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How the New Tax Bill Helps Families

by Andrew Guernsey

January 4, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1 “TCJA”), signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 22, 2017, provides numerous provisions that benefit working families.

Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) has a positive impact on individual families and the economy as a whole and helps parents bear the costs of raising their children.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increases the CTC for 2018 through the end of 2025 (unless Congress renews it) by:

  • Increasing the CTC to $2,000 for children under 17;
  • Making the CTC refundable up to $1,400 (indexed for inflation) for low-income working families based on
    • 15 percent of earned income in excess of $2,500; or
    • (if greater) the amount of payroll taxes in excess of the earned income tax credit, for a taxpayer with three or more qualifying children;
  • Removing the CTC marriage penalty for the income phase-out, and increasing the income threshold to $200,000 for single filers and $400,000 for married couples filing jointly;
  • Providing a $500 non-refundable Family Care Credit credit for dependents who don’t receive the CTC; and
  • Requiring a qualifying child to have a Social Security Number for a taxpayer to claim the CTC

Obamacare’s Individual Mandate Penalty

Starting in 2019, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminates Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty. This helps many working families obtain relief from being forced into an Obamacare health insurance plan. Repealing the individual mandate penalty also allows individuals to forgo purchasing coverage if doing so violates their conscience. This is especially relevant for individuals who live in the states where there are few or no pro-life health insurance plans that exclude coverage of abortion.

Marriage Penalties

Marriage penalties exist in the tax code and also in welfare programs. The penalty generally applies in the tax code when a tax deduction or credit applies to single and married persons based on income, but a married couple is eliminated from receipt of the benefit making less than 200 percent of an eligible single person’s income.

Income Tax Brackets

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has no marriage penalties for five of seven tax income brackets for 2018 through the end of 2025 (unless Congress renews it).

  • Marriage bonus in the 22 percent bracket. Married couples filing jointly have a 2 percent lower rate than single filers for the first $25,000 they make over $140,000 in taxable income. This is a maximum $500 bonus, decreasing income taxes by up to 1.41 percent.
  • Small marriage penalty in the 32 percent bracket. Married couples filing jointly have an 8 percent higher income tax rate than single filers for the first $5,000 they make over $315,000 in taxable income. This is a maximum $400 penalty, increasing income taxes by up to 0.61 percent.
  • Large marriage penalty in the 37 percent bracket. Married couples filing jointly have a 2 percent higher income tax rate than single filers for the first $400,000 they make over $600,000 in taxable income. This is a maximum $8,000 penalty, increasing income taxes by up to 2.59 percent.

Alternative Minimum Tax

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces marriage penalties for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for 2018 through the end of 2025 (unless Congress renews it) by removing the marriage penalty for the AMT income phase-out ($500,000 for single filers and $1 million for married couples filing jointly). TCJA retains the marriage penalty for the AMT exemption ($70,300 for single filers and $109,400 for married couples filing jointly).

  • Due to the marriage penalty in the AMT exemption,
    • Married couples filing jointly are taxed at 26 percent higher rate than single filers for the first $31,200 they make over $109,400 in taxable income. This is a maximum $8,112 penalty, increasing the AMT by up to 22.19 percent.
    • Married couples filing jointly have a 2 percent higher AMT tax rate than single filers for the first $31,200 they make over $295,700 in taxable income. This is a maximium $624 penalty, increasing the AMT by up to 0.71 percent.

Other Marriage Penalty Provisions

  • Retains a marriage penalty for the $10,000 State and local income tax (SALT), property tax, and/or sales tax deduction, which is equal in amount for single filers and married couples filing jointly. This is a maximum $3,700 penalty.
  • Removes the marriage penalty in the Child Tax Credit phase-out ($200,000 for single filers, $400,000 for married couples filing jointly).
  • Fails to address the marriage penalty for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Alimony Deduction

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanently repeals the alimony deduction, which subsidizes divorce. A divorced couple can often achieve a better tax result by receiving a tax break for payments between them than a married couple can. Removing the alimony deduction restores equitable treatment for divorced and married couples’ expenses for child support.

529 Education Savings Accounts

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanently allows 529 education savings accounts to be used for up to $10,000 per year per child for K-12 tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.

529 plan contributions have tax-free earnings and are exempt from the annual federal gift tax if under $14,000 for that year ($28,000 for married couples filing jointly). Contributions to 529 plans receive significant tax breaks in many states. Previously, the 529 plans were only allowed to be used for higher education related expenses.

