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Election 2020: President Trump's Tax Plans

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The Trump administration talked about releasing a comprehensive second-term tax strategy earlier this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed that plan. So, instead, we're left with a handful of vague ideas and bullet-point descriptions about various tax cuts the president would like to pursue if he's re-elected. (Unlike Joe Biden, don't expect President Trump to call for any tax increases.)

The Trump campaign has promised more detail on his second-term agenda, and we certainly hope that includes a formal tax plan…but we're not holding our breath waiting for that to happen. Unfortunately, there's a good chance we'll have to make do with the scant information currently available when trying to figure out what the president would do about taxes during a second term. Plus, adding to the confusion, the president has occasionally come out in favor of a particular tax proposal, only to reverse course or walk back support for it later.

All this puts voters in a tight spot. Despite the stock market's rebound, there are still serious problems with the U.S. economy right now – and tax policy is going to be an important part of any economic recovery in the future. With the election right around the corner, that means voters need to know sooner rather than later where the president stands on taxes. So, to that end, we combed through Trump administration statements and came up with a list of the most significant tax proposals President Trump has put forth or supported this year. While we don't have very much detail on these proposals, there's enough meat on the bones to get a sense of where the president stands on taxes.

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President Trump has already signed an executive order deferring the collection of Social Security payroll taxes that are taken out of each worker's paycheck. The 6.2% tax is suspended from September 1 until the end of the year for employees making less than $4,000 for any bi-weekly pay period (i.e., $2,000 per week, or $104,000 per year).

However, this is not a payroll tax cut. As it stands right now, these taxes will still have to be paid later. The president's order just delays the due date until sometime in 2021 (an exact payment date is not yet known). But if Trump is re-elected, he promised to push for the deferred taxes to be completely forgiven. He may also try to implement additional payroll tax cuts. If he does, we don't know whether he'll just ask for a partial or temporary cut, or if he'll want to completely and/or permanently do away with the........

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