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losangelesnewstoday.com January 22, 2018


Treasury watchdog finds no political pressure on tax analysis

14 January 2018, 12:12 | Katrina Lee

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Officials have given employers a deadline of February 15 to implement the new withholding tables resulting from the passage of the president's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Internal Revenue Service today released Notice 1036, which updates the income-tax withholding tables for 2018 reflecting changes made by the tax reform legislation enacted last month.

Democrats, who say the Republican tax overhaul is mainly a giveaway to the wealthy, have warned that the new IRS guidelines could be skewed to give taxpayers an exaggerated benefit ahead of the elections that they would have to repay in 2019. That means employees could start seeing the changes reflected in their paychecks next month, the IRS said.

"The IRS appreciates the help from the payroll community working with us on these important changes", said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. "Our objective is not to have taxpayers over-withheld, so they owe money at the end of the year", Mnuchin said Thursday during the news conference.

In the letter, Wyden and Neal said that withholding too little in taxes presents "a considerable problem and undue hardship". The effort will be created to help workers ensure that they are not having too much or too little withholding taken out of their pay.

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The major changes affecting individuals include new tax brackets, (mostly) lower income tax rates, a near-doubling of the standard deduction and the elimination of both personal exemptions as well as many itemized deductions.

The IRS is not issuing new Form W-4s ... yet. Taxpayers are encouraged to use the calculator to adjust their withholding once it is released.

"We think there will be over $1 trillion in growth, so I do think this will pay for itself", Mnuchin said at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Washington, dismissing estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation that the tax cuts will increase USA deficits by $1.1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

Currently, the IRS is revising that tool to reflect the most recent tax law changes. Treasury would achieve that, the lawmakers surmised in the letter, by pushing the IRS to change its formula for withholdings. The IRS doesn't expect that to change much under the new tax law given the preference filers have shown for getting big refunds, rather than just breaking even or having to cut a new check to Uncle Sam when they file their returns.



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