Republicans struck a deal on a sweeping tax overhaul Wednesday, including steep corporate and individual rate cuts, and hope to have legislation on President Donald Trump’s desk by next week.
The agreement includes a 37 percent top tax rate for individuals, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said, lower than either the House or Senate called for earlier. The corporate tax rate would be 21 percent, higher than the 20 percent in each chamber’s separate legislation, and would start in 2018 instead of being delayed until 2019 as the Senate proposed.
“Pass-through” businesses that pay taxes through the individual side of the tax code would get a 20 percent deduction, and businesses would get to immediately write off investments for the next five years. The corporate alternative minimum tax, which business groups had fought hard to get squelched in a final deal, is out, sources said. The AMT for individuals is retained, though fewer people are expected to pay it as the exemption would be raised to $1 million for couples.
The estate tax, long a target for elimination by Republicans, would be kept, Cornyn said, though the exemption would be doubled.
The final legislation would also end Obamacare’s mandate that all Americans have health insurance or face a fine.
There was also a deal to allow homeowners to deduct the interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt, down from $1 million now. Negotiators dropped a House plan to tax as income college tuition waivers for graduate students working as teaching or research assistants.
That agreement would allow taxpayers to choose a property tax deduction along with either an income or sales tax deduction, with a $10,000 limit, according to a source familiar with the plan.
Republicans plan to release the details of the agreement by the end of this week, a GOP aide said. They still need to finish writing the legislative text, and get a final budgetary accounting by the official Joint Committee on Taxation.