Tax Reform Act of 1986
The U. S. Congress passed the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to simplify the income tax code, broaden the tax base and eliminate many tax shelters. Referred to as the second of the two "Reagan tax cuts", the bill was officially sponsored by Democrats, Richard Gephardt of Missouri in the House of Representatives and Bill Bradley of New Jersey in the Senate; the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was given impetus by a detailed tax-simplification proposal from President Reagan's Treasury Department, was designed to be tax-revenue neutral because Reagan stated that he would veto any bill, not. Revenue neutrality was achieved by offsetting tax cuts for individuals by eliminating $60 billion annually in tax loopholes and shifting $24 billion of the tax burden from individuals to corporations by eliminating the investment tax credit, slowing depreciation of assets, enacting a stiff alternative minimum tax on corporations; the top tax rate for individuals for tax year 1987 was lowered from 50% to 38.5%. Many lower level tax brackets were consolidated, the upper income level of the bottom rate was increased from $5,720/year to $29,750/year.
This package consolidated tax brackets from fifteen levels of income to four levels of income. The standard deduction, personal exemption, earned income credit were expanded, resulting in the removal of six million poor Americans from the income tax roll and a reduction of income tax liability across all income levels; the higher standard deduction simplified the preparation of tax returns for many individuals. For tax year 1987, the Act provided a graduated rate structure of 11%/15%/28%/35%/38.5%. Beginning with tax year 1988, the Act provided a nominal rate structure of 15%/28%/33%. However, beginning with 1988, taxpayers having taxable income higher than a certain level were taxed at an effective rate of about 28%; this was jettisoned in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, otherwise known as the "Bush tax increase", which violated his Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Act increased incentives favoring investment in owner-occupied housing relative to rental housing. Prior to the Act, all personal interest was deductible.
Subsequently, only home mortgage interest was deductible, including interest on home equity loans. The Act phased out many investment incentives for rental housing, through extending the depreciation period of rental property to 27.5 years from 15-19 years. It discouraged real estate investing by eliminating the deduction for passive losses. To the extent that low-income people may be more to live in rental housing than in owner-occupied housing, this provision of the Act could have had the tendency to decrease the new supply of housing accessible to low-income people; the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit was added to the Act to provide some balance and encourage investment in multifamily housing for the poor. Moreover, interest on consumer loans such as credit card debt was no longer deductible. An existing provision in the tax code, called Income Averaging, which reduced taxes for those only making a much higher salary than before, was eliminated; the Act, increased the personal exemption and standard deduction.
The Individual Retirement Account deduction was restricted. The IRA had been created as part of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, where employees not covered by a pension plan could contribute the lesser of $1500 or 15% of earned income; the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 removed the pension plan clause and raised the contribution limit to the lesser of $2000 or 100% of earned income. The 1986 Tax Reform Act retained the $2000 contribution limit, but restricted the deductibility for households that have pension plan coverage and have moderate to high incomes. Non-deductible contributions were allowed. Depreciation deductions were curtailed. Prior to ERTA, depreciation was based on "useful life" calculations provided by the Treasury Department. ERTA set up the "accelerated cost recovery system"; this set up a series of useful lives based on three years for technical equipment, five years for non-technical office equipment, ten years for industrial equipment, fifteen years for real property.
TRA86 lengthened these lives, lengthened them further for taxpayers covered by the alternative minimum tax. These latter, longer lives approximate "economic depreciation," a concept economists have used to determine the actual life of an asset relative to its economic value. Defined contribution pension contributions were curtailed; the law prior to TRA86 was that DC pension limits were the lesser of 25% of compensation or $30,000. This could be accomplished by any combination of elective deferrals and profit sharing contributions. TRA86 introduced an elective deferral limit of $7000, indexed to inflation. Since the profit sharing percentage must be uniform for all employees, this had the intended result of making more equitable contributions to 401's and other types of DC pension plans; the 1986 Tax Reform Act introduced the General Nondiscrimination rules which applied to qualified pension plans and 403 plans that for private sector employers. It did not allow such pension plans to discriminate in favor of compensated employees.
