With the presidential election in November a little more than three months away, the presumptive nominees, former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, are set to square off on a variety of policy issues. As it has for the past several months, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely dominate the upcoming contest, but Biden has proposed a variety of federal tax law changes in contrast to Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”). This article provides a high-level discussion of the candidates’ tax law proposals, but it is important to note that these are initial proposals, additional details may arise and any changes in tax law are often ultimately driven by Congress.
Biden has heavily criticized the TCJA and called for higher taxes on both ordinary and capital gain income for high net worth individuals. Specifically, Biden has proposed the following tax law changes:
President Trump has not yet issued an official tax policy proposal for his reelection campaign, but the budget proposals that the White House has submitted to Congress since the passage of the TCJA have all assumed that the individual income provisions from the TCJA that are set to expire at the end of 2025 will be made permanent. Trump has proposed doubling-down on the TCJA and also proposed a so-called “Tax Reform 2.0” for low-income and middle-income taxpayers that is set to be unveiled in September.
The table below provides a comparison of some key policy issues among the current law, Trump’s proposal, and Biden’s proposal.