Major candidate tax proposals

Election 2016

Candidates Overview


% change in
after-tax income

Income tax rates and brackets Capital gains, dividends, and interest income Exemptions, deductions, and credits Alternative minimum tax Payroll tax Affordable Care Act Corporate taxes


Estate tax Other Abolish IRS?

Hillary Clinton would increase taxes on high-income filers, tighten international tax rules for corporations, repeal fossil fuel tax incentives, and increase estate and gift taxes.

Hillary Clinton's Revenue Impact The tax increases are steeply progressive. The average tax bill rises by $960 (1.3 percent of taxable income). The highest income 0.1 percent (incomes over $3.7 million in $2015) would face average tax increase of about $805,500 (10.8 percent of after-tax income). Households in the bottom 80 percent would face tax increases of about 0.1 percent of income.

No change in tax rates or brackets but impose a 4 percent surtax on income over $5 million and 30% percent minimum tax for income $2 million (Buffett Rule).

Raise holding period for long-term capital gains on assets held between one and five years; tax carried interest as ordinary income; mark-to-market taxation of derivatives.

Limit the value of certain deductions (not charitable) and exemptions to 28 percent; new refundable credit of up to $5,000 for out-of-pocket health care costs exceeding 5 percent of income; tax credits to help families pay for care of elderly members; doubles child tax credit (to $2000) for children under 5 and speeds phase-in of refundable portion.

No change. No change

Repeal Cadillac tax

Businesses would be allowed a standard deduction, and those with gross receipts of $1 million or less would be permitted to use cash accounting. Penalize inversions and earnings stripping by US multinationals.

Impose a financial transactions tax on high frequency traders.

Reduce estate tax exemption to $3.5 million, raise top tax rate to 55 percent, and tax some capital gains at death.

Promised to propose a tax cut for low-
and middle-income taxpayers.


Donald Trump would cut top tax rates on individuals to 33 percent and on businesses to 15 percent, allow businesses to immediately deduct the cost of new investments, and repeal the estate tax.

Donald Trump's Revenue Impact The plan would cut the average tax bill by $2,940 (4.1 percent of after-tax income), with benefits concentrated at the top. The highest-income 0.1 percent would face an average tax cut of about $1.1 million (14 percent of after-tax income). Households in the middle fifth would average $1,010 (1.8 percent of income), while the poorest fifth would save about $110 (0.8 percent of income).

Collapse the current seven-rate individual income tax system to three rates: 12, 25, and 33 percent.

Retain special rate structure for capital gains and dividends; repeal 3.8 percent ACA surtax on investment income; tax carried interest as ordinary income.

Consolidate standard and additional deductions into a $15,000 deduction for single filers, $30,000 for married filers; repeal Head of Household filing status; cap itemized deductions at $100,000 for single filers, $200,000 for married; new deduction for child and dependent care expenses or increase in EITC (for low-income working parents).

Repeal Unspecified Repeal

Reduce corporate rate to 15 percent; most owners of pass-throughs may elect to be taxed at 15 percent, but large businesses would owe dividend tax on distributions. Businesses may choose whether to expense capital investment and forgo interest deductions or depreciate investments and deduct interest.

No change. Repeal the estate and gift tax. N/A No

Jeb Bush
Ended campaign
Feb. 22, 2015

TPC Analysis

TPC Table
Jeb Bush's tax plan, the “Reform and Growth Act of 2017,” would reduce marginal tax rates for both individuals and corporations; curtail some tax preferences; repeal the alternative minimum tax and estate and gift taxes; allow business to expense capital investments; eliminate interest deductibility; switch to a territorial tax system for US multinational corporations; and otherwise simplify the federal tax system Federal tax revenues would decline by $6.8 trillion (2.6 percent of gross domestic product) over a decade Unspecified Three tax rates: 10 percent, 25 percent, and 28 percent Tax long-term capital gains, qualified dividends, and most interest at reduced rates (0 percent, 15 percent, 20 percent); proposed repeal of ACA would eliminate 3.8 percent tax on gains and dividends for high-income taxpayers; eliminates carried interest loophole Increase standard deduction by $5,000 for single filers and by $10,000 for joint filers; limit value of itemized deductions other than charitable contributions to 2 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI); eliminate deduction for state and local taxes; eliminate limitation on itemized deductions (Pease) and phaseout of personal exemptions; double EITC for childless workers and extend to nonstudents ages 21–24 Repeal Eliminate the employee share of the Social Security payroll tax for workers over age 66 (full retirement age) Repeal Implement 20 percent top rate; move to territorial tax system; deemed repatriation tax of up to 8.75 percent on earnings currently held overseas, payable over 10 years; make research and development credit permanent; expense capital investments while eliminating interest deductibility (same for noncorporate businesses) Unspecified Repeal estate tax and gift tax; limit step up in basis for inherited assets Allow secondary earners to file taxes separately to mitigate marriage penalty No

