2017 Tax Reform: What to Expect
(And What Not To)
Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 

Since the inauguration of President Trump, the White House and Republican lawmakers have been striving to implement massive tax reform. In late April, the White House released a one-page outline titled "2017 Tax Reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs," broadly detailing the White House's goals for reform. Some of the mentioned objectives were:

  • Individuals:
    • Reduce the 7 tax brackets to 3 tax brackets of 10%, 25% and 35%
    • Double the standard deduction to $24,000
    • Repeal the 3.8% net investment income tax
    • Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax
    • Repeal the death tax
  • Businesses:
    • 15% business tax rate
    • Eliminate tax breaks for special interests
    • Territorial tax system to level the playing field for American companies

While the White House appears to be still pushing for tax reform, Republican leadership has been noted as moving away from trying to implement full-scale reform, and more towards cutting rates. The House of Representatives and Senate have so far been unable to come to an agreement on a complete plan that could pass both chambers and be signed into law by the President. Legislators are also giving healthcare reform more attention than tax reform, which makes it appear less and less likely that sweeping changes to the tax code will happen this year. And if 2018's congressional midterm elections result in a change of leadership in either the House or the Senate, reform may not happen any time in the near future.  

Toby Clary, one of the shareholders at Soukup, Bush & Associates, recently took a trip to Washington D. C. as a  member of the Intuit ProConnect Tax Customer Council, and heard firsthand what lawmakers are saying about the likelihood of tax reform this year:

"Throughout my meetings, there was a general sense of pessimism regarding whether or not comprehensive tax reform will happen this year, whereas in December, there was hope of sweeping changes to the tax code benefiting both individuals and businesses.  The anticipation now is that Congress will enact legislation which will result in tax rate cuts, (as noted in bullet point one above) which will most likely sunset in ten years, similar to the 2001 Bush era tax cuts. What this means for our clients is that we now have a better idea of what 2017 will look like from a tax perspective and can effectively tax plan for this year."

          Despite the lofty tax reform goals and campaign promises we have heard over the last few months, we are not expecting any major changes (other than individual income tax rate reductions)  to the tax code this year. If any changes are made, it appears that they will be simple tax cuts made through the budget reconciliation process instead of major changes to existing tax law.    

About the Author - Toby D. Clary

Toby has been a member of the Soukup, Bush & Associates team since 2007.  He emphasizes in tax planning and compliance services for small to mid-size closely held businesses.  Building relationships and truly understanding and assisting with clients' needs are what Toby enjoys most at SBA.  In addition to tax services, Toby is responsible for the preparation of business valuations for the firm.  Prior to joining Soukup, Bush & Associates, Toby was employed with another local CPA firm in Fort Collins for seven years.

Toby is proud CSU Ram alumni and 25 year Colorado native.  He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Colorado Society of CPAs, and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts. Toby is also the President of the Northern Chapter of the Colorado Society of CPAs and a member of the Northern Colorado United for Youth. Most recently, Toby joined on as a member of the Intuit ProConnect Tax Customer Council, a group dedicated to helping shape the industry for tax and accounting professionals and their clients.

When not at work, you can find Toby at home with his partner-in-crime Jill, his son Miles, daughter Magnolia, and dog Winnie, or on his bike getting ready for the next century ride.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding tax reform and how it might affect you, please contact us at (970) 223-2727.