Tag Archives: Income Tax

Why A Scathing Wall Street Is Furious At The Trump Tax Plan

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Back in October 2016, the “millionaire, billionaire, private jet owners” of America’s elitist, liberal mega-cities (A.K.A. New York and San Francisco) celebrated the tax hikes that a Hillary Clinton presidency would have undoubtedly jammed down their throats proclaiming them to be a ‘patriotic duty’.  Unfortunately, now that Trump has given them exactly what they apparently wanted…an amazing opportunity to ‘spread their wealth around”…they’re suddenly feeling a lot less patriotic. 

Of course, as we’ve noted numerous times, while most people across the country and across the income spectrum will benefit from the Republican tax reform package, the folks who stand to lose are those living in high-tax states with expensive real estate as their SALT, mortgage interest and property tax deductions will suddenly be capped.  And, as Bloomberg points out today, that has a lot of Wall Street Traders in New York drowning their sorrows in expensive vodka and considering a move to Florida.

One trader, sipping a Bloody Mary on a morning flight to somewhere more tropical, said he’s going to stop registering as a Republican. En route, he sent more than a dozen text messages ripping the tax bill.

A pair of hedge fund managers said the tax bill is too tilted toward corporations, rather than individuals who should get more relief.

“My clients are hard-working young professionals on Wall Street. I don’t have a lot of good news for them,” said Douglas Boneparth, a financial adviser in lower Manhattan who counsels people throughout the industry. Most are coming to terms with it. “I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised by the economic reality.”

“This provides a clear incentive for financial advisers to go independent,” said Louis Diamond of Diamond Consultants. “We’re hearing from a lot of clients on this; it’s just another reason why it makes a ton of sense, economically, to become self-employed.”

Of course, as we pointed out recently (see: Here’s An Interactive Map Of Which Housing Markets Get Hit The Most By The GOP Tax Bill), tax reform will likely be a double-whammy for wealthy bankers in New York and tech titans in San Francisco as their fancy McMansions may also take a pricing hit.

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But, not everyone is furious. After all, there are still some tax goodies for New Yorkers such as a higher threshold for the alternative minimum tax, and a drop in the top marginal rate to 37% from 39.6%. 

As an example, Mike Dean, a broker in New York for TP ICAP Plc, is keeping a positive attitude saying “It’s going to hurt, obviously” but he sees the higher taxes as tantamount to “making an investment in the future of the economy.”

Still others are considering a move to lower-taxed states like Florida and Texas which, as Todd Morgan, chairman of Bel Air Investment Advisors in Los Angeles notes, sounds like a great idea right to the point that you realize that actually entails uprooting your entire family and starting a whole new life in a different part of the country… something that generally doesn’t go over well with teenage kids…“If you’re already rich why would you move to another state and live a different life just to save some money on taxes?  What are you going to do with the money? Buy more clothes? Eat more food?”

Source: ZeroHedge

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Trump Releases His Plan for Tax Reform and What that Could Mean for You

The Trump Administration just released its Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code.  This Framework outlines general principles for tax reform.  There is still a long way to go in the legislative process, but based on what we have seen so far, here are some general thoughts on how these policies might affect you or your business:

Lowering the Tax Burden on the Middle Class

The proposal seeks to consolidate the current seven tax brackets into three brackets of 12%, 25%, and 35%. Currently the highest individual rate is 39.5%. The proposal provides tax relief to middle class families by roughly doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly (up from $12,600) and $12,000 for single filers (up from $6,300). The standard deduction is the amount of income that is not subject to federal income tax. A tax filer may choose to take the standardized deduction or to itemize his or her deductions.

Increases in other tax credits such as the child tax credit and additional tax relief will be decided through the legislative process. While most itemized deductions will be eliminated, tax incentives for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions will remain. The proposal also leaves the door open to add an additional top rate above the 35% rate if necessary. 

The Proposal aims to eliminate the alternative minimum tax (“AMT”). The AMT is a federal supplemental income tax imposed on certain taxpayers in addition to their regular income tax. It was first enacted to prevent those with very high incomes from using special tax benefits to pay little or no tax. However it has since been expanded to reach individuals without very high incomes or those who do not claim special tax benefits and creates significant complexity in the Tax Code.

Elimination of the Death Tax and Generation Skipping Tax

The proposal also repeals the federal death tax and the generation-skipping transfer tax. However, currently the estate tax exemption is $5.49 million for an individual and $10.98 million for a married couple and applies to a limited number of people. The threshold amounts for an estate to go through probate in California still remains at $150,000 in assets or $50,000 in real property value.

New Tax Structure for Small Businesses

The proposal creates a new tax structure for small businesses including limiting the maximum tax rate applied to business income of small and family-owned businesses conducted as sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations to 25%. The proposal also reduces the corporate tax rate to 20% which is below the average corporate tax rate of the industrialized world and would allow businesses to immediately write off the cost of new investments in depreciable assets other than structures made after September 27, 2017.

Other goals of the proposal include to partially limit the deduction for net interest expense incurred by C corporations, eliminate the current-law domestic production (section 199) deduction, preserve business credits in research, and development and low-income housing, and modernize the rules for certain industries and sectors.

Repatriating Foreign Assets

The proposal exempts foreign profits repatriated to the United States and 100% of dividends from foreign subsidiaries in which a U.S. parent owns at least a 10% stake. Foreign earnings that have accumulated overseas will be treated as repatriated. Accumulated foreign earnings held in illiquid assets will be subject to a lower tax rate with payment of any tax liability being spread out over several years.   

As mentioned, this proposal is likely to change as it goes through the legislative process.  But, it’s a good starting point to understand how the proposed reforms may affect you.