Tax Reform: Now The Real Work Starts

By Barton James posted 01-17-2018 07:53 AM

The morning of December 22 looked like just another brisk winter morning in our Nation’s Capital from ACCA’s Office’s, nestled on the other side of the Potomac River in Arlington, VA. Outside, on I-95 there was just a trickle of traffic as we headed into the long weekend of Christmas break. Just a handful of folks inside the White House were aware President Trump had decided to hurry up and sign into law without any fanfare, a Tax Reform Bill Congress had just passed. A bill many are saying is the most historic victory for small business owners in more than a generation.

With the signing of that legislation, ACCA ended 2017 with an historic victory for America’s HVACR Contractors. In the closing days of the year, the investments ACCA had been making in getting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act through Congress, resulted in a final bill that included many of our top priorities.

Highlights Include:
  • HEAT Act passed= Immediate expensing of HVAC equipment for business owners
  • Better tax rates for your businesses
  • Reforms to the estate tax
  • Opened the door for making changes to Obamacare (Association Health Plans)

Now the real work starts: With the tax overhaul now the law of the land, the IRS and the Treasury Department are plenty busy implementing it. Hundreds of rules, regulations and “guidances” are likely. With tax filing season beginning Jan. 29, it’ll be like building a plane while they’re flying it.

The IRS has already issued three missives on the law, governing withholding, property tax deductions and how corporations should calculate how much tax they have to pay on money they’ll be required to bring home from abroad. Businesses that pay taxes through the individual side of the tax code, known as pass-throughs, are expecting quick guidance on major changes affecting them, as will universities facing a new tax on their endowments.

Is the IRS up to it? One question the daunting task of implementation raises is IRS can do it. The day before the president signed the bill into law, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, said lawmakers were discussing an IRS infusion of around $500 million early this year to help with implementation. One possible vehicle is the spending plan Congress keeps kicking down the road (the 1/16 extension gives them 4 more weeks). Don’t hold your breath, though. Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and Sen. Chuck Grassley, a member of the Finance Committee, have thrown cold water on the idea.