Tax Reform Policies of the Presidential Candidates

Tax Reform Policies of the Presidential Candidates

INTRODUCTION

When the Tax Reform Act was enacted 30 years ago, Congress was able to implement major tax reform by collaborating across bipartisan lines.[1]  It was the last time the Internal Revenue Code underwent a major overhaul, and the elements that came together to create such a major change have proven quite elusive during the past three decades.[2]  As we move toward the November election, tax policy and tax reform have again become significant issues.  Every candidate offered ways to alter the tax code, if elected and if Congress were amenable to their proposals.[3]  With the Democratic and Republican nominees officially identified, it is a good time to take a closer look at each party’s candidate and to evaluate their respective tax policies. 

This commentary will focus on individual and business income tax proposals by the two major party Presidential candidates.  At the time of this writing, Donald Trump’s team is working on a complete rewrite of his tax reform proposal.  For purposes of this commentary, we will focus on his proposals to date, although it is worth mentioning that Mr. Trump’s revised plan is expected to be a much smaller set of tax cuts than originally proposed.[4]

A discussion of proposed tax reform would not be complete without mention of the estate tax and how each candidate plans to affect taxation of decedents and their estates.[5]  Finally, we will take a look at some of the candidates’ proposals regarding tax credits, including new and expanded tax credits (such as credits for those who pay for child care or take care of an aging parent) and an expansion of tax credits like the Work Opportunity Tax Credit proposed by Hillary Clinton as well as retained tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit under Donald Trump’s plan.[6]  We will close with an assessment of the overall revenue impact of both candidates’ tax proposals[7] and some general thoughts about both of their tax plans.[8]

BUSINESS INCOME

[1]        Hillary Clinton

[a]        Inversions

Hillary Clinton has spoken out strongly against inversions, and says that if elected, she will work to enact an “exit tax” on unrepatriated earnings to penalize companies that invert for purposes of reducing their taxes.[9]  In addition, she would restrict inversions by imposing a 50 percent threshold on foreign ownership in order for a U.S. company to abandon its American identity (currently the threshold is 20 percent ownership by foreign interest).[10] Ms. Clinton’s plan anticipates using revenue from “closing the loophole” on inversions to drive business growth and job creation.[11]

[b]       Interest Deductions

Hillary Clinton’s plan would also seek to limit interest deductions for U.S. affiliates of multinational companies to discourage “earnings stripping.”[12] Companies avoid U.S. corporate income tax by shifting debt to the United States, and then moving their profits overseas.[13]  Earnings stripping had received less bad publicity than inversions until recently,[14] and regulatory action was taken in April 2016 to curtail this activity.[15]  Tightening the reins further on earnings stripping is expected to garner about $60 billion in tax revenue over ten years.[16] Again, the revenue would go toward incentivizing companies to bring jobs back home to the U.S. and to support small businesses, manufacturing, and research.[17]

            [c]        Other proposals

            Other measures related to business taxation proposed by Ms. Clinton include: 1) assessing a “risk fee” on large financial institutions (TBTF, or “too big to fail” institutions with assets in excess of $50 billion that engage in risk-taking activity that is not otherwise regulated);[18]  2) enacting a tax on high-frequency trading, which she says has “unnecessarily burdened…markets and enabled unfair and abusive trading strategies” to emerge;[19] and 3) reform of performance-based tax deductions for highly paid executives of public companies which she says provide “perverse incentives” to businesses.[20]  Further, Ms. Clinton’s proposal would provide tax credits for businesses that invest in community development and infrastructure, and for businesses that hire apprentices or share profits with employees.[21]

[2]        Donald Trump

[a]        Corporate Income Tax Rate

Although currently under revision, Donald Trump’s tax reform plans thus far have included a sizeable reduction in the corporate income tax rate.  Originally, Mr. Trump proposed to lower the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.  Current estimates suggest the revised rate will more likely be 20 percent,[22] although Mr. Trump has said that the ultimate rate will all depend on negotiations with Congress when it comes time to solidify a tax reform plan.[23]  A similarly reduced rate would also apply as the top pass-through rate for businesses.[24] 

