The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, proponents and opponents are offering different versions of the “winners and losers.” One type of taxpayer, in particular, stands to gain more than most: small-business owners.
For most of the year, the focus of the tax bill had been on the reduction of corporate tax rates — from 35% down to 21% — to bring them in line with the tax rates of some of the more competitive countries. This cut is significant for C-corporation filers.
Original versions of the tax bill sought to extend a similar provision to pass-through businesses, such as sole proprietors, S-corporations, LLCs and partnerships. The final version didn’t go so far as to reduce the tax rate on pass-through filers, who pay income taxes based on their personal tax rates. But it did provide them with a substantial, across-the-board 20% reduction of their business income. So, a sole proprietor generating $200,000 of business income would be able to deduct $40,000 on his Schedule C. Instead of adding $200,000 to his adjusted gross income, he would add $160,000.