The Republican tax bill that was passed recently by the Senate has had its critics. However, as president Trump signs the bill into law, he will be among the very first beneficiaries. According to Forbes, the president is looking at savings of about $11 million a year all thanks to the new bill. The estimate is based on Trump’s earnings in 2005. This is because there is no other recent data that provides a tax profile for the president.
Analysts who looked at Trump’s tax returns at the time say that much of the income declared came from pass-through companies. Trump declared $67 million in income that year from pass-through businesses. The president also earned $47 million in business income the same year.
If we were to use this data as a basis for estimating taxes for the president under the new tax bill, the entire income declared will be eligible for a tax break. Pass-through income is getting major breaks in the new tax bill since people will be allowed to deduct 20% from it. The bill will also cap total tax-free income to 50% for all wages paid to the employees. This means that companies that have a higher wage bill or a high number of employees could benefit from massive tax breaks.
The Trump organization was not available for comment on this story. However, it’s still not yet clear how the organization pays its employees. Financial disclosure reports that were filed by five former employees who are now working with the President indicate that their combined income for the year 2016 was $4 million. Ivanka Trump earned the biggest share of this amount at $2.5 million.
Under the new Republican tax bill, if the president pays at least $27 million in wages for all pass-through companies, he will be eligible for a 20% deduction from his declared pass-through income of $67 million. The tax on the remaining 80% will also get some breaks too. Since he would be categorized as a high-income earner, the tax would stand at 37% down from 39.6%.
From this simple math, you can clearly see that the president could save millions of dollars. But even if he didn’t have a huge wage bill, there are still additional breaks he could enjoy. A provision sneaked in the final draft on page 561 facilitates this. The provision states that the total amount of tax-free income is capped at either 50% of the total employee wages or 2.5% of total depreciable assets at the time of purchase. This means that businesses that have a small number of employees and a significant amount of valuable depreciable assets can save millions in taxes.
Trump’s assets before debt stand at about $3.3 billion. Although it’s not easy to tell how much money he spent to acquire these assets, we can roughly estimate that the purchase price was 25%. That would take us to $825 million. The new bill allows the President to deduct 2.5% of this amount. That roughly translates to $21 million in savings.