[b]       Repatriated Profits and Deferral of Income From Controlled Foreign Subsidiaries

Mr. Trump’s initial plans for tax reform also involve measures to discourage inversions and curtail multinational companies from keeping earnings overseas to avoid taxes.  Although all profits of U.S.-based companies are taxed under the U.S. system, including foreign-generated earnings, companies with offshore income can choose to defer repatriation of those earnings.[25]  Initially Mr. Trump suggested that a repatriation tax holiday allowing companies to repatriate earnings from overseas without incurring tax liability, would be the best approach for securing the return of funds from overseas.[26]  Mr. Trump’s latest proposal is for a ten percent tax on repatriated profits of subsidiaries of U.S. firms that would be payable over ten years.[27]  Taxes would also be collected on profits earned by companies participating in the repatriation holiday, as they are earned in the future (although at what rate is unclear).

Reducing the corporate income tax rate is an indirect way Mr. Trump expects to rein in the temptation for companies to invert.  Once the U.S. corporate tax rate is lowered, companies would possibly not have as great of an incentive to invert.[28]  Again, as of this writing it is impossible to know if tax cut proposals to date will be reflected in Mr. Trump’s revised tax plan, and the effectiveness of much of his plan is substantially reliant upon a significantly reduced corporate tax rate. 

 [c]  Carried Interest Loophole

Carried interest, or “carry” in finance terms, is income that flows to the general partner of a private investment fund.  Carried interest is generally taxed at the capital gains rate of 20 percent tax on net capital gains (plus 3.8 percent investment tax), or at the qualified dividends tax rate of 15 percent.[29] The lower rate for investment managers is typically justified as a perk for the entrepreneurial type of work conducted by these individuals.[30]  Others think it is an unfair loophole that should be closed, and the income should be taxed as regular wage and salary income, at the top tax rate.[31]  As will be discussed below in Section 6.03 related to individual income, Mr. Trump’s plan has also called for a significant reduction in individual income tax rates.  With lower individual income tax rates across the board, closing a loophole on carried interest could have an overall minimal impact.[32]  In comparison, Ms. Clinton’s tax reform proposal includes taxing carried interest at ordinary income tax rates instead of capital gains and dividends tax rates.[33]

INDIVIDUAL INCOME

[1]        Hillary Clinton

            [a]        Cap on Itemized Deductions

Ms. Clinton’s tax reform plan would cap all itemized deductions at a tax value of 28 percent.  Itemized deductions are, of course, the tax provisions that let people reduce their taxable incomes by listing things on Schedule A of their federal tax return.[34] The value of a deduction varies according to the tax bracket of the taxpayer, and Ms. Clinton’s proposal would limit the benefit of tax deductions to 28 percent of the value of the deduction.[35]

            [b]       Buffett Rule

Hillary Clinton has proposed the so-called Buffett Rule (or “30 Percent Minimum Tax Rule”) as part of her tax reform package.  The Buffett Rule would require taxpayers with more than $1 million in adjusted gross income (AGI) to pay a minimum of 30 percent of their income in taxes.[36] The minimum tax would phase-in between $1 and $2 million of AGI.[37] Additionally, a four percent surcharge would be imposed on AGI above $5 million.[38]

            [c]        Capital Gain Rates

Under Ms. Clinton’s tax reform plan, high income investors would be subject to higher capital gains taxes.[39] Currently there is a 20 percent tax on realized gains from investments held more than a year. The rate would remain the same under the Clinton plan, but only for investments held for at least six years.[40] Medium-term capital gains would be taxed between 27.8 percent and 47.4 percent (a higher rate applies if investments are held for fewer years).[41]

