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America is a global leader in business and innovation, yet for many years, our tax code was outdated.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

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.
May 23, 2003 Press Release
Washington D.C. – In a few short weeks Oklahomans, along with Americans across the nation, will be pocketing more of their paycheck and receiving reimbursement checks in the mail. After a joint conference committee agreement and a meeting with House and Senate Republicans and the President, a tax cut plan of $350 billion was sent to the floors of both chambers. The House passed the package 231-200 and the Senate 51-50.
May 16, 2003 Press Release
Washington D.C. – To honor the many men and women of the nation's Armed Forces, Congressman Tom Cole will be participating in an Armed Forces Day Ceremony at the American Legion in Blanchard and an Armed Forces Celebration at Wiley Post Airport. Armed Forces Day is May 17, 2003.
March 20, 2003 Press Release
Washington D.C. – As a salute to the brave men and women who volunteer to serve in our nation's military, Oklahoma's Tom Cole, a cosponsor of the measure, hailed the overwhelming passage of the Armed Forces Tax Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 1307) in the U.S. House of Representatives today.