Tax season is here, and the field of 2016 presidential candidates is narrowing. What better time is there to see what taxes would look like under a presumptive administration of the remaining candidates?
Democrat or Republican, a top concern for voters in the presidential race is the economy. And taxes are certainly at the heart of the U.S. economic debate, as well as the center of passions for voters on all sides of the political discussion.
Whether you are completely undecided on which of the presidential candidates will receive your vote, or if you are teetering on the fence between two of them, a primer on each of their plans for taxes can be a good place to begin or end the decision.
Taxes and the 2016 Presidential Candidates
Here we’ll cover the basic tax ideas and policies for each of the remaining major candidates, who are Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and John Kasich on the Republican side and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats.
- Donald Trump: The general goals of Trump’s tax reform ideas include middle-class tax relief, tax code simplification and growing the economy with more jobs and less corporate inversions. More specifically, Trump’s tax relief and simplification would mean single filers earning less than $25,000 and those married filing jointly under $50,000 would pay no tax. The seven current tax brackets would be cut to four — 0%, 10%, 20%, and 25%. And no business, no matter how large or small, would pay more than 15% for business taxes. Trump says his tax plans are revenue neutral and would be paid for primarily by reducing or eliminating tax loopholes available to corporations and the very rich.
- Ted Cruz: Tax plans for a Cruz presidency center around his simple flat tax, which he claims would create almost 5 million jobs. Cruz would collapse the seven current tax brackets into one single rate of 10%. For a family of four, the first $36,000 of income would be tax-free. According to the Cruz jobs and taxes plan, “the IRS will cease to exist as we know it, there will be zero targeting of individuals based on their faith or political beliefs, and there will be no way for thousands of agents to manipulate the system.”
- Marco Rubio: Like Trump’s and Cruz’ tax plans, the Rubio tax plan cuts tax rates while simplifying the tax code. To do this, some of Rubio’ ideas include a reduction of the seven tax brackets down to three, elimination of all itemized deductions, the creation of a new refundable tax credit ($2,000 for single filers and $4,000 for married filing jointly), elimination of the marriage penalty and Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), the reduction of tax rates of all businesses to 25%, and the reduction of capital gains rates, dividends and estate taxes to 0% each.
- Jeb Bush: The tax plan for Jeb Bush also looks similar to those of the other Republican candidates. He promises to simplify the tax code and reduce taxes, which Bush claims “will unleash increased investment, higher wages and sustained 4% economic growth, while reducing the deficit.” For example, he would reduce tax brackets down to three — 10%, 25% and 28%. His plan would also nearly double the standard deduction taken by about two-thirds of filers and end the marriage penalty and AMT. He would also work to end corporate inversions, cut the corporate tax rate to 20% and allow businesses to immediately and fully deduct capital investments.