NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tax Bill not a Home Run for the Rich

May 23, 2003

The 2003 tax cut reached all-but-final form Thursday and President Bush is expected to get the final bill from Congress and sign it into law over the weekend.

The bill falls short of his original proposal for outright repeal of taxes on corporate dividends. Instead, rates will be sliced on corporate dividends and capital gains.

"It's not the home run that wealthy individuals were looking for," says Darrin Friedrich, a CPA at Habif Arogeti & Wynne in Atlanta.

Major elements of the bill:

  • Cut the top rate on dividends (now 38.6 percent) and capital gains (now 20 percent) to 15 percent.
  • Accelerate income-tax-rate cuts across the board.
  • Boost the per-child credit to $1,000 from $600.
  • Reduce the tax penalty on married couples.

Mark Luscombe, principal analyst at tax publisher CCH, says the pending bill has been stripped clean of many side provisions considered along the way. "For such a major bill, there really are a very small number of provisions."

Source: Thomas A. Fogarty and Christine Dugas, "What the tax cut means to you," USA Today, May 23, 2003.

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