Retirement, Savings and Tax Relief Act of 2018, right bill at right time

Since day one, House Republicans have been laser focused on cutting taxes to help families and grow our economy.

The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year unleashed a historic economic boom for our country and has fueled a steep decline in unemployment and rise in consumer confidence in the future of our economy. From higher wages, bonuses and expansions, the landmark legislation has done exactly what we told the American people it would do. However, we know there is still more to be done.

That’s why in September, the House passed a new round of legislation dubbed Tax Reform 2.0 to make individual and small business middle-class tax cuts permanent, support entrepreneurs start new businesses, and help more Americans save for retirement and education. Bipartisan passage of Tax Reform 2.0 in the House was a great step forward, but work has remained to get these initiatives and others across the finish line.

That’s why we need the Retirement, Savings and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018.

In a long overdue move, and one with strong bipartisan support, this bill modernizes the IRS and improves the efficiency of the agency in dealing with taxpayers. As one of the only former state treasurers in the U.S. House, I understand the need for our country’s tax collecting agency to adapt a culture of customer service and help taxpayers file taxes, retrieve information, resolve issues and make payments.

In addition to making the IRS simpler, this bill also provides needed certainty to businesses by making certain tax cuts permanent and extending others so that families and businesses know what to expect from our tax code in the future.

While our economy is booming, businesses of every size in my district of Kansas that I’ve met with consistently say the number one thing they need from Washington is certainty. We owe it to job creators and workers to provide that certainty so that they can plan for future expansions or other decision-making.

In addition to making some technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to ensure the law is working as it was intended to, this bill builds on our progress to help workers and families by making it easier for businesses to provide 401(k)s and IRA retirement plans for more employees who previously did not have access to them and allowing families to save more for retirement.

To support entrepreneurs and start-ups, this bill will allow new businesses to write off more of their initial start-up costs and allows start-ups to expand easier and faster without hitting limits on certain tax benefits like that for research and development.

Finally, following several months of catastrophic natural disasters, this legislation also helps victims impacted by recent wildfires in California, Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and others by allowing victims to access retirement accounts without penalty to assist in recovery. Our fellow Americans in need should have every tool available to help them rebuild.

Together, the Retirement, Savings and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 is the right bill at that right time for America’s families and economy. Passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act started an economic turnaround our country has not experienced in decades. Instead of stopping that momentum dead in its tracks, we need to build on our success with these common-sense reforms.

Republican Ron Estes has represented Kansas’ 4th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since April, 2017. He is one of three former state treasurers currently serving in the U.S. House.