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Trump Promises To Cut Middle-Class Taxes, Gets Carl Icahn Endorsement - Live Feed

Republican presidential nominee front-runner Donald Trump, amid massively variant poll numbers (Fox >40%, WSJ ~21%?), plans to unveil his tax plan today, that, as WSJ reports, would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings. Trumps's plan claims to bring "sanity, common sense and simplification to the nation's catastrophic tax code," and, despite plans to end "carried interest" tax breaks - most loved by hedge fund managers - Carl Icahn has come out and endorsed Trump as "the only candidate that speaks about the country's problems."

Mr Trump explains...

“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”

Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.

 

Many middle-income households would have a lower tax rate under Mr. Trump’s proposal, but because high-income households generally pay income tax at much higher rates, his proposed across-the-board rate cut could have a positive impact on them, too. For example, an analysis of Jeb Bush’s plan—taxing individuals’ incomes at no more than 28%—by the business-backed Tax Foundation found that the biggest percentage winners in after-tax income would be the top 1% of earners.

 

Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist—though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.

 

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To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation.

 

A significant revenue gain would come from a one-time tax on overseas profits that could encourage U.S. multinational corporations to return an estimated $2.1 trillion in cash now sitting offshore, largely to avoid U.S. taxes. His proposal would impose a mandatory 10% tax on all of that money, even if the money stays overseas, but allow a few years for the tax to be paid. The Trump campaign estimates that many companies would choose to bring their money back home, boosting jobs and investment in the U.S.

 

Mr. Trump also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations; currently, such tax payments can be deferred. All told, the campaign says the plan would be revenue neutral—neither raising nor lowering federal revenues—by the third year and then begin adding revenue.

 

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The plan proposes to simplify tax filing for many lower- to middle-income households. The plan says that some 42 million households that currently file tax forms to establish that they don’t owe any federal income tax now will be able to file their returns on a single page.

The Trump tax plan, in one poster: pic.twitter.com/YM4pDwySaY

— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna)

Additionally, Carl Icahn backs Trump’s calls to end carried-interest loopholes and rules that encourage corporations to relocate overseas and avoid repatriating profits.

In a video and interview due to be published tomorrow, Bloomberg reports that Carl Icahn shares Donald Trump’s criticism of the U.S.’s failure to overhaul taxation and immigration and raise interest rates.

“I would say it’s an endorsement. I think at this moment in time, he’s the only candidate that speaks out about the country’s problems,” Icahn said by phone. “I’m behind Trump. I disagree on certain points I don’t want to get into, I’m sure those can be worked out, but the basic thing is, you need somebody that can get things going in Congress, and I think he can do it. You need somebody that understands business, and I think he understands it.”