Biden proposes changes to capital gains, inheritance tax, etc.
The country’s highest earners may soon see the biggest tax hike in decades on their investments and wages, as President Joe Biden seeks to raise enough funds to cover his third policy proposal of nearly 2,000. billion dollars since taking office.
Biden in an address to Congress Wednesday night revealed the American Families Plan, a package containing $ 1,000 billion in investments and $ 800 billion in tax cuts for low to moderate income households that would help cover the childcare, education and absence from work costs. , according to a White House Fact Sheet.
To pay for the plan, Biden primarily offers to raise corporate taxes and fund Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigations into tax evasion.
For individual taxpayers, however, Biden also plans to:
- Raise tax rates on dividends and long-term capital gains for employees earning more than $ 1 million per year.
- Close a tax loophole that currently allows individuals to transfer property tax-free to their heirs upon their death.
- Increase the tax rate on the highest incomes.
How the American Families Plan Could Change Your Taxes
If you earn less than $ 400,000 a year, you won’t see any change in your taxes. At least, that’s the promise of the Biden administration as it seeks to increase revenue and public support for what Biden said on Wednesday would be the biggest infrastructure investment since World War II.
White House estimates suggest that the tax increases proposed in the American Families Plan would bring in $ 1.5 trillion over the next 10 years and be fully paid in 15 years.
“Sometimes I have arguments with my friends from the Democratic Party; you should be able to become a billionaire and a millionaire, ”Biden said in his national speech. “But pay your fair share.”
Here’s what you need to know about the proposed tax changes, most of which Biden kicked off during the 2020 presidential campaign.
1. Increase the tax rate on the highest incomes
Biden’s U.S. Jobs Plan calls for raising the top income tax rate from 37.6% to 39.6%, bringing the rate for that income bracket back to what it was before the President Donald Trump promulgates the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
This adjustment would only affect single tax filers earning $ 518,401 per year or more, heads of households earning at least $ 518,401 and married couples generating $ 622,051 and more per year, depending on the tax brackets set for the federal tax year 2020-2021.
2. Raise taxes on dividends and long-term capital gains
If you are an investor and earn more than a million dollars a year, the profits you generate by selling your assets would be taxed as income, regardless of how long you were in possession.
Currently, capital gains are taxed as a short or long term investment. Profits from investments held for less than one year (short-term capital gains) are taxed in the same way as income. However, long-term capital gains (assets held for more than a year) are subject to a levy much lower than the current income tax rate of 37%, with levies being 0%, 15 % or 20%, depending on the investor’s income.
The top rate of 20% is currently charged to single filers who earn at least $ 441,450 per year, heads of households earning $ 469,050 or more per year, and married couples earning $ 496,600.
People earning at least $ 200,000 and married couples earning $ 250,000 or more pay a additional tax on net investment income (NIIT) of 3.8%.
The changes proposed by the Biden administration would mean individuals would pay a 43.4% tax on their investment profits, including the 3.8% levy.
White House officials estimate the changes would affect 0.3% of households, according to a fact sheet.
3. Abolition of inheritance tax on so-called “step up in base” inheritances
If you have ever inherited an asset from a deceased person, that investment profit is currently taxed in a radically different way than if it had remained in the hands of the original owner.
Instead of taking into account the appreciation of the asset over the owner’s original purchase price, heirs only pay tax on any earnings they have accrued since the inheritance was transferred to them.
Biden wants to abolish this rule, known as the “base increase,” although there are a few exceptions. The first million dollars in profits, or $ 2.5 million for married couples after factoring in existing property exemptions worth $ 500,000, would be exempt. Meanwhile, these winnings would not be taxed at all if donated to charity. Family businesses and farms “handed over to heirs who continue to run the business” would also be excluded, the White House said.
What it means for you
The Biden administration may be in a hurry to clarify some of these tax provisions, particularly on when the changes would take effect and whether its much-vaunted $ 400,000 tax hike threshold applies to both taxpayers individuals and married filers.
Some forecasts suggest that capital gains tax rates could be even higher under the changes proposed by Biden, given national and local tax codes. An April 23 research note from the independent and bipartisan Tax Foundation found that the the combined average rate would total 48%, compared to just 29 percent under the current law. This amount could reach 56.7% in California and 54.3% in New York.
The institution says raising capital gains tax rates to proposed levels would be the highest since the 1920s, potentially slashing economic growth by 0.1% and slashing federal revenues by about $ 124 billion over the next decade.
Democrats have a slight advantage in Congress, holding a majority in both the House and Senate if passage of the bill comes down to a decisive vote by Vice President Kamala Harris. Lawmakers could approve the legislation through budget reconciliation, a political process that allows certain proposals with budget impact to pass by simple majority. All of this will be essential to keep alive the policy proposals that left-wing lawmakers see as essential to help support families and workers after the worst economic crisis in generations.
“As the Federal Reserve signals again this week that interest rates will remain low for some time, there is an opportunity in the coming months for the recovery to improve the personal finances of many Americans,” said Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst at Bankrate and Washington Bureau Chief. “For now, however, millions of people are still unemployed, underemployed or inactive.”
What else to know about the American Families Plan
The proposal is a twin of a $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure package from last month – the U.S. Jobs Plan – that included new spending on everything from broadband and sustainable housing to roads, bridges and public transport.
Both packages, however, face an uphill battle in Congress, with Republican lawmakers already worried they have spent $ 3 trillion so far this year on the stimulus.
Biden in mid-March signed the $ 1.9 trillion US bailout, sending a third set of stimulus checks worth $ 1,400 to eligible US adults and their dependents, while increasing unemployment benefits until September.
“With Republicans essentially thwarting his initial $ 2 trillion ‘infrastructure plus’ proposal with a less costly approach, there is a chance that something pleasurable for both sides may pass,” Hamrick said. The question of how to pay for both the US Jobs Plan and the New US Plan for Families remains a divisive one, but also critically important when it comes to the outlook for federal debt and government debt. deficits. These are issues that could impact Americans for years to come. “