Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

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

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

That's when new withholding guidelines under the tax cut provisions of the new tax law - the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act - go into effect.

"These tax cuts will ensure that American workers are able to keep more of their hard-earned income and decide how to spend, invest or save it", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

New withholding tables needed to be issued in order to reflect the changes to tax rates, tax brackets, the elimination of personal exemptions and an increased standard deduction under the new law, passed by the GOP in December. With these new guidelines, companies can start adjusting employee paychecks. And that results in a refund when they file their tax returns.

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

"Republicans are using brute force and speed to implement a law that will deliver a financial blow to hardworking Americans all across the country", Sen.

Earlier this week, Wyden and Rep. Richard Neal, the top Democrat on the House tax-writing committee, asked the Government Accountability Office to analyze the new IRS tables to see if they might lead to systematic underwithholding of federal taxes from paychecks. The online calculator will not be available until sometime next month.

"The Administration's monumental tax reform legislation continues to provide economic benefits for hard-working Americans".

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"We have already seen confusion about withholding changes, confusion about the deductibility of prepaid property taxes, and confusion about whether states can allow taxpayers to make charitable contributions in lieu of taxes as a way of permitting their residents to claim larger tax deductions than would otherwise be allowed because of the new $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction", National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said. 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.

That also means employees can't assume that the new, lower withholding rates will cover everything they owe Uncle Sam for this year. If they determine they are paying too much or too little in taxes, based on the size of their family or other variables, they can direct their employer to make changes.

Employers must now rush to incorporate the new tax withholding tables into their payroll systems, a process that is expected to take several weeks.

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

There are new tax credits while other mainstays - like the $4,050 personal exemption - are gone.

"I don't want to speculate on what people will do", Mnuchin said Thursday.

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