"America First" and the single parent
Typing "Trump tax plan" into Google returns 28,000,000 (!) matches. What to believe? The "truth"? Trump to push reform? Trump to leave reform to Congress? Do we have any idea how the proposals being float affect wage-earning Americans? We should probably start with what we should expect from the IRS for what we earn this year.
Anticipated 2017 taxes
|Tax Rate||Single Filers||Married and Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)||Married and Filing Separately||Head of Household|
|10%||$0 - $9,325||$0 - $18,650||$0 - $9,325||$0 - $13,350|
|15%||$9,326 - $37,950||$18,651 - $75,900||$9,326 - $37,950||$13,351 - $50,800|
|25%||$37,951 - $91,900||$75,901 - $153,100||$37,951 - $76,550||$50,801 - $131,200|
|28%||$91,901 - $191,650||$153,101 - $233,350||$76,551 - $116,675||$131,201 - $212,500|
|33%||$191,651 - $416,700||$233,351 - $416,700||$116,676 - $208,350||$212,501 - $416,700|
|35%||$416,701 - $418,400||$416,701 - $470,700||$208,351 - $235,350||$416,701 - $444,550|
|39.60%||$418,401 and above||$470,701 and above||$235,351 and above||$444,551 and above|
|Married filing separately||$6,300||$6,350|
|Head of household (single or married)||$9,300||$9,350|
|Married filing jointly||$12,600||$12,700|
|Personal exemption per person||$4,050||$4,050|
Impact of income tax changes
The latest official statement issued by the White House commits "to fixing America’s broken tax code," to "make taxes simpler, fairer, and lower for hard-working American families," and to provide for "unprecedented" capital write-offs by business as well as lower corporate taxes. In short, to reduce tax rates "as much as possible" across the board.
Going back to policy proposed during the presidential campaign:
The Trump Plan will revise and update both the individual and corporate tax codes:
Individual Income Tax
The Trump Plan will collapse the current seven tax brackets to three brackets. The rates and breakpoints are as shown below. Low-income Americans will have an effective income tax rate of 0. The tax brackets are similar to those in the House GOP tax blueprint.
Brackets & Rates for Married-Joint filers:
Less than $75,000: 12%
More than $75,000 but less than $225,000: 25%
More than $225,000: 33%
*Brackets for single filers are ½ of these amounts
The Trump Plan will retain the existing capital gains rate structure (maximum rate of 20 percent) with tax brackets shown above. Carried interest will be taxed as ordinary income.
The 3.8 percent Obamacare tax on investment income will be repealed, as will the alternative minimum tax.
The Trump Plan will increase the standard deduction for joint filers to $30,000, from $12,600, and the standard deduction for single filers will be $15,000. The personal exemptions will be eliminated as will the head-of-household filing status.
These changes promote married over single-parent families, and smaller families in general:
|benefit lowest-income Americans the most by significantly raising the standard deduction, particularly for those who don't qualify for itemized deductions — the standard deduction is raised substantially, $15,000 filing singly, $30,000 jointly|
|eliminate the "marriage penalty", benefiting childless couples the most|
|penalize larger families by eliminating personal exemptions|
|doubly penalize single parents by also eliminating head of household filing status|
Good-bye "marriage penalty",
hello "single parent penalty"
"Simpler, fairer, and lower for hard-working American families" should mean lower taxes for everyone. And we can agree, including from our own family histories, that there is no one more hard-working than a single parent. There is no greater responsibility or pressure than being the sole provider for a child. Yet these, the hardest working of us all, are taxed more heavily under the Trump plan. Comparing after-tax income under the Trump plan versus current "head of household" with the standard deduction and appropriate personal exemptions:
Unless you're a single parent earning $52,500 a year with only one child — taking home $90 more a year, you lose under the Trump tax plan.
Looking deeper into those who would suffer under the proposed tax plan, not only does it radically disfavor single parents, but in doing so disproportionally negatively impacts minorities:
|Race or ethnicity||Total Single Parent Households||% of Households|
|Black or African American||6,333,000||66%|
|Hispanic or Latino||7,180,000||42%|
|Asian and Pacific Islander||568,000||16%|
If we look at the group most affected, black or African American, where that data is available by state (27 plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia):
|Rank||State||Number||Percent||% from Total of|
|Rank||State||Number||Percent||% from Total of|
|1||District of Columbia||49,000||80%||61,000|
Every dollar counts when you are a single parent raising your child. But Trump's tax plan takes away more hard-earned dollars from single parents than our current tax structure — and hurts minorities the most in doing so.
|||Joint Statement on Tax Reform, White House. LINK|
|||"Tax Plan (saved at archive.org)", Trump campaign. LINK|
|,||Our analysis of the raw data set at Children in single-parent families by race, Kids Count Data Center. LINK|