Whether you love or hate the tax bill soon to receive President Trump’s signature, knowing about its hidden problems and opportunities could play a major role in determining everything from your own personal finances to the outcome of the 2018 elections. Figuring out this technical tax stuff is impossible for regular folks. Even experienced accountants and lawyers will privately tell you they are dazed and baffled by so much complexity thrown at them in such a short period of time. But, in what must be considered a valuable service to the American public, 13 tax experts (mostly law professors) have combed through the statutory language of both the House and Senate bills and found some fascinating details that could rock your world. Their 35 page paper, “The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, and Glitches Under the New Legislation,” is a summary of what they have discovered so far.
If you or your employer wants to pay less tax, the loopholes highlighted by this study can get you started on what to ask your tax adviser. If you’re a policy wonk who cares about fairness or deficits or complexity, this paper is required reading. If you are a member of Congress, you may want to consider some of the glitches in this bill that are now mostly unknown but will become very well known before the next election. And maybe, if time permits, you may even want to fix these problems before voting on the bill. Many or most of its provisions (depending on whether the Senate or House version prevails) will go into effect in less than three weeks.