Death Tax

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubles the tax exclusion from the estate tax, also known as the “death tax,” thereby shielding from taxation the first $11.2 million (indexed for inflation) of bequeathed assets. This provision applies for 2018 through the end of 2025 (unless Congress renews it).

The death tax is double taxation that handicaps families, and particularly family-owned businesses, by imposing heavy and burdensome taxes on bequeathed assets. Families often work as a unit to build their small businesses, but when a parent dies with the intention of leaving his or her small business to the children who helped build it, that transfer of assets is often taxed at such high rates that the business cannot continue operating and pay the government, causing the grieving family to close the business’s doors.

Adoption Tax Credit

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act retains the adoption tax credit in current law, which is currently a $13,570 non-refundable credit per eligible child (with a phase out for wealthier individuals). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, in 2015 over 111,000 children were waiting to be adopted. Maintaining the adoption tax credit in current law helps adoptive children find loving families.

Standard Deduction and Charitable Giving

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repeals the deduction for personal exemptions, including the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, and any dependents. The legislation consolidates the personal exemption for the taxpayer and taxpayer’s spouse into a larger standard deduction. The standard deduction is substantially increased from $6,300 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples (and surviving spouses), giving working parents more take-home pay to provide for their families. The legislation consolidates the personal exemption for children and dependents into the expanded child tax credit and a new family tax credit to care for non-child dependents. However, increasing the standard deduction could harm charitable giving, including to nonprofits and churches, since fewer people will likely itemize.

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New Va. Transgender Delegate Heads to Castro District, Smiles on Drag Party

by Cathy Ruse

December 20, 2017

On the campaign trail, Danica Roem said transgender politics had nothing to do with the Roem campaign. Political observers called that bunk.

Now, a month after winning a seat in the Va. House of Delegates, Roem was off to the notorious San Francisco Castro district.

In a glowing review of the “Drop Trou” event on December 10, the San Francisco Gate described hundreds of men stripped down to their underwear, some in drag and G-strings, gathered for a street party to raise money for an AIDS foundation.

The publication hailed newly-elected Va. Delegate Danica Roem as an “out-of-town celebrity” and reported that Roem “smiled” on the scene and said: “To be able to walk on a street and know you’re safe — there is a certain freedom of expression that comes with that.”

Roem was in town for a speaking engagement and “a fundraiser near the underwear-clad crowd” according to the story.

The Manassas School Board has invited Roem to visit students in its schools.

Don’t bring photos of your recent trip, Delegate.

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Tell Your Senators to Extend the Child Tax Credit to Unborn Children

by FRC Action

November 30, 2017

The Senate just released their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) and will vote on it this week! The House version passed before Thanksgiving with a strong vote. Like the House bill, the Senate bill includes a provision allowing parents to open up an education savings account starting when their child is “unborn.” However, more can be done to ensure that the tax code— specifically the child tax credit — covers all children including unborn children. Doing so will have an immediate and meaningful impact on families who are pregnant and who are preparing for their child’s birth!

Moms and dads start planning and preparing for their baby’s birth as soon as they learn about their pregnancy. Parents take off time for doctor’s appointments, stock up on diapers, formula, clothes and swaddles. And, they plan financially to take time from work to care for and bond with their baby. 

Adding the ability of parents to obtain the “child tax credit” for their unborn child would be a huge pro-life and pro-family win! It will help individual families and the economy by helping parents better handle the new costs of raising their children. Congress should not only increase the child tax credit –the Senate bill increases it to $2,000—but also apply to unborn children as well.

Please email these requests to your two U.S. Senators, urging them to do everything they can to make this pro-life and pro-family provision a reality.

 

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FRC Action PAC Endorses Mark Green for United States Congress

by FRC Media Office

October 27, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.FRC Action PAC, the political action committee connected with Family Research Council Action, is endorsing Mark Green for United States Congress in the 7th Congressional District of the state of Tennessee.

FRC Action PAC Executive Vice President, Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin commented:

These formidable times require bold leaders of unwavering conviction. From speaking with Mark Green, consulting with those who know him, and observing his professional record in the Tennessee Senate, we believe he will be just such a leader in the United States Congress.

Mark’s credentials as both a West Point graduate and decorated military veteran will serve him well as a member of Congress. We have noted his deep-rooted desire to promote the interests of working class Americans over special interest groups, and his determination to correct years of stalling on major issues in the U.S. Congress. We commend Mark’s commitment to a limited government and constitutional conservatism.

