Single parents would face tax increase under Trump’s plan, experts say

Posted at 3:55 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 15:44:11-05

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump promised a large middle class tax cut as part of his presidential campaign platform, but for almost 8 million families, that tax cut may never happen.

In fact, they could end up paying more.

An analysis by nonpartisan organization Tax Policy Center found that a majority of single-parent households along with most married couples with three or more children will end up paying higher taxes under Trump’s plan.

Tax Policy Center fellows estimate that roughly 7.9 million families with children will pay higher taxes once Trump takes office. About 5.8 million of those who will be affected are single-parent households, and 2.1 million are married couples.

These tax hikes would be a result of Trump’s plan to eliminate personal exemption and head-of-household filing status. Previously, these tax code features allowed many Americans to reduce their taxable income.

Other Trump tax proposals would benefit middle- and lower-income families, but they won’t be enough to offset the effects of Trump’s biggest tax code modifications.

“If you’re a low- or moderate-income single parent, you’re going to get hurt,” said Bob Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

Trump’s tax plan falls in line with traditional Republican policy. His steep tax cuts on high income households resemble tax policy carried out by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and the Republican-run Congress is expected to welcome this policy.

During his campaign, Trump said his proposed tax cuts for both individuals and companies alike would help energize the economy by leaving consumers with more money to spend and boosting business investment in factories and equipment. Trump said his proposals would help create 25 million jobs over the next decade.

Most independent analysis of Trump’s plan finds that the bulk of the tax benefit will go to the wealthiest Americans. The Tax Policy Center found that nearly half of Trump’s tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent of earners. Less than a quarter of the tax cuts would benefit the bottom 80 percent.

Economists at the conservative Tax Foundation along with the right-of-center American Enterprise Institute agree with Tax Policy Center’s findings.

“Trump’s campaign rhetoric may have been populist, but his tax plan isn’t,” senior Tax Policy Center fellow Howard Gleckman wrote on the center’s website.

Find out how Trump’s tax plan could affect you by using the Tax Policy Center’s tax calculator.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.