Trump's tax bill will allow US President to personally save up to $15m, find analysts

The President told Democrats he'd be a 'big loser' under new rules 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Thursday 21 December 2017 14:44
Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuses to admit Donald Trump will make money from new tax bill

Donald Trump could personally save up to $15m on his taxes as a result of his new landmark legislation – the opposite to what the White House had claimed.

Ahead of the passage of the $1.5 trillion tax package that was passed this week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the new system would likely mean the President had to pay more.

“In some ways, particularly on the personal side, the President will likely take a big hit,” she said, as she was asked what impact the new structure would have.

“But on the business side he could benefit. But the biggest focus for this White House is that all Americans are better off today than they are beforehand.”

The President himself told a group of Democratic senators on a conference call that he would be a "big loser" because of the package of measures.

Yet an analysis by a Washington-based think tank has suggested Mr Trump could be up to $15m better off as a result of the bill he is set to sign into law on 3 January 2018.

The analysis by the Centre for American Progress found that several members of Mr Trump’s cabinet, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Linda McMahon, the head of the Small Business Administration, Betsy DeVos the Secretary of Education, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were also likely to save millions of dollars.

Trump accidentally admits tax reform will help big businesses

Mr Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has an office in the West Wing and is one of the President’s most trusted advisors, could pocket a tidy $12m.

The think thank made its analysis based on Mr Trump’s estimated wealth and assets, along with changes to business rules and an amendment to the estate tax that were included in the Republican tax overhaul – the biggest for three decades.

“I think that the American people, whether they receive a tax increase or tax cut from this bill, are outraged that President Trump, his cabinet, and members of Congress stand to receive big payouts from this tax bill,” Seth Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress, told the Guardian.

“The extent of the self-dealing became especially apparent when a last-minute provision benefiting the real estate industry was inserted at the last minute.”

Daniel Shaviro, a tax professor at the New York University School of Law who worked for Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation during the country’s last major tax shake-up in 1986, told the Washington Post: “I’m not even aware of a single provision in the bill that disadvantages him or his family, other than the change to state and local tax deductibility.”

He added: “It’s so clear that he is financially much better off than previously. I’d be at a loss as to how they could even dare to argue otherwise.”

When Ms Huckabee Sanders was questioned by reporters as to why the President would not release his tax returns – something that all previous have done – to clear up the question of whether or not he would benefit, she claimed they were being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

This is the same excuse Mr Trump has cited for the previous two years. However, many have pointed out that even if his tax return is being audited by the IRS, there is no prohibition on it being made public.

A series of surveys showed that the majority of Americans opposed the measure passed on Wednesday. A CNN poll found 33 per cent supported the legislation, while two-thirds believed it would do more to benefit the wealthy as opposed to the working or middle class.

Meanwhile, the most recent Harvard CAPS-Harris survey found 64 per cent of respondents opposed the bill.

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