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Friday, December 15, 2017

The Republican Party's Heartlessness--the Casualty Loss Provision of the purported "tax reform" legislation [feedly]

The Republican Party's Heartlessness--the Casualty Loss Provision of the purported "tax reform" legislation
http://ataxingmatter.blogs.com/tax/2017/12/the-republican-partys-heartlessness-the-casualty-loss-provision-of-the-purported-tax-reform-legislat.html


The GOP is cruising towards passage of its class warfare tax legislation that continues the long trend of Republican tax policy to redistribute upwards to the very rich.  The legislation, however, is supported by a small minority of the American public (latest polls put support for the tax legislation at less than 30%). See, e.g., Allan Smith, Polls show key Republicans could get whacked by the tax bill, Business Insider.com (Dec. 4, 2017). That's astonishing when you consider that one provision in both the House and Senate bills that is used as a "revenue raiser" to pay for the huge tax subsidies to corporations and wealthy taxpayers will be especially hard hitting to lots of middle class and lower-income people, including many who voted for Trump.

The legislation will gut the "casualty loss" provision that currently allows taxpayers to deduct losses from hurricanes and fires and other accidents and forces of nature, to the extent those losses aren't covered by insurance (after a $100 per loss limitation).  Thus, people who were flooded by Harvey can claim casualty losses on their 2017 tax returns for amounts not covered by insurance.  People who lost their homes in the fires that raged earlier this fall in northern California can claim casualty losses on their 2017 tax returns for amounts not covered by insurance.  But, as Bob Cesca notes for Salon.com, As L.A. Burns, Republicans Vote for a Tax Hike on the Victims (Dec. 8, 2017).  See also Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting News, 2017 Tax Reform: proposed individual tax changes in the 'Tax Cuts & Jobs Act' (Nov. 3, 2017) and Sally Schreiber et al, Details of Tax Reform Legislation Revealed, Journal of Accountancy (Nov. 2, 2017) (noting that the personal casualty loss is repealed, except, in the House version, for such losses associated with special disaster relief legislation--which requires congressional action for each one); Tony Nitti, Senate Releases Tax Bill: Here's How It Compares to Current Law & the House Plan, Forbes.com (Nov. 10, 2017).

You have to wonder just how the Republican Party and Trump administration became so completely heartless.  And why they think that Americans won't notice that they only care about multimillionaires in the "one percent".

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