US Tax Reform Bill Unveiled

By Global Tax Weekly

The odds against an historic overhaul to the US tax code appear to have shortened considerably recently. But let’s be clear, this is likely to be a marathon, not a sprint. And an obstacle-strewn one at that – a kind of 26-mile steeplechase. In which case, there’s plenty of opportunities for the tax reform bill to trip, stumble, bog down, and ultimately run out of legs.

Not that I’m trying to deliberately talk down the GOP’s tax reform efforts. If we ignore the politics of the proposals for now – as difficult as that may be – it is clear that the kinds of changes that tax reform will bring are long overdue: tax code simplification; lower rates, especially on corporate income; and a wider tax base.

There’s no escaping the fact that there are some politically contentious provisions in the bill – perhaps unsurprisingly, given its comprehensive scope. As such, it seems improbable that it will sail through Congress mostly unaltered. Indeed, some commentators say that differences arising between House and Senate, and within the Republican ranks in Congress, could take weeks to iron out. Others say the process could take months.

Let’s not forget that repealing Obamacare looked like it would be a cakewalk for the Republicans when President Trump arrived in the White House. But that effort was subject to a number of false starts, before limping from the track. Taxpayers hoping to benefit from tax reform shouldn’t get their hopes up too soon, that’s all I’m saying!

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