[2] Donald Trump                  

            [a]  Individual Income Tax Rates and Standard Deduction Amounts

Mr. Trump’s plans for individual income tax changes include consolidating the current seven tax brackets into four, with a top marginal tax rate of 25 percent.[42]  Single persons who earn less than $25,000, or married couples jointly earning less than $50,000, will not owe any income tax.[43] In addition, Mr. Trump proposes raising the standard deduction amount of $6,300 exponentially to $25,000 for single filers and $50,000 for married couples.[44]

[b] Alternative Minimum Tax

Enacted in 1982, the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was intended to “increase the tax burden of households that make extensive use of tax deductions and credits.” [45] It is considered one of the more complex components of the individual tax code.  Mr. Trump’s tax reform plans include elimination of the AMT altogether.[46]  Mr. Trump’s website references the AMT in the context of individual income but there is also a corporate AMT.  It is not clear whether his proposal would seek to eliminate only the individual AMT or also include the corporate AMT.[47]

ESTATE TAX

[1]        Hillary Clinton

Ms. Clinton’s tax reform plan entails restoration of the estate tax and gift tax to their 2009 parameters.  Bernie Sanders supported this approach as well, which would mean a reduction in the estate tax exemption amount from $5 million to $3.5 million and a tax rate of 45 percent.[48]  Ms. Clinton’s plan also seeks to limit or eliminate other deductions for individuals and corporations.[49]

[2]        Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s plan for the estate tax is “You’re Fired!”[50]  Mr. Trump would eliminate the estate tax on inherited assets completely.[51] Calling it unfair double taxation and labeling it a “death tax,” Mr. Trump has said that estate tax repeal would help farmers in particular.[52]

MISCELLANEOUS TAX CREDITS

[1]        Hillary Clinton

Tax credits are a significant component in Hillary Clinton’s tax reform plan. The cost of child care is becoming more significant for working parents, and Ms. Clinton has proposed tax credits to cap child care costs at 10 percent of a family’s income.[53] Similarly, Ms. Clinton’s plan includes an elderly credit to offset 20 percent of health costs on behalf of family members for those taxpayers who have to incur expenses related to caring for an aging parent or other relative.[54]

Ms. Clinton would also retain the American Opportunity Tax Credit to offset college tuition, a credit set to expire in 2017, as well as the New Markets Tax Credit for capital investment in low-income urban neighborhoods.[55] She has also proposed the creation of a refundable out-of-pocket health expenses tax credit.[56]  Worth up to $5,000 per family, or $2,500 per individual, the tax credit would be equal to deductibles and copays above five percent of income.[57]

            Finally, the Clinton plan would create a new tax credit for every “apprentice” worker a business hires and trains in certain fields like construction and manufacturing,[58]

[2]        Donald Trump

            Taxpayers in lower income brackets often benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides an additional $503 to $6,242 annually, depending on the number of children.  Donald Trump’s plan would retain the EITC and would also keep the Child Tax Credit, which can provide up to an additional $1,000 per child in credits on top of the EITC.[59]

REVENUE IMPACTS

 [1]       Hillary Clinton

Overall, Hillary Clinton’s plan would have a significant net revenue gain.  Specifically, her tax play would stand to raise tax revenue by $498 billion over the next ten years and most of the revenue gain would be from increased individual income tax revenue. [60]  Estate tax changes would raise an additional $106 billion over the next ten years.  An additional $11 billion would be raised through additional corporate taxes. [61]

 [2] Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s plan has been labeled the “debt default” plan.[62] His proposed tax cuts could potentially add as much as $24.5 trillion to the national debt over the next 20 years ($9.5 trillion over the next decade, and then an additional $15 trillion over the next ten years).[63]  Expert analysts assessing Trump’s tax plan say significant cuts in spending and entitlement programs are required to minimize the debt impact of his proposal.[64]

CONCLUSION

According to a recent Pew poll (conducted in June 2016), Americans of retirement age favor Donald Trump’s tax proposals.  On the other hand, lower income Americans prefer Clinton’s proposal.[65]

One of the most significant challenges in assessing Donald Trump’s tax policies is that as we near the end of July 2016, his plans are still a moving target. Mr. Trump has said that whatever tax reform plans he may have, the real details won’t be worked out until he actually has to work with Congress on his policy proposals.[66]  His plan overall is a simplification of the tax code and a major cut in taxes that could stimulate economic growth but also have a negative effect on government spending. Once Donald Trump’s revised tax plan is revealed, we will have a better idea of how he plans to offset his proposed tax cuts.

