Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday night pledged to eliminate provisions in the tax code that President Trump used to his advantage, after reports he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.
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“[Trump] says he’s smart because he takes advantage of the tax code and he does take advantage of the tax code,” Biden said during the first presidential debate in Cleveland. “That’s why I’m going to eliminate the Trump tax cuts … I’m going to eliminate those taxes and make sure that we invest in the people who in fact need the help.”
Trump noted that Biden was responsible for the tax code that gave businesspeople like him privileges, including depreciation and tax credits to alleviate obligations.
The New York Times reported details about Trump’s tax returns over the weekend, which showed the president paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 – and no federal income taxes for 10 of the prior 15 years.
Trump said he paid millions of dollars in taxes on Tuesday. He said Americans would see his tax return “as soon as it’s finished.”
Additionally, Biden promised to raise the corporate tax rate slightly, which had been lowered by the 2017 tax reform law.
“I’m going to make the corporate rate 28%, it shouldn’t be 21%,” Biden said, adding that there are 91 Fortune 500 companies that don’t pay any taxes despite earning billions of dollars.
In addition to raising the corporate tax rate, Biden’s tax plan would increase rates for people earning more than $400,000 and cap itemized deductions for the wealthiest Americans.
He has proposed taxing capital gains at the same rates as ordinary income and lowering the basic exclusion amount for the estate and gift taxes.
The Tax Policy Center estimates Biden’s proposals would increase federal revenues by $4 trillion between 2021 and 2030, relative to current law. It would also disproportionately raise taxes on the top quintile of the income distribution.