The most recent attempt at refining our tax system may look like a tax cut on the surface, but the devil is always in the details. On closer inspection, both the House and Senate tax proposals leave no taxpayer group unscathed — other than corporations, which have been the biggest beneficiaries of tax incentives since 1986.
One thing is certain in all these machinations: tax reform is a zero-sum game and someone will inevitably be left footing the bill.
Boosting the standard deduction looks like a benefit for most, but when coupled with the elimination of state and local tax (SALT) deductions and proposed changes to the mortgage interest, child-care and medical deductions, it would virtually preclude most people from itemizing their deductions. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, this could potentially increase itemizers’ tax liability an average of $28,173. (30 percent of all tax filers itemized their deductions in 2015.)