GOP tax plan: What's it mean for you? - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

GOP tax plan: What's it mean for you?

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WSIL -- After months of promises, Republicans unveiled their tax reform plan this week.

But is it really worth all it's cracked up to be?

Republicans say their plan to reform the nation's tax code is focused on helping middle class families. 

"The fact that people are living paycheck to paycheck in this country, about half of people living that, they need a break," said Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. 

The plan reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to four. 

Mt. Vernon tax expert Dennis L. Shafer, CPA, said the plan should help by reducing the number of tax brackets, doubling the standard deduction and increasing tax credits, including the child tax credit, which would rise from $1,000 to $1,600.

"From what I see and what they say, it's suppose to be big tax cuts and helping the middle class," said Shafer. "I can see some things that are going to benefit, reduce taxes for some middle class people."

But he says it 's not as simple as that. 

"When they reduced the standard deduction so much, they got rid of a lot of the benefits of that by taking away personal exemptions. Personally, I would have left that in. That would have really helped lower and middle income people," said Shafer. 

He says for most people in Southern Illinois, it will still probably lower their tax bill.

"But I don't think it's as big a plus as a lot of people think it's going to be," he said. 

He said the group that really comes out on top are corporations, whose tax rate would fall from 35 to 20 percent.

"That's part of what Trump is doing in all of this. He's trying to benefit businesses. He's trying to build the economy up and if you lower taxes on businesses, that should help with that," he said. 

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