Law & Order

U.S. Congress Works to Merge House/Senate Tax Bills

By SEMA Washington, D.C, Staff

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed different tax reform bills that must be reconciled into a single measure. A House/Senate conference committee has begun that process. Their goal is to have both houses of Congress pass a consensus bill and have the president sign it into law by the end of the year so that the tax law changes take effect January 1.

SEMA published a story November 23 that compared the House and Senate bills. Although the Senate bill was subsequently modified, the big question is which House and Senate provisions will be included and which will be dropped from the final bill. 

Here are several key differences between the House and Senate bill:

  • While the new 20% corporate rate would be permanent, it would not begin until 2019 under the Senate bill (2018 under the House bill).
  • The House and Senate bills double the estate tax exemption to $11 million per person. The House bill repeals the estate tax entirely in 2024.
  • The Senate bill maintains the current mortgage interest deduction of $1 million. The House bill cut it in half to $500,000.
  • The House bill repeals the alternative minimum tax while the Senate bill maintains it.
  • The Senate bill has seven tax brackets while the House has four.

For more information, contact Eric Snyder at