H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, would amend numerous provisions of U.S. tax law. The bill would modify the individual income tax brackets and tax rates in effect under current law. The bill also would increase the standard deduction and the child tax credit. Deductions for personal exemptions and certain itemized deductions would be repealed, along with the individual and corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) and, starting in 2025, the estate tax. H.R. 1 would replace the structure of corporate income tax rates, which has a top rate of 35 percent under current law, with a single 20 percent rate, and would establish a maximum tax rate of 25 percent for qualified business income of an individual from certain pass-through entities. Among other changes, the bill would also substantially alter the current system under which U.S. corporations are subject to taxation on their worldwide income.
The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that enacting the bill would reduce revenues by about $1,438 billion over the 2018-2027 period, and decrease outlays by $2 billion over the same period, leading to an increase in the deficit of $1,437 billion over the next 10 years. A portion of the changes in revenues would be from Social Security payroll taxes, which are off-budget. Excluding the estimated $19 billion increase in off-budget revenues over the next 10 years, JCT estimates that H.R. 1 would increase on-budget deficits by about $1,456 billion over the period from 2018 to 2027. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues.
JCT estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net direct spending by more than $2.5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
Because of the magnitude of the estimated budgetary effects, this bill is considered to be “major legislation,” as defined in section 5107 of H. Con. Res. 71, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018. Hence, it triggers the requirement that the cost estimate, to the extent practicable, include the budgetary impact of its macroeconomic effects. The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation is currently analyzing changes in economic output, employment, capital stock, and other macroeconomic variables resulting from the bill for purposes of determining these budgetary effects. However, JCT indicates it is not practicable for a macroeconomic analysis to incorporate the full effects of all of the provisions in the bill, including interactions between these provisions, within the very short time available between completion of the bill and the filing of the committee report.
JCT has determined that the tax provisions of the bill contain no intergovernmental or private sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).