Future of tax reform complicated by polling

Tax Hot Topics newsletter Recent polls suggest most Americans don’t believe they’re paying less tax under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). In advance of a major election in 2020, the polling results could affect candidate tax platforms and the law itself.

The future of TCJA may hinge on the presidential and congressional elections in 2020, especially with major portions of the bill set to expire in 2025. The effect of the tax cuts on the economy and taxpayers could emerge as a significant campaign issue. Although many indicators still show a strong economy, the polling results show most Americans are not personally noticing lower taxes under the bill.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that only 17% of taxpayers expected to pay less in taxes for the first year under the new law. An earlier Reuters/Ispos poll presented similar findings, with 20% expecting their 2018 tax liability to decrease. Nearly 60% of respondents to both polls either expected to pay more or the same. These results come despite the fact that the TCJA is estimated to reduce taxes for two-thirds of households and provide an average savings of more than $1,200 according to the Tax Policy Center.

The polling may already be affecting the upcoming election. Several candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination have proposed aggressive tax platforms undoing some or even all of the changes enacted by the TJCA, either to reform the tax code or pay for other programs.

Dustin Stamper
Managing Director
Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 861 4144

Omair Taher
Senior Associate
Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 861 4143

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