Hillary Clinton’s plan is primarily the status quo with slightly higher rates for upper income taxpayers, the addition and expansion of tax credits, and more limited deductions.[67] Her cautious approach to tax reform is given high marks for fiscal responsibility by some but isn’t expected to spark a significant increase in economic growth.[68]



[1] Tax Reform Act of 1986, 99 PL 415, 100 Stat 2085 (Oct 22, 1986).

[2] See Daniel N. Shaviro, “Evaluating the Case for 1986-Style Corporate Tax Reform,” Tax Notes Today (Dec. 17, 2014).

[3] See idSee also James C. Gould, “Tax Reform, Congress, and Politics,” Tax Notes Today (Feb. 24, 2015) (stating that a bipartisan start is the sine qua non to effective tax reform).

[4] See Jim Tankersley, “Donald Trump is cutting down his tax breaks for the rich,” The Washington Post (July 20, 2016), available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/20/donald-trump-is-cutting-down-his-tax-breaks-for-the-rich/.  When asked about shifting positions on tax policy, Mr. Trump’s chief policy advisor stated that such a change “signal[s] to people on both sides of the aisle that we’re not going to come in there fall on our swords over this.” Rob Garver and Eric Pianin, “Experts Weigh Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, and Find It Wanting,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Experts-Weigh-Donald-Trump-s-Tax-Plan-and-Find-It-Wanting.

[5] See Section 6.04 infra.

[6] See Section 6.05 infra.

[7] See Section 6.06 infra.

[8] See Section 6.07 infra.  See generally, Kyle Pomerleau and Michael Schuyler, “Details and Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals,” Tax Foundation (Jan 26, 2016).  See also Eric Pianin and Rob Garver, “Grading Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016) (evaluating legislative feasibility of Clinton’s tax proposals), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Grading-Hillary-Clinton-s-Tax-Plan.

[9] Mergers between U.S. companies and foreign corporations are already subject to inversion regulations to some extent, and it is unclear how an “exit tax” would differ from current penalties. See “Presidential Elections: The Road to the White House,” Ballotpedia, available at https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_taxes.  See also “Comparing the 2016 Presidential Tax Reform Proposals,” Tax Foundation, available at http://taxfoundation.org/comparing-2016-presidential-tax-reform-proposals.  For more on inversions, see “Deanne B. Morton on Corporate Inversions,” 3-2016 Lexis® Federal Tax Journal Quarterly § 6.01 et seq.

[10] See “Ending Inversions and Investing in America,” The Briefing, available at https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/factsheets/2015/12/08/ending-inversions-and-investing-in-america/.

[11] See id.

[12] See Jennifer Epstein, “Clinton Targets ‘Earnings Stripping’ by Corporate Tax Avoiders,” Bloomberg.com, available at http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-12-09/clinton-targets-earnings-stripping-by-corporate-tax-avoiders.

[13] See id.

[14] See Steven Davidoff Solomon, “Corporate Inversions Aren’t the Half of It,” DealBook, nytimes.com, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/10/business/dealbook/corporate-inversions-arent-the-half-of-it.html.

[15] See Leslie Picker and Michael J. de la Merced, “U.S. Moves to Thwart Use of Foreign Inversions as Tax Dodge,” The New York Times (Apr 4, 2016), available at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/business/dealbook/us-acts-to-end-use-of-foreign-acquisitions-to-dodge-taxes.html.