A compensated employee for the purposes of testing a plan's compliance for the 2006 plan year is any employee whose compensation exceeded $95,000 in the 2005 plan year. Therefore, all new hires are by definition nonhighly compensated employees. A plan could not give benefits or contributions on a more favorable basis for
Revenue Act of 1926
The United States Revenue Act of 1926, 44 Stat. 9, reduced inheritance and personal income taxes, cancelled many excise imposts, eliminated the gift tax and ended public access to federal income tax returns. Passed by the 69th Congress, it was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge; the act was applicable to incomes for 1925 and thereafter. A rate of 13.5 percent was levied on the net income of corporations. A normal tax and a surtax were levied against the net income of individuals as shown in the following table. Exemption of $1,500 for single filers and $3,500 for married couples and heads of family. A $400 exemption for each dependent under 18
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 was a major piece of tax legislation passed by the 107th United States Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, it is known by its abbreviation EGTRRA, is referred to as one of the two "Bush tax cuts". Bush had made tax cuts the centerpiece of his campaign in the 2000 presidential election, he introduced a major tax cut proposal shortly after taking office. Though a handful of Democrats supported the bill, most support came from congressional Republicans; the bill was passed by Congress in May 2001, signed into law by Bush on June 7, 2001. Due to the narrow Republican majority in the United State Senate, EGGTRA was passed using the reconciliation process, which bypasses the Senate filibuster. EGGTRA lowered federal income tax rates, reducing the top tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent and reducing rates for several other tax brackets. The act reduced capital gain taxes, raised raised pre-tax contribution limits for defined contribution plans and Individual Retirement Accounts, eliminated the estate tax.
In 2003, Bush signed another bill, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, which contained further tax cuts and accelerated certain tax changes that were part of EGGTRA. Due to the rules concerning reconciliation, EGGTRA contained a sunset provision that would end the tax cuts in 2011, but most of the cuts were made permanent with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Bush's promise to cut taxes was the centerpiece of his 2000 presidential campaign, upon taking office, he made tax cuts his first major legislative priority. A budget surplus had developed during the Bill Clinton administration, with the Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's support, Bush argued that the best use of the surplus was to lower taxes. By the time Bush took office, reduced economic growth had led to less robust federal budgetary projections, but Bush maintained that tax cuts were necessary to boost economic growth. After Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill expressed concerns over the tax cut's size and the possibility of future deficits, Vice President Cheney took charge of writing the bill, which the administration proposed to Congress in March 2001.
Bush sought a $1.6 trillion tax cut over a ten-year period, but settled for a $1.35 trillion tax cut. The administration rejected the idea of "triggers" that would phase out the tax reductions should the government again run deficits; the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act won the support of congressional Republicans and a minority of congressional Democrats, Bush signed it into law in June 2001. The narrow Republican majority in the Senate necessitated the use of the reconciliation, which in turn necessitated that the tax cuts would phase out in 2011 barring further legislative action. One of the most notable characteristics of EGTRRA is that its provisions were designed to sunset on January 1, 2011 (that is, for tax years, plan years, limitation years that begin after December 31, 2010. After a two-year extension by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, Job Creation Act of 2010, the Bush era rates for taxpayers making less than $400,000 per year were made permanent by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
The sunset provision allowed EGTRRA to sidestep the Byrd Rule, a Senate rule that amends the Congressional Budget Act to allow Senators to block a piece of legislation if it purports a significant increase in the federal deficit beyond ten years. The sunset allowed the bill to stay within the letter of the PAYGO law while removing nearly $700 billion from amounts that would have triggered PAYGO sequestration. In addition to the tax cuts implemented by the EGTRRA, it initiated a series of rebates for all taxpayers that filed a tax return for 2000; the rebate was up to a maximum of $300 for single filers with no dependents, $500 for single parents, $600 for married couples. Anybody who paid less than their maximum rebate amount in net taxes received that amount, meaning some people who did not pay any taxes did not receive rebates; the rebates were automatic for anybody who filed their 2000 tax return on time, or filed for an extension and sent a return. If an eligible person did not receive a rebate check by December 2001 they could apply for the rebate in their 2001 tax return.
EGTRRA reduced the rates of individual income taxes: a new 10% bracket was created for single filers with taxable income up to $6,000, joint filers up to $12,000, heads of households up to $10,000. The 15% bracket's lower threshold was indexed to the new 10% bracket the 28% bracket would be lowered to 25% by 2006; the 31% bracket would be lowered to 28% by 2006 the 36% bracket would be lowered to 33% by 2006 the 39.6% bracket would be lowered to 35% by 2006The EGTRRA in many cases lowered the taxes on married couples filing jointly by increasing the standard deduction for joint filers to between 164% and 200% of the deduction for single filers. Additionally, EGTRRA increased the per-child tax credit and the amount eligible for credit spent on dependent child care, phased out limits on itemized deductions and personal exemptions for higher income taxpayers, increased the exemption for the Alternative Minimum Tax, created a new depreciation deduction for qualified property owners; the capital gains tax on qualified gains of property or stock held for five years was reduced from 10% to 8% for those in the 15% income tax bracket.
