Trump's Tax Plan and How It Affects You
Find Out When the Changes Roll Out
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the . It cuts individual income tax rates, doubles the standard deduction, and eliminates personal exemptions. The top individual tax rate drops to 37 percent.
The Act cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent beginning in 2018. The corporate cuts are permanent, while the individual changes expire at the end of 2025.
Individual Income Tax Rate
The Act but keeps the seven income tax brackets.
occurred by employees' February 2018 paychecks. These rates revert in 2026.
The Act created the following chart. The highest tax bracket is $500,000 for single people and $600,000 for married couples. In, they pay a 37 percent rate after exemptions and deductions. That's lower than the 2017 rate of 39.6 percent.
|Income Tax Rate||Income Levels for Those Filing As:|
The income levels rise each year with inflation.
As a result, more people will be subject to the highest bracket than they would under the old method. By 2025, 8.9 percent of taxpayers will pay more than they would have under the previous tax law.
In 2018, only 4.8 percent of households pay more.
Individual Income Tax Deductions and Exemptions
Trump's tax plan doubles the standard deduction. A single filer's deduction increases from $6,350 to $12,000. The deduction for married and joint filers increases . It reverts back to the current level in 2026.
It's estimated that will take the standard deduction. That will save them time in preparing their taxes. It can also hurt the tax preparation industry and decrease charitable contributions.
The and the National Association of Realtors opposed this. As more taxpayers take a standard deduction, fewer would take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction. That could lower housing prices. But this could be a good time to do that. Many people are concerned that the real estate market is in a bubble that could lead to another collapse.
It eliminates personal exemptions. Before the Act, taxpayers subtracted $4,150 from income for each person claimed. As a result, some families with many children will pay higher taxes despite the Act's increased standard deductions.
The Act eliminates most itemized deductions. That includes moving expenses, except for members of the military. Those can no longer deduct it, while those receiving it can. This change is effective for divorces signed in 2018.
It keeps deductions for charitable contributions, retirement savings, and .
The Act limits the deduction on mortgage interest to the first $750,000 of the loan.
can no longer be deducted. aren't affected.
Taxpayers can deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes. They must choose between and income or sales taxes. This will harm taxpayers in high-tax states like New York and California.
The Act for 2017 and 2018. It allows taxpayers to deduct medical expenses that are 7.5 percent or more of income. Before the bill, the cutoff was 10 percent. Seniors already had the 7.5 percent cutoff. At least used the deduction in 2015.
The Act doubles the estate tax exemption to $11.2 million for singles and $22.4 million for couples. That helps the top 1 percent of the population who pay it. These top 4,918 tax returns contribute $17 billion in taxes.
The exemption reverts to pre-Act levels in 2026.
The Act increases the Child Tax Credit from . Even parents who don't earn enough to pay taxes can claim the credit up to $1,400. It from $110,000 to $400,000 for married tax filers.
It allows for tuition at private and religious K-12 schools. They can also use the funds for expenses for home-schooled students.
It allows a $500 credit for each non-child dependent. The credit helps families caring for elderly parents.
Other Changes to Income Taxes
The the Obamacare tax on those without health insurance in 2019. Without the mandate, the 13 million fewer people would be insured. The government would save $338 billion by not having to pay their subsidies. But health care costs would rise because fewer people would get the preventive care needed to avoid expensive emergency room visits. . Healthier people would drop coverage, leaving insurance firms with a higher proportion of sick enrollees.
The plan keeps the Alternative Minimum Tax. It increases the exemption from $54,300 to $70,300 for singles and from $84,500 to $109,400 for joint. The exemptions phase out at $500,000 for singles and $1 million for joint. The exemption reverts to pre-Act levels in 2026.
Business Tax Rate
The Act lowers the maximum corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, the lowest . The United States has one of the highest rates in the world. But most corporations don't pay the top rate. On average, the effective rate is 18 percent. Large corporations have tax attorneys who help them avoid paying more.
It for pass-through businesses. This deduction ends after 2025. Pass-through businesses include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and S corporations. They also include real estate companies, hedge funds, and private equity funds. The for service professionals once their income reaches $157,500 for singles and $315,000 for joint filers.
