Comparing the 2020 presidential tax plans
The upcoming presidential election will be pivotal for the future of tax policy, as parts of Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) face expiration and the economic recovery from COVID-19 becomes one of the defining issues of the next term.
President Donald Trump is running on his economic record, crediting the strong, pre-COVID economy to the TCJA. This plan lowered the tax burden for many businesses, whether structured as corporations or passthrough entities, as well as for individuals, trusts and estates. His administration has even teased a “Tax Cuts 2.0” package to continue what he started.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has his own economic plan, one that includes a robust tax reform platform. His tax plan is based on the premise that the federal income tax system needs to be retooled to ensure that corporations and high-net-worth individuals are paying “their fair share.” He also has proposed increasing top income tax rates, along with eliminating or limiting various incentives currently available to these high-income taxpayers.
The following table outlines the tax policy proposals and positions on key tax questions for both the incumbent and the democratic candidate.
It is impossible to know right now who will be setting the tax policy agenda when the next presidential administration begins in 2021. But it is worth remembering that no matter who is in office come November, getting tax code changes enacted into law requires willingness from both congressional leadership and the White House.