Brief An Updated Analysis of Former Vice President Biden's Tax Proposals
Gordon B. Mermin, Janet Holtzblatt, Surachai Khitatrakun, Chenxi Lu, Thornton Matheson, Jeffrey Rohaly
Display Date
Download Report
(1.3 MB)

NOTE: This is a corrected version of the analysis originally published October 15, 2020.

This brief updates estimates of the revenue and distributional effects of former vice president Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign tax proposals. Biden’s spending proposals would also have important distributional and economic effects, but we have not estimated their cost and distributional effects. Our modeling assumptions are based on information released by the Biden campaign and conversations with campaign staff; we detail these assumptions in appendix B. We analyze Biden’s proposals as of September 28, 2020.

Biden would increase income and payroll taxes on high-income individuals and raise income taxes on corporations. He would expand tax credits for middle- and lower-income individuals and for new investments in domestic manufacturing. On net, his proposals would increase federal revenues by about $2.1 trillion over the next decade. Under his plan, the highest-income households would see substantial tax increases; tax burdens would fall for households in the bottom three income quintiles. In 2022, when Biden’s temporary expansion of the child tax credit would be in effect, tax burdens would also fall for households in the fourth income quintile.

An earlier version of this analysis was released on March 5, 2020 (Mermin et al. 2020). Our revised version incorporates changes Biden’s campaign has made to its plan and incorporates revised economic projections. Our new revenue estimate is significantly lower than the March estimate for a number of reasons: several tax credit provisions the campaign has proposed since our initial analysis, our assumption that implementation of most proposals will be delayed until 2022, changes to previously proposed policies that are intended to hold harmless tax filers with incomes below $400,000, a revised economic forecast, and other technical changes.

Research Areas Taxes and budgets
Tags Federal budget and economy Campaigns, proposals, and reforms Federal tax issues and reform proposals
Policy Centers Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center