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America is a global leader in business and innovation, yet for many years, our tax code was outdated.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

March 10, 2005 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today that the Ways and Means Committee is asking House Leadership to schedule legislation on the floor next week that will clarify ambiguity in the tax code to ensure taxes will not be levied on FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants used to build storm shelters.
March 3, 2005 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today that an agreement has been made on how to move forward on legislation that would clarify ambiguity in the tax code to ensure taxes will not be levied on FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants used to build storm shelters.
February 8, 2005 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today that the President's budget includes language that would reverse a recent IRS decision that would require recipients of storm shelter grants to pay taxes on the funds they received.
February 2, 2005 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole introduced legislation yesterday evening that will provide a tax credit for producing natural gas on-shore from a depth of more than 15,000 feet.
January 27, 2005 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today he was a co-sponsor of two pieces of legislation that will clarify ambiguity in the tax code to ensure taxes will not be levied on FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants used to build storm shelters.
December 23, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – "I was extremely upset to find in today's Daily Oklahoman a story concerning the Internal Revenue Service decision to tax the federal grant money individuals received to build tornado shelters."
October 7, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted today for The Taxpayer-Teacher Protection Act (H.R. 5186) that will provide teachers additional loan forgiveness on Federal student loans.
September 23, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted today for a comprehensive tax relief package that will ease tax obligations on America's families and businesses.
April 28, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole voted today for legislation that ensures that marriage penalty tax relief is not reduced next year and that the "marriage penalty" is removed from the Tax Code permanently.
January 14, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole has been named a "Hero of the Taxpayer" by the Americans for Tax Reform. Each year Americans for Tax Reform issue their annual ratings identifying elected officials who support a pro-taxpayer agenda on 20 issues facing Congress.

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