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Wed December 20, 2017 - National Edition
Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) code and now awaits President Trump's signature.
The House of Representatives passed the bill 227 to 203 and the Senate passed it by a vote of 51 to 48.
The bill, in part, lowers the corporate income tax rate to 21 percent, repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) and allows for the immediate write-off of capital purchases (excluding land) through 2022.
The estate tax, however, was not repealed, but exemption levels were doubled ($11.2 million for individuals, $22.4 million for couples), indexed for inflation, and the step-up in basis was preserved.
The mortgage interest deduction was retained. It still applies to both a primary residence and second home, but with the cap reduced from $1 million to $750,000.
The home equity loan interest deduction was eliminated.
Small businesses structured as pass-through entities (limited partnerships, LLCs, and S corporations) secured benefit from the legislation. Instead of being subject to individual income tax rates, a new 20 percent deduction was established for pass-through income subject to some limitations.
The bill retains the state and local tax (also known as SALT) deduction but replaces the unlimited cap with a $10,000 cap. Taxpayers can still claim property taxes and either income or sales taxes.
The individual provisions would expire by the end of 2025, but most of the corporate provisions would be permanent.