[16] See Jennifer Epstein, “Clinton Targets ‘Earnings Stripping’ by Corporate Tax Avoiders,” Bloomberg.com (Dec 9, 2015), available at http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-12-09/clinton-targets-earnings-stripping-by-corporate-tax-avoiders.

[17] Id.

[18] See Laura Meckler and Ryan Tracy, “Clinton Proposes Big Bank Risk Fee,” The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 8, 2015) , available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/clinton-wall-street-plan-targets-shadow-banking-1444322548.

[19] “Clinton to propose a tax on high-frequency trading,” Reuters (Oct 7, 2015), available at http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/07/hillar-clinton-to-propose-tax-on-high-frequency-trading-in-wall-st-reform.html.

[20] See Rick Auxier et al., “An Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals,” Prelminary Draft, Tax Policy Center (Mar 3, 2016), available at http://static.politico.com/42/78/3bef739b467f921e92392ed69901/tax-policy-centers-analysis-of-hillary-clintons-tax-plan.pdf. See generally Ric Pianin & Rob Garver, “Grading Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Grading-Hillary-Clinton-s-Tax-Plan. 

[21] See id.

[22] See Alan Cole, “Details and Analysis of Donald Trump’s Tax Plan,” Tax Foundation (Sept. 29, 2015), available at http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-donald-trump-s-tax-plan.  Speculation abounds as to how the revised Trump tax plan will differ from the original proposal. Stephen Moore, one of the authors of Mr. Trump’s revamped tax plan, says the new plan will resemble the tax reform bill recently proposed by House Republicans, which proposes a cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.  See Jim Tankersley, “Donald Trump is cutting down his tax breaks for the rich,” The Washington Post (July 20, 2016), available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/20/donald-trump-is-cutting-down-his-tax-breaks-for-the-rich/.  Brian Faler, “After much tax reform talk, House GOP finally agrees on a plan,” Politico (June 24, 2016), available at http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/house-republicans-tax-reform-224749.

[23] Eric Garver and Eric Pianin, “Experts Weigh Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, and Find It Wanting,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Experts-Weigh-Donald-Trump-s-Tax-Plan-and-Find-It-Wanting.

[24] See Alan Cole, “Details and Analysis of Donald Trump’s Tax Plan,” Tax Foundation (Sept. 29, 2015), available at http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-donald-trump-s-tax-plan.

[25] See Alex M. Parker, “Trump, Sanders Agree on Ending Deferral of Overseas Earnings,” BNA.com (Feb. 23, 2016), available at http://www.bna.com/trump-sanders-agree-n57982067683/.

[26] See Tory Newmyer, “Corporate tax dodgers will love Trump’s plan to crack down on corporate tax dodgers,” Fortune (Aug. 21, 2015), available at http://fortune.com/2015/08/21/trump-goes-easy-on-tax-dodgers/.

[27] A repatriation tax holiday was in effect for tax years 2004 and 2005.  IRC § 965 was also enacted to permit a U.S. corporation to repatriate up to 85% in foreign income tax-free, at an effective tax rate of 5.25%, so long as repatriated funds were reinvested in certain activities like worker training and research and development.  See Mary Riley, “Mary Riley on Repatriation Tax Holidays and Territorial Tax Systems,” 3-2012 Lexis Federal Tax Journal Quarterly § 1.01 et seq. It is subject to debate whether repatriation tax holidays are effective tools in boosting investment and jobs domestically.  Critics have pointed to possible “windfall to shareholders of a small number of large corporations.” Chuck Marr & Brian Highsmith, “Tax Holiday for Overseas Corporate Profits Would Increase Deficits, Fail to Boost the Economy, and Ultimately Shift More Investment and Jobs Overseas,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (June 23, 2011), available at http://www.cbpp.org/research/tax-holiday-for-overseas-corporate-profits-would-increase-deficits-fail-to-boost-the. See also Henry Blodget, “Hey, Congress, Look What Happened Last Time You Got Duped Into Letting Companies ‘Repatriate’ Foreign Cash,” Business Insider (May 21, 2013).

