At a press conference at Trump Towers on Monday unveiling his tax reform plan, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump admitted that he would personally benefit from some of the proposals.
“When I do my returns it’ll be much simpler. When I do my returns, they go up to the ceiling and beyond, which is ridiculous,” he said. “You spend millions of dollars at a high level on lawyers and accountants and everything else.”
In particular, Trump noted that he will reap benefits from his proposal to offer a tax repatriation holiday for corporations holding profits overseas. This plan — which the U.S. has done before — would allow corporations to pay a tax of just 10 percent instead of the currently required 35 percent.
“I have millions of dollars overseas that I can’t get back into this country,” said Trump, whose holdings include at least 16 companies in Bermuda, St. Martin, Scotland, Brazil, Canada, and Ireland, according to his Personal Finance Disclosure. He argued Monday that high corporate taxes are the reason these companies and their wealth remain abroad, though few U.S. companies actually pay the nominal 35 percent rate.
At the press conference, Trump painted his plan in a populist light, highlighting its elimination of a loophole enjoyed by hedge fund managers, and its provision cutting income tax to zero for those who make below $25,000 a year. Though he pushed back on the term “populist,” he said: “There will be people in the upper echelons who will not be thrilled with this.”
But Trump and others in the “upper echelons” would massively benefit from the other provisions, including the elimination of the estate tax, which would allow Trump to pass on hundreds of millions to his children tax-free. His own income tax would also be lowered, under his plan, from the current 39.6 percent rate to 25 percent, while taxes on his U.S. corporate profits would plummet to just 15 percent. The vast amount Trump earns from his investments would also enjoy a lower rate, as he has proposed cutting the capital gains tax to just 20 percent.
Speaking of his own taxes, Trump boasted to the press: “I fight like hell to pay as little as possible, always. I have the best lawyers and the best accountants.”