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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Biden tax plan gives $620 tax cut to middle class, new study says

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Toledo, Ohio, October 12, 2020.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s tax plan would give an average tax cut of $620 to middle income earners, according to a new analysis, while top earners would face a steep increase.

The analysis, released by the Tax Policy Center Thursday, comes amid dueling claims during the campaign over whether Biden would hike taxes on the middle class. The analysis found that the bottom 80% of taxpayers would see tax cuts on average, mainly due to a package of tax credits and deductions aimed at the middle class.

According to the analysis, for those in the bottom quintile, which include people making less than $25,000, tax cuts would average $750 in 2022. Those in the next quintile, making between $25,000 and $50,000, would see a tax cut of $790. Those in the middle, earning between $50,000 and $89,000, would see a tax cut of $620, while those making between $89,000 and $160,000 would see a cut of $420.

The top earners, by contrast, would see a steep increase. Those in the top 1%, who earn more than $788,000, would see an average tax increase of $266,000, while the super earners — or those in the top 0.1% — would see an average tax hike of $1.6 million.

Biden has said no taxpayer making less than $400,000 a year would see a tax increase under his plan.

Republicans have claimed that 82% of Americans would see higher taxes under Biden’s plan. Some analysts say that because Biden has proposed increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, a portion would be borne by workers. As a result, some middle class taxpayers would see an effective decrease in their after-tax earnings.

Yet the Tax Policy Center analysis finds, at least in the early years of the tax plan, the impacts of the corporate tax increase would be more than offset by tax credits and deductions aimed at middle and lower income earners.

By 2030, however, when certain tax credits and other provisions have expired, some middle income taxpayers would see slight tax increases. The group found, in 2030, middle earners would see an average tax hike of $70, while those making between $89,000 and $160,000 would see an average tax hike of $400.

The former vice president’s plan also wouldn’t raise as much revenue as originally expected, in part because of the slowing economy. Independent experts initially said the plan would raise more than $3 trillion, yet the Tax Policy Center now says it would increase tax revenue by $2.4 trillion.

It said it lowered the revenue projection due to the weaker economy, expected delays in passing the tax changes due to the coronavirus pandemic and the added middle class tax provisions and credits.

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