[28] See Alex M. Parker, “Trump, Sanders Agree on Ending Deferral of Overseas Earnings,” BNA.com (Feb. 23, 2016), available at http://www.bna.com/trump-sanders-agree-n57982067683/.

[29] See “What is carried interest and how should it be taxed?” under “Key Elements of the U.S. Tax System,” Tax Policy Center Briefing Book, available at http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing. See also Alex M. Parker, “Trump, Sanders Agree on Ending Deferral of Overseas Earnings,” BNA.com (Feb. 23, 2016), available at http://www.bna.com/trump-sanders-agree-n57982067683/.-book/what-carried-interest-and-how-should-it-be-taxed.  Mr. Trump has also proposed eliminating the 3.8 percent net investment income tax.  See Rob Garver and Eric Pianin, “Experts Weigh Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, and Find It Wanting,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Experts-Weigh-Donald-Trump-s-Tax-Plan-and-Find-It-Wanting.

[30] See id.

[31] See id.  See also Matt Gardner, “How Donald Trump’s Carried Interest Tax Hike Masks a Massive Tax Cut for Wealthy Money Managers,” Tax Justice Blog (Sept. 29, 2015), available at http://www.taxjusticeblog.org/archive/2015/09/brownback_on_steroids_donald_t.php#.V5Rs6vkrJxA.

[32] Mr. Trump has proposed cutting individual income tax rates.

[33] Kyle Pomerleau and Michael Schuyler, “Details and Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals,” Tax Foundation (Jan. 2016), available at http://taxfoundation.org/sites/default/files/docs/TaxFoundation-FF496.pdf.

[34] See Alan Cole, “The Best Provisions in Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan,” Tax Foundation (June 6, 2016), available at http://taxfoundation.org/blog/best-provision-hillary-clinton-s-tax-plan.

[35] Id.

[36] See Jeanne Sahadi, “Here’s how much Hillary Clinton’s tax plan would hit the rich,” CNN Money (Mar. 3 2016), available at http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/03/pf/taxes/hillary-clinton-taxes/.

[37] Kyle Pomerleau and Michael Schuyler, “Details and Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals,” Tax Foundation (Jan. 2016), available at http://taxfoundation.org/sites/default/files/docs/TaxFoundation-FF496.pdf.

[38] See Jeanne Sahadi, “Here’s how much Hillary Clinton’s tax plan would hit the rich,” CNN Money (Mar. 3 2016), available at http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/03/pf/taxes/hillary-clinton-taxes/.

[39] See id.

[40] See id.

[41] Kyle Pomerleau and Michael Schuyler, “Details and Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals,” Tax Foundation (Jan. 2016), available at http://taxfoundation.org/sites/default/files/docs/TaxFoundation-FF496.pdf.

[42] The four brackets proposed are 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. “Tax Reform That Will Make America Great Again,” Trump Pence Official Website, https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform. See Alan Cole, “Details and Analysis of Donald Trump’s Tax Plan,” Tax Foundation (Sept. 29, 2015), available at http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-donald-trump-s-tax-plan.

[43] “Tax Reform That Will Make America Great Again,” Trump Pence Official Website, https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform.

[44] “Donald Trump’s Tax Plan: Can You Afford to Have Trump in Office?” Huffington Post (Apr. 7, 2016), available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gobankingrates/donald-trumps-tax-plan-ca_b_9636312.html.

[45] http://taxfoundation.org/blog/every-tax-policy-proposal-2016-presidential-candidates-one-chart

[46] “Tax Reform That Will Make America Great Again,” Trump Pence Official Website, https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform.

[47] Id.

[48] Robert W. Wood, “Dear Bernie and Hillary, Your ‘Sensible’ Estate Tax Actually Isn’t,” Forbes (Apr 25, 2016), available at http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2016/04/25/dear-bernie-and-hillary-your-sensible-estate-tax-actually-isnt/#60203cb33603.

