Side-by-side comparison of Clinton, Trump tax plans

Stark differences include one presidential candidate who seeks to raise income taxes on the wealthiest Americans while the other would cut them across the board

Aug 15, 2016 @ 1:32 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

Although much of the presidential campaign's focus has been on the differences in personality and temperament between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, there also is a stark divide on tax policy.

Last week, each of the candidates laid out their economic plans, including tax changes.

Here are some of the highlights. 

Individual income taxes Individual income taxes
Clinton: Would impose a 4% “fair share surcharge” on Americans making more than $5 million annually. Would implement the “Buffett rule,” imposing a minimum 30% effective tax rate on Americans making more than $1 million annually. Trump: Would reduce the current seven tax brackets to three: 12%, 25% and 33%.
Capital gains and investment taxes Capital gains and investment taxes
Clinton: Last year, Ms. Clinton proposed higher capital gains rates on shorter-term investments. Trump: Did not mention investment taxes.
Taxes on retirement plans Taxes on retirement plans
Clinton: Would end what she calls the “Romney loophole” through “limiting the ability of the very wealthiest to game the system by sheltering large incomes in tax-preferred accounts,” a summary on her campaign website states. She also mentions building on President Barack Obama's proposals in this area. Trump: Does not specifically mention taxation of retirement plans.
Estate tax Estate tax
Clinton: Would restore the estate tax to 2009 levels, $3.5 million for individuals at a rate of 45%. In 2016, the estate-tax exemption is $5.45 million for individuals and $10.9 million for couples, with a 40% rate. She also would “crackdown on loopholes in the estate tax, including methods that people can now use to make their estates appear to be worth less than they really are.” Trump: Would eliminate the estate tax.
Carried interest Carried interest
Clinton: Would eliminate this deduction that is used by private-equity practitioners. Trump: Would also eliminate this deduction.
Child care Child care
Clinton: Would expand the child tax credit. Trump: Would provide an “above-the-line deduction” for child-care expenses, according to a campaign fact sheet. Low-income taxpayers could deduct them from their payroll taxes.
Corporate taxes Corporate taxes
Clinton: Does not specifically mention corporate taxation in her plan. Trump: Would establish a top corporate tax rate of 15%, which also would apply to businesses that are operated on the proprietor's personal income-tax return as a pass-through.

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