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emfizz.com January 19, 2018


Tax reform: IRS, Treasury take first step toward raising your paycheck

12 January 2018, 12:29 | Terri Saunders

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The Internal Revenue Service will need an additional $1 billion over the next two years to implement the new GOP tax law passed last month, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson wrote in her annual report to Congress released on Wednesday.

The guidelines are necessary for businesses to calculate how much to withhold in taxes from employees' paychecks beginning as soon as next month.

Trump insists that workers will see higher pay and new jobs from his sweeping overhaul of the US tax system and White House analysts say the average household can expect a $4,000 pay raise.

In rushing the process, the Treasury Department is asking companies to rely on outdated forms to help determine how much to withhold.

As a result, Americans are being encouraged to check their payroll using the IRS online calculator, which will not be available until next month, to make sure that they are not overpaying or underpaying their taxes.

If they find their paychecks are inaccurate, it will be incumbent on the employees to tell their employers to make corrections.

"This will provide [Americans] with certainty so they are neither over-withheld or under-withheld", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday.

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The major changes affecting individuals include new tax brackets, (mostly) lower income tax rates, a near-doubling of the standard deduction and the elimination of both personal exemptions as well as many itemized deductions. Trump administration officials said that the guidelines should lead to bigger paychecks for 90 percent of all wage earners.

"I think this is another ridiculous charge", Mr. Mnuchin said at a briefing at the White House. "We had existing technology".

Senior Treasury Department officials said they expect employers to update their systems so that the new withholding tables go into effect by February 15. When they file their tax returns, if their tax payments were too high or too low, they must account for the difference through a refund or payment. "It cannot answer the phone calls it now receives, much less the phone calls it can expect to receive in light of tax reform, without adequate funding". "Then they can decide what they want to do", the senior IRS official said. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.).

The patchwork system is part of a rushed transition the White House is trying to push through to allow as many Americans as possible to see bigger paychecks next month. There are significant limitations on long-cherished deductions, such as the federal deduction for state income, property and sales taxes. California, New York and New Jersey are among the states that have been considering changes to their tax codes to blunt the pain that their residents could feel from the scaling back of the state and local tax deduction in the new law. "It's taxes simply being called by another name", he said. Employers and payroll companies will now be required to process and implement those changes.

Nonpartisan tax experts project that the law will bring lower taxes for the great majority of Americans, though not all.

The current tax withholding system is based on personal exemptions, which, under the new bill, was repealed.



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