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USA TODAY NETWORK featured Lubin Professor Philip Cohen's piece "America needs respect for tax law and order. Here's why | Opinion"

10/15/2020

USA TODAY NETWORK featured Lubin Professor Philip Cohen's piece "America needs respect for tax law and order. Here's why | Opinion"

Philip G. Cohen is a retired vice president-tax and general tax counsel for Unilever United States, Inc. and is now a professor of Taxation at Pace University's Lubin School of Business. The views expressed herein are his own and don't necessarily represent those of any organization which he is or was associated.

Both President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Joe Biden have signaled federal income tax policy changes are on the table if elected president in November — and each offer markedly different plans.

Their proposals couldn’t be more polar. Trump, for example, has indicated that he would like the corporate tax rate to be even lower than the 21% rate currently in effect, having already been reduced as part of 2017 tax legislation from 35%. He also wants to make permanent taxpayer friendly changes for individuals made by that same 2017 law that are due to expire after 2025. Furthermore, he would like to reduce the tax rate for capital gains for individuals from a top rate of 20% to 15%. 

Given our ballooning budget deficit, these should be non-starters.

Biden’s tax wish list, on the other hand, includes seeking an increase to the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, implementing a minimum 15% tax based on global book income of $100 million or more, and enacting a 10% surtax on companies that send jobs overseas in order to sell products back to the U.S. He also aims to increase the federal income tax owed by individuals with taxable income above $400,000, as well as remove the tax rate preference for capital gains and qualified dividends for those taxpayers with taxable income above $1 million.  Some of these proposals merit consideration although Biden should focus attention to trying to repeal some incredibly complex and unsound international tax changes made as part of the 2017 tax legislation and close some egregious loopholes in our tax laws.

Read the full USA TODAY NETWORK article.