Mark’s experience as a physician will add a needed perspective in Congress. We applaud his desire to protect the unborn, pass legislation like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and end taxpayers’ forced partnership with Planned Parenthood — the nation’s largest abortion provider. Mark understands the great importance of defending our religious freedom and cherished conscience protections so that the government does not force citizens to violate deeply-held religious beliefs. He also respects the central role the family must play if our nation is to thrive.

FRC Action PAC is confident that if elected, Mark Green will continue to advocate for limited government and strong family values. We are pleased to join other notable organizations and individuals in offering our endorsement, and encourage those who care about the future of our nation and our freedoms to do so as well,” concluded Boykin.

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URGENT: David Daleiden under attack from Planned Parenthood

by FRC Action

October 5, 2017

EDITOR’S NOTE: We wanted to share the following information with you from our friends at AbortionEmpire.com:

Courageous video investigator David Daleiden is under vicious new attacks from Planned Parenthood and its political allies after he exposed their barbaric aborted baby body parts trafficking business.

To help combat this onslaught, you’re invited to join an urgent online event this Thursday, October 5 at 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific) where David will share the latest news … and reveal an enormous breakthrough which could help turn the tide and defeat the abortion Goliath:

David Daleiden spent 30 months conducting an undercover investigation that caught Planned Parenthood’s top leadership on video callously negotiating for the harvesting and sale of aborted baby body parts.

The result? Fifteen felony charges filed in California.

But those 15 felony charges were not filed against Planned Parenthood … they were instead filed against David Daleiden — by California’s Democrat Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, whose political campaign was funded by the abortion business.

Please click here to sign our petition.

Planned Parenthood’s political puppet filed these 15 bogus felony charges in an effort to crush David and silence all pro-life opposition.

If not cleared of the charges, David faces massive fines and decades locked up in one of California’s notorious state penitentiaries, along with the consequences of being a convicted felon … all because he caught the politically-connected abortion Goliath red-handed in its violent crimes against humanity.

David stood up to the abortion giant. Now we need to stand up for him. Register to attend this webcast and sign our petition to stand with David!

Register for the online event here at AbortionEmpire.com. During the live webcast, you’ll hear from:

  • David Daleiden: Founder, Center for Medical Progress
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser: President, Susan B. Anthony List
  • Steve Cooley: Former Los Angeles County District Attorney
  • Brent Ferreira: Former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney
  • Tom Brejcha: President & Chief Counsel, Thomas More Society
  • Royce Hood: Attorney, Entrepreneur, Activist
  • David Bereit: Former CEO of 40 Days for Life, Webcast Host

And you’ll discover:

  • The latest behind the scenes revelations about Planned Parenthood’s inhuman aborted baby body part harvesting and trafficking business …
  • Stunning victories that David’s undercover investigations have already achieved — including accelerating efforts to defund the abortion chain of the half billion taxpayer dollars it rakes in each year …
  • Breaking news of how Planned Parenthood and its political puppets have just ramped up their vicious attacks …
  • Why it’s imperative to ensure that the abortion empire doesn’t succeed at silencing David and his life-saving work …
  • … and how a huge, new breakthrough in this case can help David win his epic struggle against the abortion giant!
  • SPECIAL BONUS: During the live webcast, you can ask David your questions, and get answers straight from the source!

David Daleiden put it all on the line to expose Planned Parenthood’s horrific baby part scandal. Now the abortion giant is striking back with a vengeance. Let’s stand with David to ensure that good ultimately triumphs over evil.

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Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Passes House — Let their Voice be Heard

by FRC Action

October 4, 2017

By Bailey Johnson, FRC Action Intern

When we hear something over and over again, we tend to become numb to the actual meaning of what we are hearing. We become so used to hearing the concept that it no longer has the same effect on us as it did at its outset. This is true for amazing and terrible topics alike. One amazing thing I am sometimes hit with is the overwhelming realization that Jesus actually died for me. I have heard it millions of times, but when I sit back and really ponder this reality, it brings my soul to its knees. Conversely, it’s terrible that I have become used to hearing conversations concerning the topic of abortion. Terms like “termination of pregnancy,” “late term abortions,” and “fetus” have become so commonplace that they no longer phase me. I don’t want this to be the case.

I do not wish to be so accustomed to the reality of abortion that I no longer consider the humanity of the baby whose life is ending. We as a nation are in a position to act. H.R.36 was voted on in the House of Representatives yesterday. Thankfully it passed, which means it is going to the Senate. This bill would make abortions at 20 weeks post fertilization or later illegal, with a few exceptions. It has been found that an unborn child can feel excruciating pain at the point of 20 weeks in the pregnancy. The womb was designed by God to be one of the safest places on earth. Yet children in their mothers’ wombs at this age can still legally be aborted. Think about what that really means. We aren’t talking in hypotheticals. An estimated 58 million unborn children have been aborted. Thousands, if not millions, of these children have felt the pain of this procedure before dying horrible deaths. This bill is a step towards protecting these children.

