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The Clinton & Trump Tax Plans

How do they differ and what are their agendas?

Seemingly every presidential candidate offers a plan for tax reform. You can add Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to that long list. Here is a look at their plans, and the key reforms to federal tax law that might result if they were enacted.


Donald Trump revised his tax plan this summer. The latest plan put forth by Trump and his advisors contains the key features of the one introduced last year.


Under Trump’s plan, the standard deduction would rise. It would rise from the current level of $6,300 to $25,000 for single filers. Joint filers could claim a $50,000 standard deduction. (The GOP plan proposes respective standard deductions of $12,000 and $24,000.) Instead of seven federal income tax rates, there would just be three – 12%, 25%, and 33%. (In his original tax reform blueprint, the rates were 10%, 20%, and 25%.) (1)


The estate tax would vanish entirely under Trump’s plan. Taxes on capital gains and dividends would top out at 20%. (2,3)


Trump wants to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. The new lower rate would apply to partnerships, LLCs, and S corps as well as C corps. (With a proposed corporate tax ceiling of 15% and a proposed individual tax ceiling of 33%, some economists have wondered if a Trump presidency might generate a wave of individuals incorporating themselves.) Full expensing would also be allowed for business investments under Trump’s plan. (1)


Notably, Trump’s reforms would do away with the deferral of taxes on foreign profits. As it stands now, corporate taxes on foreign profits are deferred until overseas affiliates repatriate them. It can take years for those inbound dividends to arrive. The Trump plan would tax domestic and foreign profits on the same current-year basis. (1)