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Tax Reform on the Verge of Enactment

Congressional Republicans and President Trump are on the verge of enacting broad-based tax reform legislation once the House of Representatives approves the legislation for the second time in two days.

The House must again approve the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) after the Senate was forced to remove three provisions over budget technicalities, but that’s only expected to be a minor delay on the road to enactment. None of those provisions affected retirement plans.

Following House passage yesterday of H.R. 1, the Senate quickly took up the legislation and, after a 10-hour debate, approved it at nearly 1:00 a.m. this morning.

The House vote on H.R. 1 was 227-203, with all Democrats and 12 Republicans voting against the measure. The 51-48 vote in the Senate fell strictly along party lines. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who is battling cancer, was the only senator who did not cast a vote.

Once the House approves H.R. 1, the legislation is cleared for President Trump’s expected signature, which could come as soon as today, Dec. 20. Trump said in a tweet that he expects to hold a news conference at the White House at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will deliver some of the most extensive changes to the tax code since the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Overall, the final bill would reduce taxes by $1.456 trillion over the 10-year period from 2018 to 2017. Taxpayers should note that many provisions in the legislation become effective on the date of enactment.

The final conference report for H.R. 1 is here. Additionally, an updated side-by-side comparison of the key retirement, executive compensation and employee benefit provisions of the House, Senate and Conference Report versions of H.R. 1 from the Groom Law Group is here.