Where the 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on Tax Policy

Updated March 19, 2020

How would the 2020 presidential candidates change the tax code? We dig into the details of their latest proposals.

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Asterisks denote candidates who suspended their campaigns after this tool was launched.

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Overview
D

Joe Biden

Revenue Impact (2021–30)

$4.0 trillion (1.5 percent of GDP)

Percent Change in After-Tax Income (2021)

-10%-5%0%QuintileQ1Q2Q3Q4Q5

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Overview of tax proposals

Joe Biden would increase income and payroll taxes for high-income individuals and corporations, expand the earned income tax credit and the premium tax credit, create a new renter’s tax credit, and enhance incentives to save for retirement and purchase homes. He would eliminate tax preferences for fossil fuels and increase tax incentives to use energy-efficient technologies. His plan would also force big banks to pay a financial risk fee.

Overview
R

Donald Trump

Overview of tax proposals

Donald Trump has not released a tax plan as part of his campaign for reelection. Newspaper articles suggest he is developing a proposal to cut taxes. In the past, he has indicated support for tax cuts for middle-income taxpayers.

Overview
D

Bernie Sanders

Revenue Impact (2021–30)

$9.9 trillion (3.6 percent of GDP)

Percent Change in After-Tax Income (2021)

-10%-5%0%QuintileQ1Q2Q3Q4Q5

See the analysis

Overview of tax proposals

Bernie Sanders would increase income and payroll taxes for very high–income taxpayers and corporations. His plan includes a wealth tax and an increase in estate taxes. Although he has not released a plan for how to pay for Medicare for All, he has released a list of options, including a 4 percent income-based premium, as examples of how the program could be financed. He would eliminate fossil fuel tax preferences, impose a tax on the fossil fuel industry, and extend tax credits to displaced energy workers. He would also impose a tax on purchases of securities and transactions involving derivatives.