EGTRRA introduced sweeping changes to retirement plans, incorporating many of the so-called Portman-Cardin provisions proposed by those House members i
Revenue Act of 1924
The United States Revenue Act of 1924 known as the Mellon tax bill cut federal tax rates and established the U. S. Board of Tax Appeals, renamed the United States Tax Court in 1942; the bill was named after U. S. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon; the Revenue Act was applicable to incomes for 1924. The bottom rate, on income under $4,000, fell from 1.5% to 1.125%. A parallel act, the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, granted all non-citizen resident Indians citizenship, thus the Revenue Act declared that there were no longer any "Indians, not taxed" to be not counted for purposes of United States Congressional apportionment. President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill into law. Both a normal Tax and a surtax were levied against the net income of individuals, as shown in the following table: Exemption of $1,000 for single filers and $2,500 for married couples and heads of family. A $400 exemption for each dependent under 18
Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981
The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 known as the ERTA or "Kemp–Roth Tax Cut", was a federal law enacted by the 97th United States Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. The act was a major tax cut designed to encourage economic growth. Republican Congressman Jack Kemp and Republican Senator William Roth had nearly won passage of a tax cut during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, Reagan made a major tax cut his top priority upon taking office. Though Democrats maintained a majority in the House of Representatives during the 97th Congress, Reagan was able to convince conservative Democrats like Phil Gramm to support the bill. ERTA passed Congress on August 4, 1981, was signed into law on August 13, 1981. ERTA was one of the largest tax cuts in U. S. history, ERTA and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 are known together as the Reagan tax cuts. Along with spending cuts, Reagan's tax cuts were the centerpiece of what some contemporaries described as the conservative "Reagan Revolution."
Included in the act was an across-the-board decrease in federal income tax rates. The top marginal tax rate fell from 70 percent to 50 percent, the bottom rate dropped from 14 percent to 11 percent. To prevent future bracket creep, the new tax rates were indexed for inflation. ERTA slashed estate taxes, capital gains taxes, corporate taxes. Critics of the act claim that it worsened federal budget deficits, while supporters credit it for bolstering the economy during the 1980s. Due to deficit concerns in the midst of the early 1980s recession, many of the cuts implemented by ERTA were rescinded by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982; the Office of Tax Analysis of the United States Department of the Treasury summarized the tax changes as follows: phased-in 23% cut in individual tax rates over 3 years. The maximum expense in calculating credit was increased from $2000 to $2400 for one child and from $4000 to $4800 for two or more kids; the credit increased from a maximum of $400 or $800 to 30 % of $10,000 income or less.
The 30% credit is diminished by 1% for every $2,000 of earned income up to $28000. At $28000, the credit for earned income is 20%; the amount a married taxpayer who files a join return increased under the Economic Recovery Tax Act to $125,000 from $100,000, allowed under the 1976 Act. A single person is limited to an exclusion of $62,500, it increases the amount of a one time exclusion of gain realized on the sale of principal residence by a persons at least 55 years old. Republican Congressman Jack Kemp and Republican Senator William Roth had nearly won passage of a major tax cut during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, but President Carter had prevented passage of the bill due to concerns about the deficit. Supply-side economics advocates like Kemp and Reagan asserted that cutting taxes would lead to higher government revenue due to economic growth, a proposition, challenged by many economists. Upon taking office, Reagan made the passage of Kemp-Roth bill his top domestic priority; as Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, passage of any bill would require the support of some House Democrats in addition to the support of congressional Republicans.
Reagan's victory in the 1980 presidential campaign had united Republicans around his leadership, while conservative Democrats like Phil Gramm of Texas were eager to back some of Reagan's conservative policies. Throughout 1981, Reagan met with members of Congress, focusing on winning support from conservative Southern Democrats. In July 1981, the Senate voted 89-11 in favor of the tax cut bill favored by Reagan, the House subsequently approved the bill in a 238-195 vote. Reagan's success in passing a major tax bill and cutting the federal budget was hailed as the "Reagan Revolution" by some reporters; the Accelerated Cost Recovery System was a major component of the ERTA and was amended in 1986 to become the Modified Accelerated cost Recovery System. The system changed the way. Instead of basing the depreciation deduction on an estimate of the expected useful life of assets, the assets were placed into categories: 3, 5, 10, or 15 years of life. For example, the agriculture industry saw a re-evaluation of their farming assets.