Ben Carson
Ended campaign
Mar. 4, 2016

Has no specific plan but has called for a 15 percent rate on all income

Unspecified but suggested tax rates would likely lead to reduced revenue Unspecified Single 15 percent tax rate 15 percent rate would apply to all investment income Eliminate all deductions and loopholes; provide rebate for people below the federal poverty level Repeal Unspecified Repeal Allow firms to repatriate corporate profits held overseas tax-free during six-month period but require that firms invest 10 percent of the funds in enterprise zones or otherwise designated areas; lower corporate tax rate to 15 percent after six-month tax holiday Impose 15 percent flat personal income tax Repeal Unspecified Yes

Lincoln Chafee
Ended campaign
Oct. 23, 2015
Would increase tax rates for high earners to fund higher personal exemptions Neutral; allocates additional revenue from tax increases to raising the personal exemption Unspecified Create new 45 percent tax bracket for income above $750,000 Increase tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends to 25 percent for taxpayers with income over $750,000 Increase personal exemption by $1,000 (to $5,000) starting in 2017; open to phasing out the personal exemption for filers with six-digit incomes to fund further increase in exemption Unspecified Unspecified Supports ACA but would repeal Cadillac tax Remove excessive loopholes and tax cuts for corporations but offers no details Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified No

Chris Christie
Ended campaign
Feb. 10, 2016
Would reduce individual and corporate tax rates and make up revenue loss by reducing tax preferences Would adjust plan to make revenue neutral Unspecified Three rates with 28 percent as the top rate and 8 percent as the bottom rate Unspecified Cap all credits and deductions except those for charitable contributions and mortgage interest at least for first home; tax credits to pay for programs that pay down student debt in exchange for community service Unspecified Eliminate payroll tax for those under age 21 or over age 62 Repeal the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices ahead of repealing and replacing ACA entirely Implement 25 percent top tax rate; make research and development credit permanent; allow full expensing of capital investment in capital equipment; move to territorial tax system; offer one-time opportunity to repatriate profits at 8.75 percent tax rate Unspecified Unspecified Offer tax incentives that motivate employers to invest in prevention, accommodation, and rehabilitation services, and offer short-term private disability insurance No

Ted Cruz
Ended campaign
May 3, 2016

TPC Analysis
TPC Tables

Ted Cruz would repeal the corporate income, payroll, and estate and gift taxes, impose a single 10 percent rate on individual income while eliminating most deductions and credits, and introduce a broad- based consumption tax.

Ted Cruz's Revenue Impact Ted Cruz's Distribution

Single 10 percent tax on income from all sources.

Tax at same 10 percent rate as other income.

Increase standard deduction to $10,000 ($20,000 for couples); retain $4,000 personal exemption; eliminate all deductions except those for charitable contributions and mortgage interest; retain child tax credit and enhance the EITC by increasing all of the phase-in and phase-out rates by 20 percent; introduce new universal savings account with $25,000 annual limit on tax-deferred deposits.

Repeal Repeal Repeal

Repeal corporate income tax; impose one-time 10 percent tax on repatriated earnings.

Impose a new broad- based value-added tax (referred to as
a "Business Flat Tax") at a 16 percent (tax-inclusive) rate.





Mark Everson
Ended campaign
Nov. 6, 2015
Supports, with unstated modifications, Michael Graetz's Competitive Tax Plan, which combines an income tax on high-income households with a destination-based VAT Unspecified but roughly revenue neutral Unspecified Graetz plan provides a single “family allowance” of $50,000 for single people, $75,000 for heads of household filers, and $100,000 for joint filers; additional income is taxed at three rates: 14 percent, 27 percent, and 31 percent Graetz plan would tax interest, dividends, and capital gains at ordinary rates; repeal 3.8 percent ACA Net Investment Income Tax Graetz plan eliminates the standard deduction and personal exemptions; replaces EITC, child tax credit, and other credits with refundable worker and child tax credits; sets a 2 percent of AGI floor on deductions for charitable contributions and mortgage interest Graetz plan would repeal Graetz plan would retain payroll tax but provide refundable worker and child tax credits designed to replace the EITC, child tax credit, and other credits Modify ACA but no details provided other than repealing 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax Expand research and development tax credit (Graetz plan would reduce tax rate to 15 percent and repeal all credits except the foreign tax credit) Impose destination-based VAT as part of broader plan; Graetz plan would set the VAT rate between 12 and 13 percent Graetz plan would retain estate tax Require that tax provisions last at least 10 years to provide stability No

Carly Fiorina
Ended campaign
Feb. 10, 2016
Has no plan but has called for vast simplification of the tax system Reduce tax revenue Unspecified Lower rates Unspecified Eliminate all tax preferences and maybe restore one or two Unspecified Unspecified Repeal Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified No

