How the tax bills would affect people: Senate, House differ on key points

Returns could change in big and small ways

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - The tax overhaul bills passed by the Senate and House would likely to change your tax return in ways large and small -- which credits you can take, what you can deduct, how much you pay.

But they differ on key points. You'll be hearing a lot about those differences in the days ahead. The Senate and House must reconcile the two bills into one, which would then go before each chamber for a final vote.

Here's a look at some of the notable ways they diverge in how they treat individual tax filers.

1. When the individual provisions expire

Senate: Most expire in 2025.

House: Most are permanent.

2. The mandate to buy health insurance

Senate: Eliminates it by reducing the penalty to $0.

House: Preserves it.

3. Tax brackets and rates

Senate: Keeps seven tax brackets but changes, and -- in most instances -- lowers the rates. The new rates would be: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, 38.5%.

House: Calls for four brackets: 12%, 25%, 35% and 39.6%.

4. Standard deduction

Senate: Raises it to $12,000 from $6,350 for single filers; to $18,000 from $9,350 for heads of household; to $24,000 from $12,700 for joint filers.

House: Raises it to $12,200 for single filers; to $18,300 for heads of household; to $24,400 for joint filers.

5. Child tax credit

Senate: Increases it to $2,000 from $1,000, but the additional $1,000 would not be refundable -- meaning many low- and middle-income tax filers likely wouldn't receive the increased portion of the credit.

Allows it for children under 18, up from 17 today, but only until 2025.

Makes the full credit available to higher income families.

House: Increases it to $1,600 from $1,000, but the additional $600 would not be refundable.

Makes it available to higher income families.

6. New family credit

Senate: Creates a temporary $500 credit for dependents who aren't children.

House: Creates temporary $300 personal credit for parents and their non-child dependents.

7. Mortgage interest deduction

Senate: Keeps it as is.

House: Lowers the amount of mortgage debt on which interest may be deducted to $500,000 from $1 million.

8. Medical expense deduction

Senate: Keeps it in place and temporarily lowers the adjusted gross income threshold that must be met to qualify for it. Today you may deduct medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income -- that would be lowered to 7.5%.

House: Eliminates it.

9. Teachers' deduction for school supplies

Senate: Doubles it to $500 from $250.

House: Eliminates it.

10. Graduate student tuition waiver

Senate: Keeps it in place.

House: Eliminates it.

11. Student loan interest deduction

Senate: Keeps it in place.

House: Eliminates it.

12. Alternative Minimum Tax

Senate: Keeps it but raises amount of money exempt from it through 2025. Then income exemption levels revert to present law.

House: Repeals it.

13. Estate tax

Senate: Shields more people from it by doubling the exemption levels to $11 million for individuals and $22 million for couples.

House: Doubles the exemption levels for six years then repeals the estate tax in 2024.


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