(Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday released details of a 429-page tax bill that calls for slashing taxes on corporations, along with many other changes affecting individuals, families and businesses.
Based on publicly released documents and comments from Republican lawmakers, here are the bill’s main features, which are expected to change as the tax debate unfolds in weeks ahead.
* Permanently reduces the U.S. corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from a current statutory rate of 35 percent, a change that is in line with initial Republican proposals.
* Dramatically reshapes the tax system for U.S. multinational corporations. Worldwide taxation of their foreign profits would end. A territorial tax system exempting those foreign profits from the corporate tax would be imposed.
* Gives multinationals a tax break on $2.6 trillion in profits they have stashed offshore on a tax-exempt basis. The measure would require those profits to be brought into the United States, or repatriated, but not at the full 35-percent corporate tax rate that would normally be due. Instead, those profits would be taxed at only 12 percent for cash assets and 5 percent for illiquid assets. Repatriation tax due under the proposal would be payable over eight years.
* Imposes a new 10-percent minimum tax on U.S. companies’ high-profit foreign units, calculated on a global basis, to discourage shifting profits abroad.
* Proposes a tax on foreign companies operating in the United States of up to 20 percent on payments made abroad from U.S. operations. Companies could lower those taxes by putting more operations in the U.S. tax system.
* Repeals the 20 percent corporate alternative minimum tax.
* Caps the maximum tax rate on small businesses and other non-corporate enterprises to 25 percent, down from the present maximum rate on “pass-through” income of 39.6 percent.
* Sets standards for distinguishing between individual wage income and actual pass-through business income to prevent tax-avoidance abuse of the new, lower tax level.
* Allows immediate and full expensing of capital investments by businesses.
* Allows businesses to deduct interest costs up to 30 percent of taxable income. Exempts from this rule businesses with average gross receipts of $25 million or less. Certain public utilities and “real property trades” are also exempted.
* Preserves the research and development tax credit.
* Phases out tax credits for solar, geothermal and wind power.
* Consolidates three higher education tax credits into a single credit.
* Ends tax-exempt bonds for professional sports stadiums.
* Ends deductions for employee entertainment and recreation activities, as well as other fringe benefits.
* Consolidates the number of tax brackets from seven to the following: zero tax on income up to $24,000; 12 percent up to $90,000; 25 percent up to $260,000; 35 percent up to $1 million; and 39.6 percent over $1 million. That top bracket is the same as the present level and was added to the bill after critics hammered Republicans’ original proposal to cut the top rate.
* Increases the standard deduction for taxpayers to $12,000 from $6,350 for individuals, and to $24,000 from $12,700 for married couples.
* Repeals the $4,050 individual personal exemption.
* Preserves the home mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages, but reduces the amount of interest that taxpayers can deduct from their taxes on new mortgages, capping it at $500,000. The cap is now $1 million.
* Caps the deduction for state and local property taxes at $10,000. Repeals the deduction for state and local income and sales taxes, a measure that hurts high-income tax states, such as New York, New Jersey and California.
* Retains popular retirement savings programs including the 401(k) and IRA pension plans.
* Expands the child tax credit to $1,600 from $1,000, and establishes a new $300 credit for each parent and non-child dependent. Also preserves the child and dependent care tax credit.
* Preserves the earned income tax credit.
* Preserves the deduction for charitable giving.
* Changes higher education benefits, such as college tuition, with further details not immediately available.
* Repeals the individual alternative minimum tax on high-income taxpayers.
* Doubles the exemption from the estate tax on inherited assets and repeals the tax over six years.
* Adds $1.51 trillion to the federal budget deficit over a decade. The deficit is now about $700 billion a year. The national debt now exceeds $20 trillion.
Reporting by David Morgan and Amanda Becker; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and David Gregorio