House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said Sunday he anticipates changes in H.R. 1, the Republican tax bill, that would “simplify” rules surrounding a proposed 25% tax rate for partnerships, limited liability companies and other so-called pass-through businesses.
The bill released last week would focus a tax cut on only the highest-earning businesses, leaving out many small operators. The National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business group that usually aligns with Republicans, said it couldn’t support the bill.
The Ways and Means panel plans to begin hearings on the legislation Monday. House Speaker Paul Ryan has set a goal of having the full House pass the bill by Thanksgiving.
“We’re looking to continue to look to ways to simplify pass-through relief both for smaller and larger pass-throughs,” Brady told reporters outside a meeting of Ways and Means Republicans on Sunday. Under current law, pass-through businesses send their business income directly to their owners, who are then taxed at their individual income-tax rates. For the highest earners, that top rate is 39.6%.
Brady said some restrictions will remain — to prevent people who earn large amounts of wages from forming their own LLCs to try to get the favorable rate. “You’ve got to have the guardrails to make sure you’re really driving relief to owner-operator businesses,” he said. “So that’s always been recognized as safeguards we’d have to have in place,” he said.