The Act limits corporations' ability to to 30 percent of income. For the first four years, income is based on EBITDA. This acronym refers to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization. Starting in the fifth year, it's based on earnings before interest and taxes. That makes it more expensive for financial firms to borrow. Companies would be less likely to issue bonds and buy back their stock. Stock prices could fall. But the limit revenue to pay for other tax breaks.
It allows businesses to deduct the cost of in one year instead of them over several years. It does not apply to structures. To qualify, the equipment must be purchased after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023.
The Act stiffens the requirements on profits. Carried interest is taxed at 23.8 percent instead of the top 39.6 percent income rate. Firms must hold assets for a year to qualify for the lower rate. The Act extends that requirement to three years. That might hurt hedge funds that tend to trade frequently. It would not affect private equity funds that hold on to assets for around five years. The change would raise $1.2 billion in revenue.
It retains tax credits for electric vehicles and wind farms.
It cuts deductions for client entertainment from 50 percent to zero. It retained the 50 percent .
Other Changes to Corporate Taxes
The Act eliminates the corporate AMT. The corporate alternative minimum tax had a 20 percent tax rate that kicked in if tax credits pushed a firm's effective tax rate below 20 percent. Under the AMT, deduct research and development spending or investments in a low-income neighborhood. Elimination of the corporate AMT adds $40 billion to the deficit.
Trump's tax plan advocates a change from the current "worldwide" tax system to a . Under the worldwide system, multinationals are taxed on foreign income earned. They don't pay the tax until they bring the profits home. As a result, many corporations leave it parked overseas. Under the territorial system, they aren't taxed on that foreign profit. They would be more likely to reinvest it in the United States. This will and high tech companies the most.
The Act allows companies to repatriate the $2.6 trillion they hold in foreign cash stockpiles. They pay a one-time tax rate of 15.5 percent on cash and 8 percent on equipment. The Congressional Research Service found that a similar didn't do much to boost the economy. Companies distributed repatriated cash to shareholders, not employees.
It allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That's estimated to add $1.1 billion in revenues over 10 years. But drilling in the refuge won't be profitable until oil prices are at least $70 a barrel.
Seven Ways It Affects You
The Tax Act is so complex it affects each family differently depending on their personal situation. Here is a broad description of how it might affect the following seven groups:
- High Income: If you have a very high income, the tax plan helps you the most. The those who earn more than 95 percent of the population would receive a 2.2 percent increase in after-tax income. Those in the 20 to 80 percent range would receive a 1.7 percent increase. The said those in bottom 20 percent would only receive a 0.4 percent increase.
- Heirs to Wealth: If you inherit a lot of money, the larger exemption for the estate tax will benefit you.
- Few Deductions: If your itemized deductions are less than the new standard deduction, you win on two levels. First, the larger standard deduction will reduce your taxes. Second, you can skip the complicated process of itemizing. That not only saves you time but also money if you no longer need to pay a tax advisor.
- Large Families: by the elimination of personal exemptions. The higher credits for children and elderly dependents may not be enough to offset that loss.
- Homeowners: If take out a , you can only deduct the mortgage interest if you use it to buy or improve a home. If you take out a new mortgage or refinance an existing one, you can only deduct the interest . If you live in a state with high property taxes, you can only deduct the first $10,000.
- Young People: Since young people are generally healthier, they are more likely to benefit from the elimination of the Obamacare tax.
- Self-employed: If you are a 1099 contractor, own your own business, or are self-employed, you may benefit from the .
To see how Trump's tax plan affects you personally, use this .
How It Affects Businesses
The tax plan helps businesses more than individuals. Business tax cuts are permanent, while the individual cuts expire in 2025. But the nation's largest private employer, Walmart, said . It will also use the money saved by the tax cuts to give $1,000 bonuses and increase benefits.
