This year, April 17, marked a day each American dreads: Tax Day. In the weeks leading up to this day every year, Americans scramble to fill out complicated tax forms with the hope that some of their hard-earned money will be returned by the government.
Filing taxes this year was the same old unpleasant and time consuming process that it has been for decades. However, the good news is that this was the last year that Americans will have to file their taxes under the broken and complicated system. We are saying goodbye to an outdated and burdensome tax code and welcoming one that finally works for the American people thanks to Congress passing and the President signing into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
In conversations with people across Colorado’s Third District, I am often asked how tax reform will help them. The answer is that the majority of taxpayers in the Third District and across the nation will now keep more of their hard earned wages, and the process for filing returns next year will be simpler and take less of their valuable time.
The next time Coloradans file their taxes, they will see the standard deduction double to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. This change means that the 70 percent of people in Colorado’s Third District who claim the standard deduction will see in an increase in their paycheck and less of their money going to Washington. Colorado’s families will also continue to benefit from the Child Tax Credit which will increase from $1,000 to $2,000.
With a simpler tax code, Coloradans will be able to file their taxes on a simple short form—saving hours of precious time. To top it off, the individual health insurance mandate will be gone, meaning that if you don’t want to purchase a government health insurance plan, you will no longer be punished. The IRS will be out of the health insurance business once and for all.
Tax reform is already improving the lives of millions. Four million to be exact. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, hundreds of companies across the nation announced that they would be investing back into their employees through bonuses and increased benefits. So far, four million Americans have collectively received $4 billion in bonuses.
The Bank of Colorado recently wrote a letter to my office, confirming that they gave each of their full-time employees a $1,000 bonus. McDonalds, which has 230 locations across Colorado, announced that they would be increasing tuition benefits for their employees. These are just a couple of the many examples of tax reform success stories that are occurring across Colorado and the nation.
I could not disagree more with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s characterization of these bonuses as being “crumbs.” She’s obviously never met the hardworking Coloradans that have suffered under a depressed economy for far too long. Many families know that an extra thousand dollars is often a lifeline during tough times. These so called “crumbs” are now being used by many who have been struggling to pay an overdue bill, pay down credit card debt, treat their family to something special, or put away money for retirement.
As we say goodbye to the old, broken tax code, we celebrate this new and exciting chapter for the American people — one that will deliver bigger paychecks, more jobs, and an economy that continues to prosper.