The claim: Biden’s and Harris’ tax plans would raise rates on a family making $75,000 or $3,000 biweekly
Viral posts on Facebook claim tax rates for some families would more than double if Democrat Joe Biden is elected president.
“Bidens tax rate on a family making 75000 dollars would go from 12% to 25%,” reads a post Aug. 16 that has been shared more than 126,000 times. “LET THAT SINK IN ALL YOU RIDING WITH BIDEN SUPPORTERS.”
Another meme centered on the proposed tax policies of Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., made the rounds on Facebook this month. A post Aug. 23 to Aaron Hughes’ Facebook page that went viral features a screenshot from a Fox Business Network segment of Harris’ proposed economic policies, pitched during her campaign for president.
Above the screenshot is a statement addressing Harris’ suggested income tax increase to 39.6% for top earners.
“Say your bi-weekly gross salary is $3,000 you are giving these sad sacks 39.6% which is $1,188. Nearly HALF YOUR PAYCHECK!!! Forget feeding your family after you’ve paid all your bills! Are you REALLY okay with this???” the statement reads.
The meme was posted to the Facebook page for Project Republic later the same day. Project Republic is a media company that supports President Donald Trump, according to its Twitter bio.
USA TODAY reached out to the users for comment. Hughes did not offer additional information about his post in a response.
Taxes would not double, analyses show
A federal tax rate of 12% applies to families that make up to $80,250 or individuals who make up to $40,125, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Although posts claim this rate would increase, tax rates for families earning $75,000 annually would stay the same under Biden’s plan.
Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, told USA TODAY via email that the claim uses the 12% income tax bracket under current law, which ranges from $19,750-$80,250 in taxable income for those filing jointly.
The posts claim the tax rate would return to where it was before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was 25% for joint filers who earned $75,900 to $153,100 in taxable income for 2017, Watson said.
“Biden has stated that he would repeal the individual tax cuts for those earning $400,000,” Watson said. “While he has not explicitly stated that he would support extending the remaining TCJA rates, when they expire at the end of 2025, it is incorrect to say that raising those rates is part of his tax proposals at this time.”
Watson said that even if Biden’s proposal included a full repeal of TCJA rates, the claims wouldn’t be right.
“A joint filer earning $75,000 in taxable income would be in the 15% tax bracket, not the 25% bracket. For single individuals earning $75K, full TCJA repeal would mean going from a 22% top marginal tax rate now to a 25% rate,” Watson said.
A single taxpayer making $3,000 every two weeks – as described in the Harris claim – earns $78,000 a year. People in this income bracket would not give up “half their paychecks” under the Democrats’ proposed tax plan.
Biden’s plan raises taxes for high-income individuals, corporations
Similar analyses of Biden’s tax plan note that corporate tax rates would increase.
“Biden would raise the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28 percent,” the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated, and his tax plan would raise somewhere between $3.35 trillion to $3.67 trillion over a decade if enacted in full starting in 2021.
Based on information released by the Biden campaign and conversations with its staff, the Tax Policy Center found that “high-income taxpayers would face increased income and payroll taxes.”
The top tax rate is 37% for individual single taxpayers with incomes greater than $518,400 and $622,050 for married couples filing jointly, according to the IRS.
The screenshot from Fox Business Network accurately says Harris proposed raising the corporate income tax rate from 21% to 35% and imposing a 0.2% financial tax rate on stock trades and a 0.1% rate on bond trades as a candidate, according to the Tax Foundation.
Details about the “4% extra tax on $100K+ households” were not included. Per The Tax Foundation, Harris floated a 4% income-based insurance premium on households making more than $100,000 a year to fund her “Medicare for All” plan.
Biden said ‘no new taxes’ would be raised on anyone making less than $400,000
The former vice president has said a tax increase for those making less than $400,000 is not a part of his plan.
In a joint interview with Harris, Biden told ABC News, “I will raise taxes for anybody making over $400,000,” and anyone making less than that would face “no new taxes.”
In an interview with CNBC in May, Biden said, “Nobody making under 400,000 bucks will have their tax raised. Period.”
The Washington Post reported in May on Biden’s announcement that he is firm on not raising taxes on the middle class.
The Biden campaign could not be reached for comment. Campaign spokesman Michael Gwin told Reuters that Biden has made clear that no one making less than $400,00 would see their taxes raised.
“Moreover, Biden will give millions of middle-class families a tax cut through new refundable credits that lower the cost of health insurance, help first-time homebuyers buy a house and assist working families to pay for child care,” Gwin said.
Our ruling: False
This claim is FALSE, based on our research. Biden said he will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. A taxpayer making $75,000, or making $3,000 biweekly, would not move to a higher tax bracket, as claimed. Analysts concluded that Biden’s tax plan would apply to wealthy individuals and corporations.
Our fact-check sources:
Internal Revenue Service: IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2020
Tax Foundation, Nov. 14: 2019, 2020 Tax Brackets
Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact: November 2016, 2017 Tax Brackets
Garrett Watson: Email statement to USA TODAY
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, July 30: Understanding Joe Biden’s 2020 Tax Plan
Tax Policy Center, March 5: An Analysis of Former Vice President Biden’s Tax Proposals
The Washington Post, May 22: Joe Biden says he won’t raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000
Internal Revenue Service, Nov. 6, 2019: “IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2020”
The Tax Foundation, Aug. 12, 2020: “Where Does Kamala Harris Stand on Tax Policy?”
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.
Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Biden tax plan raises rates for those who make over $400K