How would the new billionaire income tax work?


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Democrats’ Proposed Billionaire Tax Counts as Taxable Income

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Democrats Are Coming to a Thrust New Idea do on billionaires and other ultra high earners to pay for the bulk of President BidenSignature economic spending plan.

Although Biden did not support a billionaires tax during the 2020 presidential campaign, he has thrown his support behind it in recent days after a separate tax-raising plan that targeted well-off corporations and Americans make over $400,000 a year.


Biden has promised that his massive spending proposal, which would expand the social safety net, won’t add a penny to the country’s $28 trillion debt.

Here’s a closer look at the proposed tax:

How will this work?

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The tax would target the unrealized gains of billionaires, including stocks as well as other assets such as real estate, bonds and art, which could become ships for the wealthy to legally store their wealth and reduce their tax liabilities. (Many ultra-rich derive their vast wealth from the rising value of assets such as stocks and property, which are not considered taxable income until the person sells them).

But the latest proposal, which would only apply to the top sliver of the wealthiest Americans, would tax billionaires on their gains, regardless of whether they sold assets or not – a change to what is essentially viewed as taxable income. Under the current law, gains are taxed only when and when the owner sells the property.

Billionaires must pay a tax that is calculated based on the difference between the value of an asset at the beginning of the year and the end of the year.

For example, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos earns a salary of about $80,000 annually. But in the period between 2010 and 2018, his unrealized capital gains from his Amazon stock holdings averaged $10 billion a year, according to Chak Mar, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Under that simplified example, if Bezos didn’t sell any of his Amazon shares in a given year, the income tax would negate the $10 billion profit—meaning the world’s richest man would be owed a middle-class tax on Bezos. Effectively taxed like an individual. Earn $80,000 annually. The Democrats’ plan would target $10 billion in profit and tax it as income.

“With the billionaire tax, policymakers are, in fact, saying that it makes more sense – that is a more accurate assessment – ​​to account for income from capital gains when the profit is cash (i.e. on an accrual basis). Not on base (i.e. when it’s sold),” Marr said.

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Individuals can claim a deduction for the annual loss in the value of their property.

Who will have to pay?

The proposal will only affect taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets, or whose income exceeds $100 million for three consecutive years – so to start 2019, 2020 and 2021. Some critics have argued that this paves the way for additional tax hikes down the road.

Anyone who meets those limits will remain in the alternative tax system until their income and assets fall below the minimum for at least three straight years. NS Bloomberg Billionaires Index It is estimated that Americans worth at least $1 billion have assets worth more than $5 trillion.

That tax covers about 700 individuals, or about 0.0002% of the richest Americans.

How much money will come from tax?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi estimated during an interview with CNN on Sunday that taxes would generate between $200 billion and $250 billion in new revenue over the next decade. Democrats to boost family care, education and health care are well below the topline figure of at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

As a result, lawmakers are looking to other payments, including a global minimum tax and an increased enforcement amount for the IRS.

The Joint Committee on Taxation has not released official revenue estimates.

Will the resolution be passed and become law?

It is unclear whether the tax, which would be the first of its size and scope in an advanced economy, would be supported by every Senate Democrat and nearly every House Democrat—the threshold required for its passage.

Although he initially suggested he was open to the tax, Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.VA, on Wednesday withdrew some of that support. Still, he didn’t say outright that he would vote against the measure, which is needed to finance the Democrats’ broader social spending plan.

“I don’t like it,” he told reporters. “I don’t like the notion that we’re targeting different people, because basically, they contributed to society and created a lot of jobs and a lot of money and a lot of philanthropic activities. But it’s time That we all pull together and grow together.”

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Other Democrats have also cast doubt on the tax, with House Ways and Means Speaker Richard Neill warning it would be difficult to implement. Neal, D-Mass., suggested the House tax-raising bill—which reversed the bulk of Republicans’ 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—was more straightforward and easier to adopt.

The proposal marks a significant change from Biden’s initial tax hike proposal, which largely targeted well-off corporations and Americans earning more than $500,000. But Sen. Kirsten Cinemas, D-Ariz., expressed opposition to higher tax rates on corporations, individuals and capital gains, arguing that it would do little to improve the country’s economic competitiveness or crack down on tax evaders.

Is it constitutional?

Scholars are deeply divided about the legality of such a levy, but if the tax becomes law, it will almost certainly be challenged in court.

Under Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, Congress has the power to impose a direct tax under the rule of division—essentially guaranteeing fair federal treatment of states, requiring the government to levy a direct tax, whose As a result the same amount is collected. each state.

The 16th Amendment then semi-overrides that giving the government the ability to levy income tax without split, which means that Congress doesn’t need to ensure equal treatment if a direct tax is an income tax. This means that 6-3 The Supreme Court must determine whether a property tax is a direct tax on property that is unconstitutional or whether it is a direct tax on income and is constitutional.

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