Tax reform not so simple

Staff Writer

In the closing weeks of 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 into law, completely revamping the tax code for the first time since Ronald Reagan was in office.

The sweeping changes were marketed by Republican leadership as a simplification, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, going so far as to propose filing taxes on a postcard in a speech last August.

But the bill that passed wasn't quite that simple.

Since the Dec. 22 signing, business owners around the country have been clamoring to figure out where they stand now that the dust has settled. And that includes the proprietors in Auglaize County.

"It came out and then we received a lot of phone calls that week," Stephanie Shutt, CPA and Partner at Stroh, Johnson and Company, said.

The Wapakoneta accounting firm is also attempting to get a grasp on the bill, in order to best help their wide and varied client base, and get a sense of what this means for business.

So far, things seem to be shaping up to help the bottom line.

But like any large and complicated piece of legislature, who it will help, and how much, isn't quite so black and white.

One of the big beneficiaries will be the large corporations.

"The Googles and Apples and IBMs of the world just saved a boat load," John Johnson, Managing Partner at the firm, said. "But a very small one, making $50-75,000 a year, it costs them money."

In the old tax code, which will still be in effect when filing this spring, tax rates for corporations ran on a scale from 15 to 39 percent. With the new legislation, all corporations will pay tax at a rate of...

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