2017 TCJA Proposed Tax Reform

photo credit: Business Insider- Trump tax plan chart

What is the process for proposed tax reform???

There is a lengthy process before tax law (or any proposed changes) can be enacted.

“The Constitution says that “all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” and that “Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes.” Presidents can, and frequently do, recommend changes to current tax laws, but only Congress can make the changes.

As the [Ways and Means] Committee [is the tax writing committee of the House of Representatives] reaches tentative decisions on the proposals, they draft them into legislative language. It also prepares a detailed report on the proposed Legislation. The report can be longer than the bill itself, and presents the Committee’s (the ‘House’) reasons for recommending the bill. The Internal Revenue Service and the courts may use this Committee report as an interpretation of the legislation. Once the bill and the report are completed, they get introduced in the House of Representatives for consideration

The [Senate Finance] Committee begins its formal work on the legislation after the House has passed its version of the bill. It holds hearings similar to those held earlier by the House Ways and Means Committee. Instead of considering the tax proposals made by the [the President] Administration, however, it considers the bill passed by the House.

Witnesses appear at the Committee hearings in the same order as in the Ways and Means Committee. They direct their testimony to the House version of the bill.

After the hearings are finished, the (Senate Finance) Committee marks up the House bill, similar to the markup by the Ways and Means Committee (the House). When the (Senate Finance) Committee completes its markup, the bill is usually very different from the one passed by the House. It then gets reported to the full Senate for floor action.

A report gets filed along with the bill. The report explains in detail the amendments made by the (Senate) Finance Committee.

The entire Senate debates the bill as reported by the Committee. During the debate, the Senators may further amend the bill before they bring it to a vote.

If the Senate passes the House version of the bill, without amendments, it gets sent directly to the President.”

– Resource Center. “Writing and Enacting Tax Legislation.” Taxes, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 5 Dec. 2010, 10:28am, www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Taxes/Pages/writing.aspx.