Tax Talk of the Town

December 14, 2017

The yearlong tax-reform debate is in its final stages. This week, House and Senate conferees once again took the legislation behind closed doors, except for a brief for-show public meeting Wednesday, to resolve any discrepancies between the bills.

The provisions MOAA mentioned in recent weeks are among the topics legislators hashed out over the past few days. We've been keeping a close eye on some key topics, including:

  • modification of the exclusion of gain of sale of a principal residence;
  • qualified medical expense deductions;
  • repeal of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit;
  • moving expense deductions; and
  • reduction of mortgage interest rate deductions.

MOAA, along with partners in The Military Coalition, continues to express concerns to members of Congress and administration officials while reminding them of the inherently unique conditions of military service that require certain methods of compensation both during and after service. Changing the tax-preferred status of some special forms of compensation or further reducing incentives for homeownership risks devaluing military service.

Beyond the individual provisions in the bill, MOAA is concerned about the impact on our nation's finances. Years of active conflict overseas and growing entitlement expenses have steadily increased our national debt, leading to Congress making shortsighted, irrational budget cuts that fail to take into account national security and nondefense priorities.

Senior military leaders consistently have warned Congress the national debt is one of the biggest threats to national security.

Tax Deficit Calculation

 

 

With conference committee almost finalized, details of the bill slowly are being released. It was revealed the mortgage interest deduction will be capped at $750,000, a midpoint between the two proposals. The full text likely will be released over the weekend.

Votes are expected to be held as soon as Monday, Dec. 18. Assuming the bill is approved by both chambers, President Donald Trump will have the opportunity to sign sometime before Christmas the biggest piece of tax legislation in 30 years.

You can play a part in the outcome of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Before the final vote, urge your representatives to reconsider provisions that could uniquely affect servicemembers, whose career and health circumstances are categorically different from the average civilian. Send this MOAA-suggested message before the final vote occurs.

 

 

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