In a 31 October 2018 joint statement, the White House and House Ways & Means Republicans promised to work toward improving the tax code, and committed to an additional 10% tax cut for middle income workers in 2019.
Citing a booming economy, the 2018 tax cuts and the recent House passage of legislation making the 2018 cuts permanent (generally referred to as “Tax Reform 2.0), the joint statement touted economic opportunity for workers that would be provided by an additional “10% tax cut to middle-class workers across the country.”
However, the new commitment lacks any detail as to how a further 10% cut would be structured, or paid for, nor is there any clarity as to how “middle class workers” would be defined. Tax professionals generally were skeptical as to whether such a cut could be structured and enacted even if Republicans retain control of both Houses of Congress. The President had said earlier that such a cut would be “net neutral” from a revenue perspective, fueling speculation as to where the cuts necessary to fund such a cut would come from.
Similarly, the fate of the House-passed “Tax Reform 2.0” legislation is uncertain at best. That legislation, passed on 28 September 2018 would make the 2018 tax cuts, which currently will expire after 2025, permanent, as well as making permanent the various new deduction limitations, including the elimination of the moving expense deduction/exclusion. The Senate is highly unlikely to take up that legislation this year, which would require 60 Senate votes to be enacted.
Consequently, at present the possibility of further tax cuts is speculative at best, and any clarity will not emerge until after the mid-term elections.
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Further tax cuts would reduce mobility costs for employers as necessary gross-ups would also decline.