Donald Trump Reveals Tax System Overhaul In Press Conference

September 28th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

On Monday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced plans to overhaul the U.S. tax code at a news conference held at Trump Tower in New York. The GOP front-runner said that he would slash the corporate tax rate by more than half, eliminate income taxes for millions of Americans, and do away with the estate tax entirely. (A simple bulleted breakdown is at the bottom of the page.)

The announcement comes weeks after Trump first began signaling his interest in putting forth a comprehensive plan to reform the U.S. tax system, and though it would reduce the highest income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent, the proposal is also designed to benefit low-income Americans: Anyone earning less than $25,000 (or couples earning less than $50,000) would be exempt from the federal income tax under Trump's plan.

"There will be a major tax reduction," Trump said at his Manhattan skyscraper. "It'll simplify the tax code. It'll grow the American economy at a level that it hasn't seen for decades."

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Additionally, Trump said that he would cap the tax rate for businesses—including giant corporations and small retailers—at 15 percent. The move has been seen as an appeal to populist voters, serving the needs of people in the lower, middle, and upper class. For the past month, Trump has repeatedly suggested that he would hold Wall Street executives accountable; he feels they pay too little to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This plan appears to be his first proposed solution to the finance industry's fat cat problem.

"The billionaire real estate mogul said those changes would pay for the tax cuts, along with an increase in tax revenue generated by economic growth," the AP reported. "Trump estimated that his plan would lead the economy to grow at least 3 percent a year, and as much as 5 or 6 percent—a rate of growth that most economists say is unrealistic."

Trump also said that he would allow people to transfer money held in overseas accounts back to the U.S. after paying a one-time, 10 percent tax fee—thereby opening new opportunities to generate revenue for the Treasury.

"We have an amazing code," Trump added. "It will be simple, it will be easy, it will be fair."

Breaking down Trump's tax plan.

Tax code isn't the sexiest of topics—even when announced by Donald Trump—so we've broken it down for you:

  • For low-income families: Anyone earning less than $25,000 (or couples earning less than $50,000) would be exempt from the federal income tax. Income taxes are taxes imposed by the government on an individual's personal income.
  • For high-income families: The plan would reduce the income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent—basically lowering the amount of annual income taxes high-income families have to pay. Trump also plans on eliminating the estate tax, a popular plan amongst Republicans.
  • For businesses: Cap the tax rate at 15 percent (for small businesses and large corporations alike). This would cap the amount that businesses would pay.
  • To curb Wall Street: Eliminate the "carried interest" loophole, which helps Wall Street private equity firms.