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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America is a global leader in business and innovation, yet for many years, our tax code was outdated.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

December 18, 2017 Weekly Columns
This week, Congress will start to wrap up its first legislative year and work to accomplish some of its major objectives. This year has been a productive one, but we are racing to the finish line to accomplish two of our most important priorities – funding the government and tax reform.
 
November 21, 2017 Weekly Columns
When President Ronald Reagan implemented a sweeping reform of our nation’s tax system in 1986, it helped millions of Americans from different walks of life save money and kicked off an era of strong economic growth. A little more than three decades later, our tax code has become severely outdated. For the last several weeks, the House has been working through the legislative process to craft a bill aimed at fixing the current tax code and creating one that will support the individual, families and American businesses – something that is long overdue.
November 16, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by a vote of 227-205, with Cole’s support.
October 26, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed the Senate Amendment to H. Con. Res. 71, the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution.
October 5, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H. Con. Res. 71, the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution.
October 2, 2017 Weekly Columns
In 1986, then President Ronald Reagan introduced a sweeping plan to reform our nation’s tax system, and it worked. It simplified the outdated tax code which opened the door for individual prosperity and spurred economic growth. It also became one of the highlights of his presidency. Since then, our society has grown and the value of the U.S. dollar has changed. The working middle-class taxpayer today probably does not have the same priorities as they did in 1986.
September 27, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after an all-Republican conference of House members, the Committee on Ways and Means, House Leadership and the Vice President provided briefings on the Republican framework for tax reform.
June 27, 2017 Weekly Columns
The last time Congress made significant changes in the tax code, Ronald Reagan was president. A lot has changed since then, and it is long overdue for an overhaul of the tax code that reflects our changing economy, trade practices and societal priorities. When Speaker Ryan delivered his speech on tax reform last week, he made it clear that Americans must have confidence in our economy, their jobs, and their ability to care for themselves and their families. Our current tax code is overly burdensome and complicated.
January 28, 2017 News Stories
In just a few weeks, President Trump is expected to send Congress a federal budget that many expect will propose significant cuts to non-military spending. It will likely be the kind of proposal the GOP majorities in both the House and Senate have long embraced in theory but have had a harder time accepting in practice because it would require ending programs some of them support.
October 3, 2016 Weekly Columns
Every American should have the opportunity to pursue and achieve the American Dream. One of the most basic foundations of opportunity is American enterprise and the ability for citizens to enter the workforce. Our economy has seen its ups and downs throughout our history. But since this Administration took office, the economy has seen more bad than good.
 

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