President Biden’s “Build Back Better” policy initiative, which targets economic recovery, includes a $1.8 trillion American Families Plan (AFP) and a $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan. The administration plans to fund both initiatives through a Made in America Tax Plan. Below is an overview of what’s included in this far-reaching tax overhaul.
American Jobs Plan
Estimated to cost around $2.3 trillion over the next eight years, this part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” initiative would consist of clean energy projects; affordable housing; the reconstruction or repair of 20,000 miles of road and 10,000 bridges; as well as funding for those who provide care for the elderly and disabled, and direct investment in rural and tribal areas by equipping them with 100% broadband coverage.
American Families Plan
Estimated to cost over $1.8 trillion over the next ten years, the American Families Plan would include universal preschool; two years of free community college; paid family and medical leave; extensions of the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. It would also extend certain provisions set forth in the Biden administration’s economic stimulus bill, the American Rescue Plan.
Funding for the American Families Plan would come through a series of tax increases on high-income Americans, including: increasing the top individual income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%; taxing unrealized capital gains above $1 million at death; and adjusting the threshold for the 3.8% Medicare tax to all income above $400,000.
Made in America Tax Plan
The administration plans to pay for these initiatives with a “Made in America Tax Plan” over the next 15 years. It is estimated that the tax reform plan will raise over $2 trillion over the next decade and a half by increasing various taxes on American corporations, including:
- Raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%
- Increasing the global minimum tax that multinational corporations must pay to 21%. This is much higher than the 12.5% minimum rate recently discussed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
- Intensifying tax enforcement of U.S. corporations that invert (relocate operations overseas) or claim tax havens
- Imposing a 15% minimum tax on book income reported to investors.
Individual Tax Rates
The Biden administration’s proposals on individual taxation are intended to avoid increasing taxpayers with annual incomes less than $400,000. The plan aims to increase the tax rate for the top income bracket from the current 37% to 39.6%. The top rate on capital gains would nearly double, increasing from 20% to 39.6%. Further, the current net investment income surtax of 3.8% levied on high-income taxpayers presumably would still apply. This means that the new top federal tax rate on capital gains would total 43.4%, nearly double the current law top combined rate of 23.8%.