Donald Trump sign it into law by the end of the year, CNN reports.

It's a campaign promise that Republicans are optimistic they'll finally be able to deliver on, bolstered in part by several key senators saying they'll back the bill Friday before the bill's public release.

"I'm confident we'll have the votes," said Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio and a member of the tax conference.

What's in the bill

The bill -- which critics say is heavily weighted to ease the tax burden of businesses rather than the middle class -- drops the corporate tax rate down from 35% to 21%, repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax, nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals and restructures the way pass-through businesses are taxed.

The bill keeps seven personal income tax brackets, and lowers that tax rates for most brackets, including dropping the top rate to 37% from 39.6%.

The child tax credit under the bill will be $2,000 and the credit is refundable up to $1,400. After months of negotiations in both chambers, a narrow vote in the US Senate and this last-minute tweak to the child tax credit aimed to win back the support of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Republicans were upbeat Friday afternoon as they briefed reporters on where the bill stood.

While Republican leaders released a two-page summary of the bill's contents, the summary did not include specific details on how the plan is funded.

The conference report will also allow individuals to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes. Individuals can either elect to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local income and property taxes or state and local property and sales taxes. Originally, Republicans had tried to repeal the state and local deductions altogether, but pushback in the House and Senate forced leaders to retain the property tax deduction. Then, the conference report went even further and made concessions in order to win over Republicans in the House from high-tax states like New Jersey, New York and California.

Unlike previous versions of the bill, the conference committee version leaves the student loan interest deduction untouched.

The bill lowers the mortgage interest deduction cap. For those who take out a new mortgage on a first or second home, they will only be allowed to deduct the interest on debt up to $750,000 for a primary residence, down from $1 million currently. Homeowners who already have a mortgage would be unaffected by the change.

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