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The GOP tax bill now heads to a conference committee. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The Senate has passed its version of the GOP tax bill, but it still differs in some significant ways from the House version. That means the conference committee — which House aides unanimously insist is happening — will have real problems to resolve.

Be smart: A final tax bill isn't a done deal, but once members have put themselves on the record voting for the bill once, they're going to feel a lot of pressure to get to "yes" again.

What has to be worked out:

  • The alternative minimum tax. At the last minute, the Senate bill kept the AMT on corporations. It also raised the exemption for the individual AMT, instead of repealing each. The House bill completely repeals both.
  • The SALT deduction. Both the House and the Senate limited the state and local tax deduction to a $10,000 deduction for property taxes. But some House members are likely to want more.
  • The pass-through rate. The Senate bill allows pass-through corporations (small businesses that file taxes on their owner's return) to deduct 23 percent of business income, while the House created a 25 percent rate for business income (and a 9 percent rate for lower-income individuals).
  • ACA individual mandate. The Senate repeals it. The House doesn't, although it has signaled that it'll be kept in the bill in conference.
  • Estate tax. The House doubles the size of the estate tax exemption, then repeals the tax after 2024. The Senate doubles the exemption until the tax sunsets beginning in 2026.
  • Individual rates. The House has 4 rates and keeps the current top rate of 39.6 percent. The Senate has 7 rates and a top rate of 38.5 percent. There are also differences in the child tax credit value and the standard deduction, and everything on the individual side in the Senate sunsets beginning in 2026.
  • Mortgage interest deduction. The House lowers the cap to $500,000 while the Senate keeps it at $1 million.

What is highly unlikely to be in play: The corporate tax rate, which is reduced to 20 percent in each version. This is the centerpiece of the GOP tax plan.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.