For the first time since 1986, Congress has passed a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s tax code. President Trump’s bill signing event will cap several months of frenzied political wrangling and legislating, dominated by the president’s fellow Republicans in Congress. While a debate of the merits of the bill still rages, everyone agrees that the legislation will affect every sector of the economy and have far reaching implications, some of which are still unknown.
Most observers agree that the bill is far from being in final form. In the months following its passage, lawmakers will learn how the actual implementation of the law really affects individuals, entities and industries. Given such a massive and complicated piece of legislation, there will be a host of unintended consequences to address in a technical corrections bill early next year. In an interview with Politico last week, Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) of the House Ways and Means Committee conceded that the law will need to be fixed after the fact: “I can’t imagine any major undertaking like this that doesn’t require technical corrections in the future,” he said. The need for technical corrections is exacerbated by the fact that, unlike the tax reform law under President Reagan in 1986, this bill was developed so quickly and without the benefit of the regular legislative process, including extensive consultation with economists and testimony from experts at public hearings.
Small and mid-sized businesses in particular, as well as hospitals, universities, and non-profits should review the new tax structure with their accountants and other experts to determine the effects the new tax code will have on their businesses. It is likely that certain new provisions will have unforeseen impacts that will require a Congressional fix. Our team in Washington is ready to help make your concerns known to Congress and help to advance your interests as technical corrections bills take shape in early 2018.