Since taking office, President Trump has spent a great deal of his time in office focusing on reforming the tax code to jumpstart the U.S. economy, even if his plans to limit immigration and his administration's ties to Russia (and subsequent scandals because of them) have rightfully received the majority of media attention.
It's too soon to tell whether Trump can boost the overall economy, one that is already near full employment and hovering around 2% annual GDP growth.
But no matter what the final tax plan looks like, it seems inevitable it will benefit a large part of the U.S. economy -- small business owners.
Boon For Small Biz
"Assuming Trump still has the 15% pass-through tax for businesses, it would be a huge boon for small businesses," said Bill Smith, Managing Director at CBIZ MHM (CBZ) , a publicly-traded tax advisory firm.
According to Trump's plan on his website, his tax reform plan will include aspects such as simplifying the tax code and cutting the number of brackets, providing tax relief for middle class Americans and is revenue neutral.
Even Trump is excited about the potential impact it may have on the U.S. economy, tweeting that the recent gains in the stock market are a sign of confidence and optimism, even without seeing the details of the plan.
Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. Great level of confidence and optimism - even before tax plan rollout!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
"If a company is making $100 in profit, instead of paying $33 in taxes, they'd pay $15 in taxes," Smith said. "That's the bump in profit you're likely to see."
Despite his acumen as a business person, there are many who are concerned that Trump's plan will add to the federal deficit, rather than be revenue neutral, as has been proposed.
It's been analyzed ad nauseam by various platforms and institutions, most of which show the federal deficit rising sharply.
In October 2016, the Tax Policy Center -- a joint venture of of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution that provides independent tax analysis -- said Trump's policies "would significantly reduce marginal tax rates, increase standard deduction amounts and repeal personal exemptions," among other areas of reform.
The institution noted that federal revenues would fall $6.2 trillion over the first decade the plan was enacted and the federal debt would rise $7.2 trillion over the same period, when accounting for added interest costs.
As of now, it seems likely that the Trump plan would cost federal tax receipts to the tune of $7.2 trillion, but there is some concern it could be more.
Various economists have come up with their own analysis on the plan, with some saying it could cost between $11 trillion and $12 trillion, depending upon the pass through.
The Republicans on Capitol Hill have been trying to work on their own tax reform plan, with little success. In January, then President-elect Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview the plan was "too complicated."
As part of the tax plan, there has been some consideration to having a border adjustment tax to the tune of 20%, which would affect items being imported into the United States, one which may have greater negative consequences than feared.
Large U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT) , Target (TGT) and others have come out against the tax, saying it would sharply harm their businesses, ultimately making products sold in the U.S. more expensive because of materials that are imported to make finished goods.
Smith noted that while Trump himself was firmly for it in the beginning, lately, he's waffled on the adjustment tax, despite being told by advisers that it may help with some of his objectives, such as Mexico indirectly paying for the proposed wall on the southern border of the country. During his joint session to Congress, Trump made no mention of the border adjustment tax in his speech.
Despite the waffling from Trump, it seems Congressional Republicans are insistent that the tax be added as part of the overall reform.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) are for the tax. Other Republicans have added that due to the strength of the U.S. dollar, Americans would not see an increase in the price of the products and retailers would not see a loss from the increased cost of goods sold, Smith added.
Trump has indicated we're likely to see a tax reform plan within the next couple of weeks, as details continue to get ironed out and the differences between the Congressional plan and Trump's original plan are resolved.
It's likely that the plan may alter how some employees get paid, with Smith noting that some higher-level employees could switch to becoming independent contractors because of the decrease in rates. It's also likely there will be changes to the Affordable Care Act, which many small business owners have complained about, Smith added.
There's also the potential for eliminating the net investment income tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax, even if the revenue that's captured by the AMT is hard to replace. But at the end of the day, the tax plan, however it's constructed, is likely to benefit small business owners.
"It's a pro-business and pro-business owner plan," Smith said. "And even with reduction in the individual deductions, it's still going to bring overall rates down."