What You Need to Know
- Tax package will end an inheritor-friendly policy, bump up the top income tax rate and fund more IRS audits.
- Biden’s plan includes a top individual tax rate of 39.6% for those making at least $400,000, up from 37% today.
- The proposals aim to offset the cost of the “American Families Plan” that Biden will unveil in a speech to Congress on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden’s coming tax package will feature an end to a major benefit for wealthy estates that drastically minimizes the levy for inheritors, along with a bump up in the top income tax rate and funding for strengthened IRS auditing, according to a person familiar with his proposal.
Ending “step up in basis,” which allows heirs to use the market value of assets at the time of inheritance rather than the actual purchase price as the cost basis for capital gains when the holdings are sold, would mean much higher tax bills for wealthy estates.
Congressional Democratic proposals have exempted a share of assets from tax — one Senate plan provides for $1 million — but the specifics of Biden’s measure aren’t yet clear.
Biden’s plan will also include a top individual tax rate of 39.6% for those making at least $400,000, up from 37% today, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the proposals aren’t yet public.
That could affect roughly 1% of taxpayers if current income thresholds apply. The person didn’t say whether the $400,000 is also the figure for married couples filing jointly.
Biden’s measures will include $80 billion to boost the Internal Revenue Service’s audit capabilities over the next decade for wealthy individuals and corporations, a change that could generate $700 billion in revenue, according to the person.
The administration has already asked for more money for enforcement in its outline for the 2022 annual budget.
American Familes Plan
The proposals will be key elements to offset the cost of Biden’s “American Families Plan” that he’s set to unveil in a speech to Congress on Wednesday.
That program, expected to cost well over $1 trillion and potentially as much as $1.8 trillion, is anticipated to feature funding for paid leave, childcare and education.