Update: How GOP Tax Reform Could Change Employee Benefits

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Note: This is a follow up to my previous post covering the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Senate’s version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Bill”), which was unveiled November 9, 2017, presents key differences from the Bill presented by the House earlier this week.

To name a few, the Senate Bill would:

  1. No longer let individual filers deduct property taxes on their state and local income or sales taxes
  2. Preserve the seven tax brackets, with slightly different rates
  3. Still allow filers to claim a deduction for the interest paid on mortgage debt up to $1 million

The Senate’s modifications on the consumer-directed health care industry and employee benefits remain similar to the House Bill and include the following provisions:

  • Dependent Care FSAs – Preserves the $5,000 dependent care tax credit for daycare, summer camps, and other child-care services costs. The House initially did away with this benefit, but later restored it via an amendment to its original Bill.
  • Medical Expenses – Retains the deduction for qualified medical expenses that exceed 10% of a person’s adjusted gross income for the year, a deduction that was repealed in the House Bill.
  • Adoption Assistance – Keeps the one-time credit worth up to $13,570 for every child that a family adopts. The House Bill initially did away with this credit, but later restored it via an amendment to its original Bill.
  • Child Tax Credit – Increases the child tax credit to $1,650 per child, up from $1,000 today, and slightly above the $1,600 proposed in the House Bill.
  • Individual Mandate – Neither Bill includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate requiring Americans to have health insurance.
  • Commuter Benefits – Allows employers to continue to reimburse for commuting as a fringe benefit, but not for any other personal transportation.

The House and the Senate hope to finalize and pass each other’s Bill by Thanksgiving, with final passage of the ultimate Bill by the end of 2017.

I’ll cover this and the other legislative topics that defined benefits dialogue in 2017 — as well as what may be on the horizon — along with Roy Ramthun, President and Founder of HSA Consulting Services, in our upcoming webinar, The Legislative Year in Review, and What to Look For in 2018. I hope you can join us.

> Keep Up to Date: Get regular legislative updates in your inbox and stay ahead of coming changes to health care regulations that impact your tax-advantaged accounts.

By |2018-02-22T23:48:53-05:00November 10th, 2017|Brokers, DCAPs, Employer Posts, FSAs, HRAs, HSAs, Legislation|
Disclaimer: ConnectYourCare does not provide tax or legal advice. This information is not intended and should not be taken as tax or legal advice. Any tax or legal information in this notice is merely a summary of ConnectYourCare’s understanding and interpretation of some of the current tax regulations and is not exhaustive. You should consult your tax advisor or legal counsel for advice and information concerning your particular situation before making any decisions.

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