Please contact your Senators and urge them to vote “yes” on this bill! As the body of Christ, we are called to stand for the least of these (Matthew 25:34-40). Today, we have a chance to step out and say that these abortions are wrong. When we think about what is being discussed, it opens our eyes to the plight of those who cannot speak up to defend themselves. We must be a voice for the voiceless. Let’s not allow ourselves to become used to the topic of abortion. Let it be something that always pulls at our hearts. Let it push us to act and advocate for the rights of all babies. Contact your Senators right now asking them to vote YES on H.R.36 — the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

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Why FRC Action Supports the Graham-Cassidy Legislation Repealing Obamacare

by FRC Action

September 19, 2017

 

Family Research Council Action along with FRC and Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) support the FY17 reconciliation legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). The Graham-Cassidy legislation would reapply to federal health care law the principle contained in the Hyde Amendment that abortion is not health care and should not be subsidized. It redirects taxpayer funding away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood and provides better state-based health insurance solutions for families than Obamacare.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser released the following joint statement in support of the Graham-Cassidy legislation:

We applaud Senators Graham and Cassidy for their leadership and strongly endorse the bill they have crafted. This legislation offers Republicans the best chance to fulfill their promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, stop taxpayer funding of abortion, and redirect tax dollars away from the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, to comprehensive health care alternatives.

It is now well past time for Republicans in Congress to deliver on those promises. The Graham-Cassidy bill offers them the best chance to do that, with only 51 votes needed in the Senate to pass it before the September 30 deadline. The prior Congress passed legislation to repeal Obamacare and fund alternatives instead of Planned Parenthood that would have become law had it not been vetoed by President Obama, and now they have a commitment from President Trump to sign it. The pro-life majority controls both chambers of Congress and the White House. The GOP is without excuse. We urge them to keep their promise and repeal Obamacare and end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood. Failure to keep their promise to voters will bring into question whether this Congress can truly be called the ‘pro-life Congress.’ Rhetoric must be translated into verifiable action.

Should robust efforts to enact the Graham-Cassidy legislation through the FY2017 Reconciliation bill run out of time, then the fight to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood must move immediately to the FY2018 Tax Reconciliation bill. Planned Parenthood proudly self-reports taking the innocent lives of 328,348 unborn children last year and nearly one million over the past three years. That is 900 lives snuffed out before their first breath every single day by a single taxpayer-funded abortion chain. This tragedy is compounded every day that passes with inaction. The time for results is now. Lives depend on Congress’ leadership and action to enact the Graham-Cassidy bill.”

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FRC Action PAC Endorses Judge Roy Moore for United States Senate

by FRCA Media Office

September 18, 2017

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FRC Action PAC Endorses Judge Roy Moore for United States Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C.FRC Action PAC, the political action committee connected with Family Research Council Action, is endorsing Judge Roy Moore for United States Senate in the state of Alabama.

FRC Action President, Tony Perkins commented:

These are challenging times and our nation is looking for bold leadership. Over the years Judge Moore has proven he is willing to stand up for our Constitution and fight for the rights of the people. From working with him and evaluating his record as a public servant, FRC Action PAC believes he will provide needed leadership on important issues in the U.S. Senate.”

FRC Action PAC Executive Vice President, Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin added:

Judge Roy Moore has been a fearless champion of conservative values and a great friend to the Family Research Council. It is a true privilege to endorse him for the U.S. Senate. I have no doubt that Judge Moore will follow his conscience and not be swayed by political correctness or political expediency.”

FRC Action PAC is confident that Judge Moore will be a strong advocate for constitutional limited government, for individual liberties, and for strong family values. Once again, we are pleased to offer our endorsement,” concluded Boykin.

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4,000 Texas homes and facilities still without power. Here’s how you can help.

by FRC Action

September 15, 2017

The scale of flooding that inundated Houston and the surrounding region of Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is shocking.

After five straight days of rain when Harvey made landfall on August 25th, Texas Gov. Abbott estimates there are still 4,000 homes and facilities without power.

As Christians, we are called to help those in need, first through prayer, and second through charitable work if we are able.

Here is a list of reputable organizations to donate to that are currently on the ground providing much needed aid:

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Values Voters Help President Trump Defy History in Expanding Pro-Life Majority in the U.S. Senate
by FRCA Media Office (Nov. 7, 2018)

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