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Congress Passes GOP Tax Overhaul Legislation

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Congress has now approved the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) on a party-line vote (51-48 Senate, 224-201 House), sending the GOP tax overhaul to President Donald Trump to be signed into law. The approximately $1.5 trillion tax package includes substantial individual and business tax cuts, along with many other far-reaching changes to U.S. tax law, and represents fulfillment of a key campaign promise for Congressional Republicans and President Trump.

Final passage was not achieved without some last-minute surprises. Shortly after the House originally approved the legislation on December 19, the Senate parliamentarian determined that several provisions in the tax package would need to be stricken from the bill per the Senate's budget reconciliation rules unless they were supported by at least 60 votes. These provisions were ultimately removed from the final bill that the Senate approved on December 19, which meant that the House had to vote again on the final bill on December 20.

The provisions struck from the final bill are summarized below:

  • A requirement to change the title of the bill.
  • Removal of a provision allowing 529 savings account funds to be used for home schooling expenses.
  • Removal of a specific exclusion within the new rule for private college and university endowments that will have to pay a new 1.4 percent excise tax on investment income. (The removal of this exclusion will not alter the overall impact on qualifying endowments).

We have updated our attached table accordingly to reflect the key provisions of the final tax bill and how they compare to the House version, Senate version, and current law. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we may provide any further clarifications or analysis.

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