The Republican tax bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives would dramatically increase taxes paid by graduate students doing much of the teaching and research on university campuses; we speak with two graduate assistants from the University of South Florida.
Last Thursday the House passed one version of the bill. A different version (one that does not include the tuition waiver tax, for example) may have a more difficult time in the Senate, though it has passed a committee.
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For example, Columbia grad student Amanda Rose put her finances online to show how she would be affected by the House tax plan. Her numbers were a bit off at first but she has since corrected them. She says she works 60 hours per week and gets a $38,000 stipend from Columbia University ($12.29 / hour). The cost of her tuition plus health insurance is $51,000 / year and it’s waived. So her taxable income would be nearly $90,000. Everyone’s standard deduction would go up, but her overall taxes would increase from about $3,000 now to $12,000 under the GOP tax plan, an increase of 371%.
According to one Washington Post analysis of the House bill that passed, it keeps the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate; big businesses win; small businesses get a “mini-win;” the rich do very well, especially Trump; Most Americans pay the same or lower in taxes until 2023 — that’s when key middle-class tax break expires; taxes will get simpler for many; most deductions go away including tax credit for plug-in cars. The total cost: $1.4 trillion.
We’ve seen how lower-income students fare under the GOP. We also look at how others fare. Earlier in his term, President Trump implied the tax plan would hurt him. But An NBC News analysis found that the bill that passed the house could save Trump and his family more than $1 billion (eliminating the alternative minimum tax, ending estate tax, cutting top tax rate, raising top income threshold for individuals).
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