Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has recently drafted legislation that would overhaul a large portion of former President Trump’s 2017 tax cut bill, which Republicans sold as a gift to small businesses, and Democrats have argued is a massive giveaway to the top 1 percent because they would receive 83% of the benefits.  

The bill would expand eligibility for those who do not qualify for the “pass-through” deduction. The pass-through deduction allows small business owners to deduct 20% of their income from their taxes. If you have $100,000 in pass-through income you could deduct $20,000 and save $4,400 on your taxes if you are in the 22% tax bracket.

In order to be eligible for the tax deduction, you must be a sole proprietor, a partnership, an S corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or a limited liability partnership (LLP). 

Wyden’s proposal would make it so lawyers, doctors, and accountants making above certain income limits would be eligible for the same benefit.

 

 

The proposal comes as the Democrats are attempting to pass an ambitious economic agenda that includes a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill via reconciliation that aims to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing, address childcare, healthcare, combat climate change, and fund universal pre-K.

While Wyden’s bill would extend the pass-through tax deduction to more eligible businesses, it will also limit eligibility based on income. Anyone making $400,000 a year or less in qualified business income will see no change and will be able to benefit. Anyone making more than $400,000, where the income goes directly to the business owner will be phased out.

 

 

“Few policies reflect the commitment of Republicans to the top 1 percent like the pass-through cuts made in their 2017 bill,” Wyden said. “Mega-millionaires write off 20% of their income while middle-class accountants are cut off. It doesn’t make any sense, and my bill would eliminate the deduction to benefit Main Street’s small businesses,” Wyden added. 

Although a Congressional budget has yet to be made public, Wyden expects the new limits to raise tens of billions of dollars for the next 10-year budget window. Limiting those deductions may cause some political hurdles but small business owners would still be able to claim those desired deductions. 

The Biden administration has said they are open to using the changes in cuts as an offset to the cost of its infrastructure and spending plan.