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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Taxes

America is a global leader in business and innovation, yet for many years, our tax code was outdated. Prior to 2017, the last major update of our tax code was in 1986. The tax system – a compilation of $1.6 trillion in annual deductions, credits, exclusions, exemptions and special rates – was enormously complex and created confusion, distortions in economic incentives and hindered America’s economic competitiveness to the detriment of Americans’ opportunities. For this reason, I have long believed comprehensive tax reform is necessary and essential for future economic growth.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

I was proud to join my colleagues in passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. This comprehensive tax reform legislation modernized our tax system and still carries benefits for individuals, businesses and the American economy.

Regarding individuals, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Lowered individual income tax rates across the board
  • Doubled the standard deduction, which is claimed by nearly 90 percent of taxpayers
  • Doubled the child tax credit, saving families over $570 billion
  • Expanded 529 education savings accounts to K-12 educational expenses
  • Zeroed out the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, which disproportionately impacted low- and middle-income Americans
  • Preserved the student loan interest and medical expense deductions

Regarding businesses, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Lowered the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, bringing the U.S. rate in line with the average rate among industrialized nations
  • Permitted small and family businesses to deduct 20 percent of their income for tax purposes, saving small businesses over $400 billion for growth and investment

In total, the non-partisan Tax Foundation estimated GDP growth will increase by 1.7 percent due to this legislation, resulting in 339,000 new full-time jobs and a 1.5 percent boost in wages. In a separate analysis, the Tax Policy Center determined all income groups will see reduced taxes on average, receiving an average tax cut of $2,100 and a boost in after-tax income of more than 2 percent.

In the days ahead, I will continue working to ensure tax dollars are spent wisely and that congressional decisions regarding taxes allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money. I will also work to ensure the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which oversees the collection of taxes and administration of the tax code, operates efficiently and is responsive to filers. In 2019, I was proud to support the Taxpayer First Act, which overhauled the structure and accountability systems of the IRS, as well as its taxpayer assistance programs.

More on Taxes

July 9, 2019 Weekly Columns

Regardless of political points of view, most Americans can agree that good stewardship of the earth and its precious resources is important. And I am always encouraged by the special efforts made by individuals, families and communities to do their part today to ensure a fruitful and beautiful world for generations to come.

October 15, 2018 Weekly Columns

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, the country has undoubtedly been better off as a result. Wages are steadily on the rise, unemployment has reached its lowest level in nearly 50 years, jobs are being created and the economy is booming. Since this historic tax relief and reform effort was enacted earlier this year, the benefits have not slowed or diminished. Certainly, the lasting impact continues to be felt by individuals, families, small businesses, entrepreneurs and indeed, by all Americans. 

April 16, 2018 Weekly Columns
This week, millions of Americans will file their taxes under an antiquated system for the last time. What was once an onerous task will become a more simple, easier process in the years to come. Filing taxes for the past 32 years was done under a complicated, invasive tax code. The burdensome process grew and evolved under the changes of society, and we are left today with a system that allowed for many loopholes and unfair tax brackets. Now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is law, millions of Americans and thousands of businesses will truly begin to thrive financially.
 
March 19, 2018 Weekly Columns
This past year, the United States has been experiencing a welcome surge in economic growth. The economic successes America is enjoying is surely due to the hard work and ingenuity of the American people, the implementation of the Republican tax reform and President Trump’s initiative to bring American companies back home. In general, free trade contributes to our national prosperity as well. However, having open markets is not an invitation for others to take advantage of us. When bad actors exist, we have every right to use our power to protect our interests.
February 6, 2018 Weekly Columns
After his first year in the White House, President Trump and his Administration have much of which to be proud. Their accomplishments have delivered actual results, and the country is continuing to reap the benefits of those changes. During his first State of the Union speech, the President reinforced those achievements – many of which will certainly be remembered as signature accomplishments of his Presidency. Looking forward, he outlined an optimistic future for our nation, with a strong legislative agenda for the next year.
 
January 29, 2018 Weekly Columns
If you are an American taxpayer, you most likely have bills that need to be paid on a schedule, like an electric bill or a car payment. For many taxpayers, paying those bills might just get a little easier this year. The new tax code has already promised bigger paychecks for individuals and families, but the wave of its effects since passage into law is being realized across the nation from the corporate level to the individual taxpayer.
January 8, 2018 Weekly Columns
When the American people elected President Trump and a Republican majority, they expected big things in 2017. This past year brought with it several positive changes because the Trump administration and Congress have been focused on the American people’s priorities. One of the biggest accomplishments was the first major tax reform in more than three decades. And that’s just in year one. The American economy has grown tremendously since the beginnings of President Trump’s first days in office, and the growth trend seems likely to continue into 2018.
 
January 1, 2018 Weekly Columns
When the year 2017 began, Congress opened the new Congressional Session with the Trump Administration to “Make America Great Again.” As the year comes to a close, Congress and the Trump Administration can be proud of what they have accomplished together. Under its first year with President Trump, Congress has accomplished many of its legislative goals, and the President has fulfilled a number of his campaign promises. Although there is much work to be done in the coming year, we can reflect on this year’s legislative accomplishments with a sense of success.
December 25, 2017 Weekly Columns
As promised, Congress and the Trump Administration delivered substantial tax reform to tens of millions of American taxpayers and hundreds of thousands of US corporations and businesses before Christmas. For years, many of my colleagues and I have called for tax reform - reform that would benefit American workers by letting them keep more of what they earn, bring American companies back to our shores, promote economic growth, and lower taxes on businesses.
December 19, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the passage of the Conference Report for H.R. 1, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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