Donald Trump has promised to repeal the estate tax. Why does this matter? Well, it really may not matter…for that matter. For the few taxpayers who expect to pay the estate tax, they no longer will have to create tax-exempt organizations to eliminate large sources of tax revenue. For the remainder, it really won’t matter. What will matter is what type of tax rules and regulations replace it.
Every American taxpayer is waiting to see what specific tax plan Donald Trump will implement as President of the United States. The first part of this blog addressed the differences between Trump’s 2015 proposed tax plan and his current 2016 tax plan. While there are differences, there are, of course, the constants in Trump’s tax proposals, which demonstrate the tax policies that Trump has emphasized as important from the beginning of his presidential candidacy.
The original purpose for the enactment of the estate tax in 1916 was to be a temporary tax used to pay off the war bonds of WWI. One hundred years later and it’s still around. However, Donald Trump has pledged to repeal the estate tax, although presidential candidates promising to repeal the estate tax is standard campaign rhetoric in every election. However, this time around, with the incoming Trump Administration, it may be more than just talk.
President Trump’s 2005 Tax Return – What It Tells Us
Yesterday, Tuesday March 14, 2017, while most of the New England area was buried in snow, MSNBC published President Trump’s 2005 income tax return – or at least the first two pages of it. What does the return tell us and what does it not?
The Basics – We know he had a positive income in the amount of $152,737,866 and $103,201,242 in tax write-offs. He paid a total of $38,435,451 in taxes for the year.
It remains to be seen the specific tax plan that Donald Trump will implement as President of the United States. The effects of Donald Trump’s tax plan will depend on taxpayers’ income and tax planning. Some think that Trump’s plan will significantly reduce income and corporate taxes, and eliminate the estate tax. It seems the plan’s largest effect on individual taxpayers will be to reduce the top tax bracket 6.6 percentage points from 39.6 percent to 33 percent.
What will we really learn If Donald Trump ever releases his tax returns? While no technical, legal requirement compels him to do so, it is but a time-honored tradition among presidential candidates acting in the spirit of full disclosure. Trump has acted like it’s not a big deal and that little, if anything, will be revealed by any divulgence. If it’s not such a big deal, why doesn’t he simply disclose them like other candidates? What might he be concerned that voters will really learn from the release of his tax returns?
- Trump pays little or nothing in taxes
In March, Donald Trump’s campaign published a letter written by his tax attorneys explaining the status of his tax returns, an apparent sore subject for the Donald whenever he is questioned about it by the media. Although the letter is dated March 7, 2016, it wasn’t released by his campaign until twenty-three days later. Regardless, he continues to thumb his nose at the time-honored tradition of presidential nominees disclosing their tax returns at some sufficent time prior to the election.
In this most interesting presidential election primary season, many different issues have dominated the news. Perhaps no candidate has dominated the airwaves more than Donald J. Trump, the leading candidate in the Republican primaries. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Trump has made a number of controversial statements, antagonizing a variety of groups and countries alike. It is no surprise then that Trump is again in the center of the latest controversy – the release of his tax returns.