Jim Gilmore
Ended campaign
Feb. 12, 2015
"Growth Code" would set three tax rates for individuals and a 15 percent rate on all business income Unspecified but likely revenue loss Unspecified Three rates: 10 percent, 15 percent, and 25 percent Eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest Create $4,300 family refundable tax credit for families with earnings below federal poverty level; retain deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions Unspecified Unspecified Repeal Tax all business income at 15 percent rate; allow first-year expensing of investments; move to territorial system Unspecified Repeal Unspecified No

Lindsey Graham
Ended campaign
Dec. 21, 2015
Would simplify taxes and reduce the burden on working families and job creators; Is open to a Simpson-Bowles type approach to deal with budget deficits Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Repeal Unspecified Is a member of the Congressional Flat Tax Caucus Unspecified Unspecified No

Bobby Jindal
Ended campaign
Nov. 17, 2015
Would simplify individual tax and eliminate corporate tax; would get rid of standard deduction, personal and dependent exemptions, and most other tax breaks Unspecified but likely revenue loss Unspecified Three rates: 2 percent, 10 percent, and 25 percent Tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income Eliminate standard deduction, personal exemptions, itemized deductions except those for mortgage interest and charitable contributions, all credits except EITC, and exclusions except employer-paid health insurance premiums; establish nonrefundable dependents credit for children under 18, elderly making less than $5,000, and the disabled; eliminate limitation on itemized deductions (Pease) and phaseout of personal exemptions Repeal Unspecified Repeal all ACA taxes Eliminate corporate income tax and tax all corporate income on individual returns; allow immediate expensing of capital investments; one-time 8 percent tax on repatriated profits now held overseas; move to territorial system Unspecified Repeal Create tax-free savings account with deposits up to $30,000 a year No but says plan weakens the IRS

Mike Huckabee
Ended campaign
Feb. 1, 2016
Would replace the income tax with the "Fair Tax,” a consumption tax and a "prebate" to protect low-income households Unspecified but likely revenue loss Unspecified Replace income tax Eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest Unspecified Unspecified Replace payroll taxes Repeal Replace corporate income tax Tax all new goods and services at a 23 percent tax-inclusive (30 percent sales tax) rate; provides prebate to offset sales taxes for low-income households Unspecified Unspecified Yes

John Kasich
Ended campaign
May 4, 2016

John Kasich would lower individual and corporate income tax rates, increase the earned income tax credit, and simplify deductions.

The proposal lacks key details needed for a quantitative analysis, but the revenue and distributional effects are likely comparable to the Trump and Cruz proposals.

Three (unspecified) brackets with 28 percent top rate.

Reduce long-term capital gains tax rate to 15 percent.

Increase the earned income tax credit 10 percent; preserve deductions for charitable contributions and mortgage interest (at current limits).

Unspecified Unspecified Repeal

Cut corporate tax rate to 25 percent; double value of research and development tax credit; lower tax rate on repatriated earnings; allow immediate expensing of costs of equipment, machinery and buildings; move to territorial system.

Unspecified Repeal

Distribute most fed- eral gas tax revenue to states to build highways and other infrastructure.

No but says he would reform IRS to simplify the system and eliminate corruption

Martin O'Malley
Ended campaign
Feb. 1, 2016
Has no formal plan but has expressed support for a financial transactions tax; as governor, raised many Maryland taxes Unspecified Unspecified Enacted millionaires' tax in Maryland Tax capital gains at ordinary tax rate Expanded Maryland earned income tax credit (EITC) twice Unspecified Pay for expanding Social Security benefits by lifting cap on Social Security taxes Supports ACA but would repeal Cadillac tax Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Has proposed a financial transaction tax No

George Pataki
Ended campaign
Dec. 30, 2015
Has no plan yet Unspecified Unspecified Lower the rate to 24 percent Tax carried interest as ordinary income Eliminate most deductions but keep home mortgage and charitable deductions (“and others”) Unspecified Unspecified Repeal Lower taxes on manufacturers below rates imposed in other countries to encourage investment at home Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified No

Rand Paul
Ended campaign
Feb. 3, 2016
"Fair and Flat Tax" plan would replace the current tax system with a 14.5 percent tax on income with some exemptions and deductions and a 14.5 percent consumption tax Unspecified but likely revenue loss Unspecified 14.5 percent flat-rate tax on all personal income, including wages, salaries, dividends, capital gains, rents, and interest rates Tax investment income at same 14.5 percent rate as other income $15,000 standard deduction ($30,000 for married couples) plus $5,000 personal exemption for each family member; eliminate all deductions except for mortgage and charities and all credits except EITC and child tax credit Repeal Repeal Repeal Repeal Create 14.5 percent business activity tax (combined with wage tax, it’s equivalent to a VAT); no deduction for wages; immediate expensing of all capital purchases Repeal Eliminate telephone taxes, gift tax, and all duties and tariffs Yes