As of March 2018, the tax cut spurred a record number of mergers. Corporations are using the cash windfalls to . In the first quarter, on share buybacks and cash mergers. They only spent $131 billion to increase wages, according to TrimTabs. That's just slightly above the pace over the last five years.
to bring home as much as $252 billion in overseas cash. It will invest $30 billion in capital spending, creating 20,000 jobs. The Treasury note yields. Corporations hold most of the cash in 10-year Treasury notes. When they sell them, the excess supply would send yields higher.
JPMorgan announced a . It would increase charity donations by 40 percent to $1.75 billion over five years.
Impact on the Economy
The increase in the standard deduction would benefit 6 million taxpayers. That's 47.5 percent of all tax filers, . But for many income brackets, that won't offset lost deductions.
The Trump tax cuts cost the government even more. The Act increases the deficit by $1 trillion over the next 10 years according to the . It says the Act will increase growth by 0.7 percent annually, reducing some of the revenue loss from the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.
The made a slightly different estimate. It said the Act will add almost $448 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years. The tax cuts themselves would cost $1.47 billion. But that's offset by $700 billion in growth and savings from eliminating the ACA mandate. The plan would boost gross domestic product by 1.7 percent a year. It would create 339,000 jobs and add 1.5 percent to wages.
The that the bill would bring in $1.8 trillion in new revenue. It projected economic growth of 2.9 percent a year on average. The is so optimistic because it assumes the rest of Trump's plans will be implemented. These include infrastructure spending, deregulation, and welfare reform.
The JCT analysis is probably the most accurate since it only analyses the cost of the tax cuts themselves. The tax cuts' increase to the debt means that budget-conscious Republicans have done an about-face. The party fought hard to pass sequestration. In 2011, some members even threatened to default on the debt rather than add to it. Now they say that the so much that the additional revenues would offset the tax cuts. They ignore the reasons why Reaganomics would not work today.
The impact on the $21 trillion national debt will eventually be higher than projected. A future Congress will probably extend the tax cuts that expire in 2025.
Increase in sovereign debt dampens economic growth in the long run. Investors see it as a tax increase on future generations. That's especially true if the ratio of debt-to-GDP is near 77 percent. That's the , according to a study by the World Bank. It found that every percentage point of debt above this level costs the country 1.7 percent in growth. The U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio was 104 percent before the tax cuts.
Also, supply-side economics worked during the Reagan administration because the highest tax rate was 70 percent. According to the Laffer Curve, that's in the prohibitive range. The range occurs at tax levels so high that cuts boost growth enough to offset any revenue loss. But trickle-down economics no longer works because the 2017 tax rates are half of what they were in the 1980s.
they won't use the tax cuts to create jobs. Corporations are sitting on a record , double the level in 2001. The CEOs of Cisco, Pfizer, and Coca-Cola would instead use the extra cash to pay dividends to shareholders. The CEO of Amgen will use the proceeds to buy back shares of stock. In effect, the corporate tax cuts will boost stock prices but won't create jobs.
The most significant tax cuts should go to the middle class who are more likely to spend every dollar they get. The wealthy use tax cuts to save or invest. It helps the stock market but doesn't drive demand. Once demand is there, then businesses create jobs to meet it. Middle-class tax cuts create more jobs. But the best unemployment solution is government spending to build infrastructure and directly create jobs.
Trump Proposed a New Tax Cut for Middle-Income Families
On October 23, 2018, a new 10 percent tax cut focused on the middle class. But after the mid-term elections.
Trump Versus Bush and Obama Tax Cuts
President Obama cut taxes in the 2009 economic stimulus package. Between that and the government spending, the recession ended in July. The 2010 Obama cuts occurred only two years after the 2008 financial crisis. Ending the cuts might have thrown the economy back into recession.
All three cuts increased the deficit and debt.
Trump's Promises No Longer in the Plan
allowed up to $2,000 to be deposited tax-free into a Dependent Care Savings Account. The account would grow tax-free to pay for a child's education. Taxpayers could also receive a rebate for the Earned Income Tax Credit and deposit it in the DCSA.
Trump promised to end the AMT for individuals.
Trump promised to increase taxes on carried interest profits, not just stiffen requirements. But lobbyists for those industries to ignore Trump's pledge.
Trump promised to end the Affordable Care Act tax on investment income.