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In this Issue : January 2018

As the editors began working on this issue, it became increasingly probable that major tax legislation would be enacted before Congress and the President's self-imposed year-end deadline. We reached out to several of our expert authors in the field, and as a result of their timely contributions, this issue includes a first look at the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—signed into law on December 22, 2017—as well as tax planning content on other issues.

A lack of transparency characterized the turbulent deliberative process for the House and Senate bills that ultimately became the TCJA. A rush to meet the year-end deadline lead to haste in the legislation's drafting, and this has inevitably introduced mistakes, many still coming to light, that will need to be fixed through technical corrections or regulatory interpretation. Such a process has left experts confused by the wording of the 1000-page bill and scrambling to understand what was meant. The act will be difficult for the IRS to enforce without further guidance (and, perhaps, funding). It will also invariably lead to unintended consequences that will not be felt for months or even years.

Taxpayers will be turning to their CPAs for answers and advice about these major changes to the tax law. Individuals, estates, small businesses, and international business will all be affected. While this month's first look at some of the most significant provisions in the act can help readers prepare, more analysis will be coming in succeeding issues as experts have time to digest the law and regulators begin to issue guidance.

Also included in this issue are some reflections on where the act falls in history, notably compared to the landmark TRA ’86, as well as how it fits within a broader policy framework, namely the deduction for state and local taxes.

 
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