President Trump has not unveiled a specific tax agenda if he's reelected in November, but middle-class Americans could see their tax bills shrink if he permanently extends the cuts he signed into law in 2017, according to a new analysis.
Trump has previously indicated that he wants to codify changes made in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that are slated to sunset in 2025, including decreases to individual income taxes and extra deductions for business owners.
Estimates from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center show that if those cuts are made permanent, it would reduce taxes by about $1.1 trillion through 2030.
Simply extending the individual and estate tax provisions in the legislation would reduce taxes, on average, by about $1,460 per household in 2026, according to the analysis. The reduction would be even more significant for wealthy Americans, as taxpayers in the top 0.1% ‒ those earning more than $3.7 million annually ‒ would receive an average cut of $71,000 in 2026.
Middle-income taxpayers, or those who earn between $52,500 and $92,900, would receive a windfall of about $860, the study shows. The lowest-income households, who earn less than $26,300, would receive an average tax cut of $80.
It's unclear exactly what it would include, but the president has previously said he would cut the top capital gains tax rate to 15% from 20%; forgive temporarily deferred payroll taxes and give tax breaks to U.S. companies that bring their operations back from China.
During an interview on Monday with Fox News, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration did not intend to release a detailed tax proposal before the election.
“Look, we’ve put out a lot. We’ve mentioned it. I’ve talked about it,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why we have to put out a detailed plan."
Biden, meanwhile, is running on a multitrillion-dollar agenda that would be funded in large part by higher taxes on wealthy U.S. households – which he describes as anyone earning more than $400,000 annually – and corporations. That includes higher income tax rates, an expansion of the payroll tax for Social Security, new tax credits and fewer deductions.
Biden has promised to roll back Trump's 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and raise the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, restore the top individual tax rate to 39.6% from 37%, tax capital gains as ordinary income, cap deductions for high earners, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers over the age of 65 and impose the Social Security payroll tax on wages above $400,000.
Almost 80% of the tax increases backed by Biden would land on the top 1% of earners in the U.S., according to a projection in September from the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a nonpartisan group at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
The Constitution gives Congress the power to set tax policy, so both Biden and Trump's economic agenda likely hinges on which party controls a majority in the House and Senate.