Mnuchin: New Withholding Guidance Means Larger Paychecks in February

By Melanie Arter | January 11, 2018 | 11:35 PM EST

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (Screenshot of White House video)

( - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Thursday that his department and the IRS have released new withholding guidance in accordance with the tax cut reform measure that the president signed into law in December.

“This new guidance will mean that workers and their families will receive larger paychecks starting in February. This has been a massive project that we've been working on, beginning to implement the tax plan. There's a lot of work left to be done, but we're estimating that 90 percent of the workers are going to see an increase in take-home pay because of the Tax Cuts Act,” he said during the White House press briefing.

“This historic legislation doubles the standard deduction, simplifies the filing process, lowers the rate for millions of middle-income Americans and their families,” he said.

“I want to acknowledge the Treasury's Office of Tax Policy and the IRS who worked round-the-clock to meet our important objective to work with the existing forms and the existing systems.  We want to minimize the burden on both employers and hardworking taxpayers in getting this implemented in February,” Mnuchin said.

Releasing new withholding guidance is just step one in a three-step process, he said.

“Next, the IRS will be releasing a new withholding calculator that will be available on by the end of February. This will help provide individuals with certainty so that they are neither over-withheld or under-withheld and can plan their financial decisions,” Mnuchin said.

“We have reviewed this very carefully, and based upon last year's withholding tables, approximately 76 percent of taxpayers were withheld so that they had refunds at the end of the year. We expect, based upon the new tables, there will be no material change in this number,” he said.

The administration plans to launch a marketing effort to encourage taxpayers to use the withholding calculator once it’s released.

“Finally, I'd like to say that the Treasury and IRS will work together to release a new W-4 for 2019.  We expect to release that later in the year. We will be meeting with employers, payroll providers, to determine how to best to design the form to reflect the new law, and the IRS will continue to focus on simplification and a user-friendly process,” Mnuchin said.

The secretary also pointed to Wal-Mart’s announcement that it is giving its employees bonuses and raises thanks to the president’s tax plan.

“I'd also like to highlight the announcement this morning from Walmart. We want to thank them. They will be increasing their minimum wages, issuing bonuses, and expanding family benefits for over a million employees,” Mnuchin said.

“Walmart is the latest company to make such an announcement, directly result of the Tax Cuts Act, and they join over 130 other companies across the nation who have already given such relief. We're now up to over 2 million workers that have seen either special bonuses or additional wages,” he said.


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