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H.R. 1040 (115th): Flat Tax Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 14, 2017.


Flat Tax Act

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to authorize an individual or a person engaged in business activity to make an irrevocable election to be subject to a flat tax (in lieu of the existing income tax provisions) of 19% for the first two years after an election is made, and 17% thereafter.

The bill calculates taxable income for individual taxpayers by subtracting a basic standard deduction and an additional standard deduction for each dependent from the total of wages, retirement distributions, and unemployment compensation. "Business taxable income" is gross active income reduced by certain deductions for the cost of business inputs, wages, and retirement contributions.

The bill imposes an employer tax on the value of excludable compensation provided to employees not engaged in business activity of 19% for the first two years after an election is made under this bill and 17% thereafter.

The bill also repeals the estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes.

A two-thirds vote of the House of Representatives or the Senate is required to increase the flat tax rate proposed by this bill or to reduce the amount of the standard deduction or business-related deductions allowed by this bill.