A new analysis shows that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 benefited the American middle- and working-classes the most, despite Democratic messaging that attacked the law as a giveaway to the rich.
According to a report from the Heartland Institute, the tax reform law, which was passed by the Republican Congress and signed into law by former President Donald Trump, “reduced average effective income tax rates for filers in every one of the IRS’s income brackets, with the largest benefits going to lower- and middle-income households.”
The report found that after accounting for all tax deductions and credits, tax filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of between $40,000 and $50,000 received an 18.2% cut in their taxes from 2017 to 2018, the first year the tax cuts went into effect. Filers with $50-75,000 in income reported a cut of about 17%, and filers with between $30-40,000 in gross income had their taxes cut by 18.41%. The largest tax cut belonged to filers with between $5-10,000 in AGI, who saw an 87.65% tax cut. The lowest cut belonged to filers with between $5-10 million in AGI. They received a cut of just under 3.5%.
In all, middle- and working-class Americans received tax cuts of between 11% and 88%, while the millionaires and those making $500,000 to under $1,000,000 per year all received just single-digit cuts.
The report also found an increase in upward income mobility. “The number of filers with an adjusted gross income of $1 to $25,000 decreased by more than 2 million in just one year, while the number of households reporting incomes higher than $25,000 increased in every income bracket,” the report said.
Furthermore, the report noted that the law may have actually made the tax code more progressive, as higher-income earners increased their share of the tax burden in 2018 over 2017. “In 2017, filers earning $500,000 or more paid 38.9 percent of all personal income tax revenues. In 2018, the same income bracket paid 41.5 percent of total income tax revenues,” the report noted.