Items such as automobiles and swine were given 3 year depreciation values, things like buildings and land had a 15-year depreciation value. The idea was that there would be a rise in tax cuts due to the optimistic consideration of depreciating values; this would in turn put more cash into the pockets of business owners to promote investment and economic growth. The most lasting impact and significant change of the Act was the indexing of the tax code parameters for inflation starting in years after 1984. Of the nine federal tax laws between 1968 and this Act, si
Revenue Act of 1913
The Revenue Act of 1913 known as the Underwood Tariff or the Underwood-Simmons Act, re-established a federal income tax in the United States and lowered tariff rates. The act was sponsored by Representative Oscar Underwood, passed by the 63rd United States Congress, signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson and other members of the Democratic Party had long seen high tariffs as equivalent to unfair taxes on consumers, tariff reduction was President Wilson's first priority upon taking office. Following the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913, Democratic leaders agreed to seek passage of a major bill that would lower tariffs and implement an income tax. Underwood shepherded the revenue bill through the House of Representatives, but the bill won approval in the United States Senate only after extensive lobbying by the Wilson administration. Wilson signed the bill into law on October 3, 1913; the Revenue Act of 1913 lowered average tariff rates from 40 percent to 26 percent.
It established a one percent tax on income above $3,000 per year. A separate provision established a corporate tax of one percent, superseding a previous tax that had only applied to corporations with net incomes greater than $5,000 per year. Though a Republican-controlled Congress would raise tariff rates, the Revenue Act of 1913 marked an important shift in federal revenue policy, as government revenue would rely on income taxes rather than tariff duties. Democrats had long seen high tariff rates as equivalent to unfair taxes on consumers, tariff reduction was President Wilson's first priority upon taking office, he argued that the system of high tariffs "cuts us off from our proper part in the commerce of the world, violates the just principles of taxation, makes the government a facile instrument in the hands of private interests." While most Democrats were united behind a decrease in tariff rates, most Republicans held that high tariff rates were useful for protecting domestic manufacturing and factory workers against foreign competition.
Shortly before Wilson took office, the Sixteenth Amendment, proposed by Congress in 1909 during a debate over tariff legislation, was ratified by the requisite number of states. Following the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, Democratic leaders agreed to attach an income tax provision to their tariff reduction bill to make up for lost revenue, to shift the burden of funding the government towards the high earners that would be subject to the income tax. By late May 1913, House Majority Leader Oscar Underwood had passed a bill in the House that cut the average tariff rate by 10 percent. Underwood's bill, which represented the largest downward revision of the tariff since the Civil War, aggressively cut rates for raw materials, goods deemed to be "necessities," and products produced domestically by trusts, but it retained higher tariff rates for luxury goods; the bill instituted a tax on personal income above $4,000. Passage of Underwood's tariff bill in the Senate would prove more difficult than in the House because some Southern and Western Democrats favored the continued protection of the wool and sugar industries, because Democrats had a narrower majority in that chamber.
Seeking to marshal support for the tariff bill, Wilson met extensively with Democratic senators and appealed directly to the people through the press. After weeks of hearings and debate and Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan managed to unite Senate Democrats behind the bill; the Senate voted 44 to 37 in favor of the bill, with only one Democrat voting against it and only one Republican, progressive leader Robert M. La Follette Sr. voting for it. Wilson signed the Revenue Act of 1913 into law on October 3, 1913; the Revenue Act of 1913 reduced the average import tariff rates from 40 percent to 26 percent. The Act established the lowest rates since the Walker Tariff of 1857. Most schedules were a percentage of the value of the item; the duty on woolens went from 56% to 18.5%. Steel rails, raw wool, iron ore, agricultural implements now had zero rates; the reciprocity program wanted by the Republicans was eliminated. Congress rejected proposals for a tariff board to fix rates scientifically, but it set up a study commission.
The Underwood-Simmons measure vastly increased the free list, adding woolens, steel, farm machinery, many raw materials and foodstuffs. The average rate was 26%; the Revenue Act of 1913 restored a federal income tax for the first time since 1872. The federal government had adopted an income tax in the Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act, but that tax had been struck down by the Supreme Court in the case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co; the Revenue Act of 1913 imposed a one percent tax on incomes above $3,000, with a top tax rate of six percent on those earning more than $500,000 per year. Three percent of the population was subject to the income tax; the bill included a one percent tax on the net income of all corporations, superseding a previous federal tax that had only applied to corporate net incomes above $5,000. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the income tax in the cases of Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. and Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co. A normal income tax and an additional tax were levied against the net income of individuals, as shown in the following table: There was an exemption of $3,000 for single filers and $4,000 for married couples.
Therefore, the 1% bottom marginal rate applied only to the first $17,000 of income for single filers or the first $16,000 ($352,300 in
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh