President Trump could slash his tax bills by more than $1.1 billion, including saving tens of millions in a single year, under his proposed tax changes, a New York Times analysis has discovered.
On Wednesday, the White House announced a sweeping plan to decrease a variety of taxes that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy. The estimate of Donald Trump’s savings is based in part on information from his 2005 federal tax return. The analysis contrasts what his tax burden would be under current law with what it would be under the proposal.
Mr. Trump’s 2005 return is the latest available publicly and was released in March by David Cay Johnston on the website DCReport.org. The Times’s figure also depends on an assessment of Mr. Trump’s net worth, estimated by the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index to be $2.86 billion.
“I don’t benefit. I don’t benefit,” Mr. Trump lied on Wednesday. “In fact, very, very strongly, as you see, I think there’s very little benefit for people of wealth.”
In fact, high-income earners like Mr. Trump are very likely to benefit disproportionately if the White House proposal becomes a law. The estimates, calculated with the assistance of Robert Willens, an accounting expert, and Stephen Breitstone, a tax lawyer, give a view into precisely how. The two biggest discounts for Trump would save his heirs $1.1 billion total and himself $31.3 million per year!
Though it would not be shown on his income tax return, Mr. Trump’s proposal to get rid of the estate tax would generate the largest tax savings. If his assets, which are reportedly valued at $2.86 billion, were transferred after his death under the current rules, his estate would be taxed at about 40 percent. Getting rid of the federal estate tax could save his family about $1.1 billion, although it could still be subject to New York estate taxes.
The decades-old alternative minimum tax is designed to prevent America’s wealthiest from using deductions to pay very low or zero federal income tax. In 2005, it was about 80 percent of Mr. Trump’s overall income tax payment. His plan to end the tax would save him $31.3 million. Clearly, Donald Trump has a lot of money at stake in his plot to screw over everyone but the upper class.