A tax plan by U.S. Senate Republicans released on Thursday diverges in several ways from legislation being pushed by Republicans in the House of Representatives, complicating Republican efforts to fulfill their goal of overhauling the tax code by the end of the year.
Here are the major provisions that differ significantly.
CORPORATE TAX CHANGES
CORPORATE RATE: The House plan would immediately cut the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. The Senate would set the same rate, but delay it by one year.
CARRIED INTEREST: The Senate leaves unchanged a loophole that allows private-equity fund managers and other wealthy Wall Street financiers to pay the capital gains tax rate instead of the higher income tax rate on their “carried interest” income. The House version narrows the loophole by requiring investments to be held for more than three years instead of one year currently in order to qualify for capital gains treatment.
NET OPERATING LOSSES: The Senate version eliminates the carry-back and carry-forward tax strategies by businesses to reduce past and future tax liabilities using net operating losses. The House version tightens the rules around their use.
PASS-THROUGHS: The House caps the maximum tax rate on small businesses and other non-corporate enterprises at 25 percent, down from the current top rate on “pass-through” income of up to 39.6 percent. The Senate version has no special pass-through rate but allows business owners to deduct about 17.4 percent of business income from individual taxes. That translates to a 30 percent tax rate for high-income filers.
REPATRIATION OF OVERSEAS EARNINGS: The Senate imposes a tax of 12 percent for liquid assets and 5 percent for illiquid. The House sets the rates at 14 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY TAX CHANGES
TAX BRACKETS: The Senate version maintains seven tax brackets, with the top bracket’s rate at 38.5 percent. The House has four brackets with the top one unchanged from current levels at 39.6 percent and lifts qualifying income on that top rate to more than $1 million.
MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION: The House caps the deduction of interest payments on mortgages of up to $500,000, and only on a primary residence. The Senate version keeps the existing limit at $1 million but eliminates the deduction of interest on home-equity loans.
DEDUCTING STATE AND LOCAL TAXES: The Senate bill repeals the state and local tax deduction entirely. The House version repeals the deduction for state and local income and sales tax and caps the deduction for state and local property tax paid at $10,000.
STANDARD DEDUCTION: The two versions are in line with each other, with a standard deduction of $12,200 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples, nearly double the current levels.
CHILD TAX CREDIT: The Senate would expand the child tax credit to $1,650 from $1,000. The House version sets it at $1,600.
INHERITANCES: While the House wants to double the exemption on inherited assets and repeal the tax over a period of six years, the Senate only wants to double the exemption.