The GOP plans would repeal the alternative minimum tax, a parallel tax system affecting more than four million households. The House bill would consolidate a tangle of tax breaks for higher education. Both plans would remove—temporarily—thorny depreciation rules. Narrow deductions for tax-preparation fees, teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses and moving costs would vanish under the House plan, removing lines from tax forms and pages from Internal Revenue Service publications.
The full House and a Senate committee are each expected to vote this week on the competing plans, as Republicans push to have a tax bill signed into law by year-end. Simplification is part of the GOP’s promise to voters, but for many filers, a simpler tax code without the breaks they use the most could leave them paying more.
Still, “on simplification, it’s actually pretty good,” said Lawrence Zelenak, a Duke University law professor. “It gets rid of several things which add a lot of complexity for a lot of ordinary taxpayers.”