President Biden has proposed a Covid-19 relief package and new tax plan. These plans are filled with numerous proposals and below I will breakdown some of the most notable ones.
President Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package with the goal to help Americans with the economic shock of the pandemic. This plan has been highly debated and there is no guarantee it will be passed. If it does, funding for the bill would require federal borrowing. Here are some of the most notable proposals:
1. Stimulus checks of $1,400
Democrats have been pushing for $2,000 checks the past few months. Recently, people were issued $600 checks and the $1,400 that is proposed would be the remaining amount to get individuals $2,000 total.
2. Increasing unemployment benefit to $400
During the CAREs Act, there was a $600 federal unemployment bonus. The recent $900 billion stimulus package has an unemployment bonus of $300 that expires March 14th. The new proposal would raise the federal bonus to $400 until the end of September.
For those unaware, these bonuses are weekly checks on top of the unemployment money you receive from your state.
3. Minimum wage $15/hour
Biden seeks to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour, saying “No one working 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line.” Many small businesses who pay employees minimum wage will now have to pay employees double (Federal minimum wage $7.25). How this will help or hurt our economy is still unknown.
4.Increase child credit to $3,000
The current child credit is $2,000 and Biden proposed to raise it to $3,000, with an additional $600 for children under 6.
5. And more…
- Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September
- $350 billion in state and local government aid
- $170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
- $50 billion toward Covid-19 testing
- $20 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities, and tribes
Recently, many people have been asking about the impact of Biden’s proposed tax hike. According to studies, Biden’s proposal would aim to raise around $4 trillion in 10 years1. The top 1% would pay 74% of the additional taxes according to Wall Street Journal1. Biden’s proposal has not been passed yet and there is a chance some parts are approved and others are not.
1. Top income tax to 39.6% from 37%
Biden is proposing to raise the top ordinary income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%. The top rate was 39.6% under Clinton and in President Obama’s 2nd term. No recession happened during either period and I feel this would have a minor impact on economic growth.
2. Corporate tax to 28% from 21%
This may sound bad but corporate tax rates were at 35% between the 1990s and 2017. According to CRFB.org, it is estimated lifting corporate tax to 28% would raise $1.1 to $1.3 trillion over the next decade2. Companies would also face a minimum tax of 15% on their global profit and higher taxes on their foreign earnings.
3. Ending step up basis at death
For example, if someone had bought a stock at $10 and it was trading at $30 when they pass, they could give their holding to their beneficiaries with a stepped-up cost basis. Meaning their beneficiary would now have $30 cost basis and have no tax liability if they sold the stock right away at $30. This proposal would remove that, and the beneficiary would inherit their cost basis. If this happened, the beneficiary would have a $10 cost basis and would owe taxes on the $20 gain if they sold right away.
4. Raise long term capital gains
Currently, if you make over $1M, you pay 23.8% tax on long term capital gains. If this proposal is passed, you would be subject to ordinary income taxes (39.6%) on your capital gains. If you believe this tax hike will be passed, you may sell your holding now to lock in your current rate. If you want to buy back the exact same security, you will have to wait 30 days (Wash-sale rule).
5. 401(k) contributions
Biden proposed equalizing benefits across the income scale by eliminating deductible contributions and instead providing a 26% tax credit for each $1 contributed.
For instance, if you make $100,000 you’re in the 24% tax bracket (single filer). If you save $10,000 to your 401(k), you have about $2,400 in tax savings. 3
In comparison, a single filer making $40,000 and saving $10,000 to their 401(k) would have roughly $1,200 in tax savings. That is because he/she would fall into the 12% tax bracket. This varies because it takes into factor your marginal tax rate instead of effective tax rate.
The idea to increase benefits to low-income earners is good but I feel the way this is proposed is not. A benefit of a 401(k) is you contribute with pre-tax money and that money can compound over time tax deferred. With this proposal you would contribute with post tax money and receive a tax credit.
6. Social Security tax
It is projected that with no change Social Security will only have enough to pay for 75% of schedule benefits by 20354. Social Security is currently taxed on incomes between $0.01 and $137,700. Biden’s proposal would add Social Security taxes to income above $400,000 as well.
Each new President brings with them a new agenda. We will continue to track these proposals and make recommendations that fit our client’s financial lives. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a review meeting, please call us at 847-550-6100.
Please consult your financial advisor regarding your specific situation. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. I encourage you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. Stocks investing involves risk including loss of principal. Rebalancing strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs, and when rebalancing a nonretirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.