The White House, the U.S. presidential residence, at night

Authored by Paul Dillon and Michelle Hobbs

The 2020 presidential election will be like no other given the COVID-19 pandemic — affecting not only how the candidates are conducting their campaigns, but also how voters will be getting to the polls. While tax policy is not the leading issue in the current election cycle, it will, nonetheless, be one of the likely tools used by November’s winner to address the existing economic crisis.

Further, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) at the end of 2017 brought about the most sweeping changes in the tax code since the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA). However, the TRA was enacted on a bipartisan manner, and the TCJA was passed along party lines. As a result, a change in control in the White House, the Senate or House of Representatives could result in a rollback or revision of many of those provisions.

While the tax code is typically used to drive citizen behavior, the specifics of tax policy are rarely addressed during the campaign or debates. To help you sort out the candidates’ current views on various tax issues, we have reviewed their official websites and recent speeches, as well as the analyses made by the Tax Policy Center and other nonpartisan sources, to summarize certain positions.

Even though tax policy was not a focal point of either political convention, there are clear differences in the way both candidates approach how Americans should be taxed. The president’s campaign has not released any detailed tax platform; instead, it has only offered broad ideas. On the other hand, the Biden campaign has published a lengthy policy document, including a wide range of tax changes. The following chart summarizes both candidates’ tax policies to date. Due to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, continuing discussions over a fourth stimulus package and the pending government funding negotiations, it is likely these positions will evolve as the election draws closer.


U.S. presidential candidates’ tax policies

We encourage you to reach out to your Baker Tilly tax advisor to discuss how the above may affect your tax situation.

The information provided here is of a general nature and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any individual or entity. In specific circumstances, the services of a professional should be sought. Tax information, if any, contained in this communication was not intended or written to be used by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties, nor should such information be construed as an opinion upon which any person may rely. The intended recipients of this communication and any attachments are not subject to any limitation on the disclosure of the tax treatment or tax structure of any transaction or matter that is the subject of this communication and any attachments.

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