Posts Tagged ‘election’

I’m not here to provide color or commentary on much of the debate; after all, I have no idea whether Hillary Clinton can fix Obamacare, or whether Donald Trump’s policy of “sneak attacks” is enough to overcome ISIS, or whether either party has a clue on how to handle immigration.

But I know tax law. And for that reason, I felt compelled to correct one very important — and very LOUD — assertion Republican candidate Trump made during last night’s debate about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s tax proposal.

Continue reading on Forbes.com.


Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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Hey, have you heard about Donald Trump? You know, the guy who is accused of not paying his creditors, repeatedly making racist and sexist comments, and stealing Christmas from 1981 to 1985? On, and who also happens to be one of the last two applicants for the most important job in the world? Well, someone released three pages of one of Trump’s tax returns from 20 years ago, a violation of privacy which aside from angering Trump, had the unexpected effect of transforming the overwhelming majority of Americans into experts on the tax law.

Continue reading on Forbes.com.


Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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In a vote with the most predetermined outcome since the last Haitian presidential election, the House of Representatives is set to decide whether to extend the Bush tax cuts beyond 2012. The vote will take place prior to the November elections, and I poke fun because the Republican-dominated House will sure as sh*t opt to continue the cuts, which would prevent the top marginal individual tax rates from jumping from 35% to 39.6%.

Of course, there’s little chance that any significant tax reform will get pushed through prior to the presidential election; it has always been assumed that the best chance for change in 2012 would come in a lame-deck, post November session.

But by announcing the early vote — and by promising to couple any extension with a fast-track process to implement meaningful Code reform in 2013 — Republicans up for re-election in November stand to earn points with their constituents.

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The presidential election is a mere nine months away, and while the man to represent the Republican party in its quest to unseat President Obama is still anyone’s guess, most pundits agree it will come down to either former House Speaker Newt Gingirch or Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts. 

While the months to come will surely flush out each candidate’s stance on hot-button issues like foreign policy, homeland security, and public breastfeeding, we here at Double Taxation concern ourselves with tax law, and only tax law. And though both Gingrich and Romney have found their personal tax returns at the center of controversy in the past few weeks, we’re of the view that not enough attention has been paid to the tax proposals each candidate would seek to implement should they be elected president. 

As a result, we’ve culled through each candidate’s published proposals and campaign rhetoric in an attempt to create a comprehensive comparison of their respective plans for tax reform, culminating in this “Tale of the Tax Tape,” if you will. We’ll spare you the commentary, however, as the determination of the “best” plan requires an independent analysis based on each individual voters” political, social, and religious values.  

Newt Gingrich

Comparison of Key Tax Considerations

Mitt Romney

Remain at 35%; 15% if optional “flat tax” is elected (see fn iv)

Top Ordinary Rate[i]

Remain at 35%
Remain at 15%; 0% if optional “flat tax” is elected (see fn ii)

Long Term Capital Gains Rate [i]

0% for taxpayers with AGI < $200,000; 15% for everyone else
Remain at 15%; 0% if optional “flat tax” is elected (see fv ii)

Qualified Dividends Rate [i]

0% for taxpayers with AGI < $200,000; 15% for everyone else.
Taxed at ordinary rates; 0% if optional “flat tax” is elected (see fn ii)

Rate on Interest

0% for taxpayers with AGI < $200,000; ordinary rates for everyone else.
Offer individual taxpayers an optional 15% flat tax[ii] Please see footnote ii, as this is a critical part of the Gingrich tax platform.

Tax Code Reform

Start with the Bowles-Simpson Commission[iii] approach; lower rates and broaden the tax base

Estate Tax[iv]

Maximum 12.5% rate

Corporate Income Tax[v]

Maximum 25% rate
Switch to a “territorial system[vi]

International Tax Reform

Switch to a “territorial system”
Full expensing of capital expenditures permitted

Capital Expenditures

100% bonus deprecation extended  1 year
No tax on corporate capital gains; eventually replace payroll tax with personal accounts


Would end the American Opportunity tax credit for college education; lower payroll taxes

[i] Neither Gingrich nor Romney propose to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Were they to expire, the top ordinary income rate is slated to return to 39.6% on January 1, 2013. In addition, qualified dividends will again be taxed at ordinary rates — as opposed to the current 15% — and long-term capital gains will be taxed at a 20% rate as opposed to the current 15% rate.

[ii] In what may be the most important aspect of Gingrich’s plan, taxpayers could elect to forego the complexities of the Code in favor of a flat 15 percent tax rate regardless of income. Under this alternative calculation, all capital gains, interest income, and dividends would be tax-free, while nearly all deductions and credits would be abolished, except for the deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions and the earned income, child and foreign tax credits. The AMT would be eliminated, and all taxpayers would have the option of a $12,000 standard deduction. The idea is to create simplicity; taxpayers would be able to pay their taxes by mailing a postcard to the IRS with the necessary calculation, thereby saving considerable time and professional fees.

[iii] Bowles-Simpson was a presidential commission created by President Obama in 2010 to propose ways to cut the federal deficit. From a tax perspective, the commission attempted to simplify the Code while simultaneously raising tax revenue by eliminating many tax deductions.

[iv] The estate tax is currently at 35% for 2011 and 2012, but is slated to return to a 55% rate in 2013.

[v] The maximum corporate income tax rate is currently 35%.

[vi] A territorial systems is one in which income is taxed only in the country in which it is earned. Under its current “worldwide” system, foreign affiliates of American companies are generally taxed on income in their host country. When the earnings are repatriated from the foreign affiliate to a U.S. corporation, tax is paid a second time to the U.S., with a credit given for the tax paid abroad.

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