[49] Kyle Pomerleau and Michael Schuyler, “Details and Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals,” Tax Foundation (Jan. 2016), available at http://taxfoundation.org/sites/default/files/docs/TaxFoundation-FF496.pdf.

[50] On the NBC reality television show “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump would eliminate contestants with the words, “You’re Fired.” See The Apprentice U.S. – Best Firings (Part 1), available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R1vT87nrUQ.

[51] “Tax Reform That Will Make America Great Again,” Trump Pence Official Website, https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform.

[52] See Mario Trujillo, “Trump Pledges to Repeal Estate Tax,” The Hill (Dec. 5, 2015), available at http://thehill.com/policy/finance/262224-trump-appeals-to-farmers-in-iowa-with-estate-tax-repeal-promise.

[53] See Brittany Bronson, “Clinton’s Day Care Plan: A Good Start, but Not Enough,” NY Times (June 27, 2016), available at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/opinion/campaign-stops/clintons-day-care-plan-a-good-start-but-not-enough.html.

[54] See “Opinion: Hillary Clinton’s Tax Credit Sweepstakes,” Wall Street Journal (Nov. 30, 2015), available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clintons-tax-credit-sweepstakes-1448928410.

[55] Id. The New Markets Tax Credit is a 39% coupon.  Ms. Clinton proposes to broaden eligibility for the credit to anyone “allegedly harmed by trade,” “a major job-loss event,” climate change and her policies intended to mitigate climate change if such changes lead to declines in coal mining or fossil-fuel electric generation.”  Id.

[56] Id.

[57] Id.

[58] Id.

[59] See Rebecca Kaplan, “Donald Trump’s tax plan would help the poorest Americans,” CBS News (Sept. 30, 2015), available at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/yes-trump-tax-plan-should-help-the-poorest-americans/.

[60] Kyle Pomerleau and Michael Schuyler, “Details and Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals,” Tax Foundation (Jan. 2016), available at http://taxfoundation.org/sites/default/files/docs/TaxFoundation-FF496.pdf.

[61] Id.

[62] Eric Garver and Eric Pianin, “Experts Weigh Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, and Find It Wanting,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Experts-Weigh-Donald-Trump-s-Tax-Plan-and-Find-It-Wanting.

[63] See Eric Pianin, Trump’s Tax Cuts Would Add $245 Trillion in Debt,” The Fiscal Times (Dec 23, 2015), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/12/23/Trump-s-Tax-Cuts-Would-Add-245-Trillion-Debt.

[64] Id.  See also Eric Garver and Eric Pianin, “Experts Weigh Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, and Find It Wanting,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Experts-Weigh-Donald-Trump-s-Tax-Plan-and-Find-It-Wanting.

[65] See Ian Salisbury, “What the Clinton and Trump Tax Plans Would Mean for You,” Money (July 25, 2016), available at http://time.com/money/4405149/clinton-and-trump-tax-plans-cost-by-income-level/.

[66] Eric Garver and Eric Pianin, “Experts Weigh Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, and Find It Wanting,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Experts-Weigh-Donald-Trump-s-Tax-Plan-and-Find-It-Wanting.  Mr. Trump has said even though he has proposed a cut on wealthy taxpayers (the highest tax rate of 40 percent down to 25 percent), after negotiation with Congress on the tax plan overall, the highest taxed taxpayers could ultimately be subject to a higher rate than they are currently taxed.  See id.

[67] See Chris Matthews, “Here Are the Tax Rates You’ll Pay Next Year,” Fortune (Apr. 18, 2016), available at http://fortune.com/2016/04/18/here-are-the-tax-rates-youll-pay-next-year/.

[68] See Eric Pianin and Rob Garver, Grading Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan,” The Fiscal Times (May 17, 2016), available at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/17/Grading-Hillary-Clinton-s-Tax-Plan.

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LEXIS users can view additional insightful and expansive analytical commentary in the upcoming September 2016 edition of the Lexis Federal Tax Journal Quarterly.