Marco Rubio
Ended campaign
Feb. 3, 2016

TPC Analysis
TPC Tables
Marco Rubio's tax plan would (1) shift the income tax toward a consumption tax by exempting most individual investment income from taxation and by converting the corporate income tax into a cash-flow consumption tax; (2) reduce the number of individual income tax brackets to three-15, 25, and 35 percent and apply a 25 rate to businesses; (3) expand child subsidies for some families by creating a new $2,500 child tax credit; and (4) eliminate estates taxes, ACA taxes, and the AMT Federal tax revenues would decline by $6.8 trillion (2.6 percent of gross domestic product) over a decade Unspecified Three rates: 15 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent Exempt most interest, dividends, and capital gains from income tax Replace standard deduction and personal exemptions with $2,000 refundable personal credit ($4,000 if married filing jointly) that phases out for high-income taxpayers; repeal all itemized deductions except those for charitable contributions and mortgage interest (available to all taxpayers); new partially refundable child tax credit (in addition to current child tax credit) of $2,500 per child (up to total income and payroll tax liability; phases out for high-income taxpayers) Repeal No change Repeal Reduce corporate rate to a 25 percent; allow immediate deduction for inventory and assets but no deduction for interest paid; move to territorial system with no tax on repatriated earnings; 6 percent tax on deemed repatriation of currently deferred overseas earnings (payable over 10 years); provide 25 percent nonrefundable tax credit for firms offering paid family leave Tax proposal is similar to the X Tax, a progressive consumption tax. Repeal Consolidate higher education tax preferences into $2,500 credit for first four years of post-secondary education (phases out for high-income taxpayers) No

Bernie Sanders would increase federal income, payroll, business, and estate taxes, and impose new excise taxes. He would use the revenue to pay for many new government programs.

Bernie Sanders's Revenue Impact Bernie Sanders's Distribution

Establish four tax brackets for taxpayers with income over $250,000 with 52 percent top tax rate; impose “a 2.2 percent income-based premium” on individuals to support “Medicare for All.”

Tax capital gains and dividends at ordinary tax rates for people with income over $250,000; tax capital gains at death and on charitable donations; tax carried interest as wage income; increase net invest- ment income tax rate from 3.8 to 10 percent.

Limit the value of tax deductions and exemptions to 30.2 percent (replacing phaseout on itemized deductions, personal exemptions phaseout, and AMT); “Medicare for All” plan would effectively repeal exclusion of employer-paid health insurance premiums.


Impose Social Security (FICA) tax to earnings over $250,000; impose “a 6.2 percent income-based premium” on employers to support “Medicare-for-All;” raise payroll tax rate by 0.2 percent

Replace ACA with “Medicare for All;” repeal Cadillac tax.

End the deferral of foreign source in- come; end fossil fuel subsidies; impose anti-inversion rules.

Carbon tax starting at $15/ton phasing up to $73/ton in 2035; impose an FTT of 0.5 percent for stocks, 0.1 percent for bonds and 0.005 percent for derivatives.

Lower the estate tax exemption to $3.5 million for individuals ($7 million for couples), raise the top tax rate to 55 percent, impose a 10 percent surtax on estates over $1 billion, and “close estate tax loopholes.”

N/A No

Rick Santorum
Ended campaign
Feb. 3, 2016
“20/20 Flat Tax Plan” would impose a 20 percent tax on all individual and business income Unspecified but likely revenue loss Unspecified 20 percent tax rate on income from all sources Capital gains, dividends, and interest income all taxed at 20 percent rate Eliminate personal exemption, all deductions except charitable contributions and mortgage interest up to $25,000 per year, and all credits except child tax credit; provide $2,750 refundable credit per person Repeal Unspecified Repeal 20 percent tax on corporate income after immediate deduction of capital investment expenses; initial 0 percent tax rate on US manufacturers, phasing up to 20 percent over two years; no deductibility of interest paid; 10 percent tax on repatriated income Unspecified Repeal Implement balanced-budget amendment to cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP and require super-majority votes in House and Senate to raise taxes No but claims plan would shrink and restructure the IRS

Jim Webb
Ended campaign
Oct. 20, 2015
Has no comprehensive plan yet but would raise taxes on high-income households to pay for programs for low- and middle-income people Unspecified Unspecified Would not support raising taxes on ordinary earned income Increase taxes on capital gains and dividends Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Reduce corporate tax rate and eliminate loopholes; opposes deferral of taxes on foreign-source income Explore more tax policies with a focus on consumption rather than income Opposes raising estate tax exemption Unspecified No