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NBC analysis: GOP tax plan could save Trump and his family more than $1 billion

The Hill logo The Hill 11/17/2017 Max Greenwood
NBC analysis: GOP tax plan could save Trump and his family more than $1 billion © Provided by The Hill NBC analysis: GOP tax plan could save Trump and his family more than $1 billion Trump and his family could stand to save more than $1 billion under a tax proposal passed by House Republicans on Thursday, according to an analysis commissioned by NBC News.

Most of the savings Trump and his heirs would see would come from the measure's repeal of the estate tax - the tax levied on property transferred to beneficiaries after an individual dies.

The analysis was based on Trump's estimated net worth and his 2005 tax return, the only such return made public thus far. It found that the president could save more than $20 million himself, while his heirs could save $1.1 billion.

Based on the analysis of Trump's 2005 return, the president would also save a considerable amount of money under the House bill's repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

"Under HR-1, the alternative minimum tax would be repealed. Line 45 of page two of Form 1040 reports an alternative minimum tax liability of $31,261,179," Maury Cartine, a tax expert at Marcum LLP, wrote in the analysis.

"Assuming the alternative minimum tax was repealed under HR-1, the taxpayers would not have paid $31,261,179 of alternative minimum tax," he wrote.

The analysis also notes, however, that because the capital gains tax is higher now than it was in 2005 and because of a tax on investment income and fewer itemized deductions, Trump's savings would have been about $22.6 million.

Trump has refused to release his personal income tax returns, meaning that more up-to-date information is not available. The 2005 return was leaked to MSNBC earlier this year.

According to the analysis commissioned by NBC News, the biggest savings for Trump and his heirs would come from the repeal of the estate tax, which currently levies a 40 percent tax on estates worth more than $5.5 million for individuals and $11 million for couples.

Bloomberg's Billionaire Index estimates the president's net worth at about $2.86 billion, and the House GOP's tax proposal calls for the estate tax to be repealed by 2024. If Trump and his wife are still alive at that time, they would save about $400 million for every $1 billion in net assets, according to Cartine. That would add up to about $1.1 billion in savings by 2024.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that the tax reform plan would not benefit him and that he would, in fact, take a financial hit from it.

The House plan passed on Thursday would reduce the number of individual tax brackets, trim the corporate tax rate significantly and reduce the number of deductions and tax breaks.

Senate Republicans are crafting their own bill, and are hoping to pass it with a 51-vote simple majority. Some GOP senators, however, have already voiced concerns about the measure, and one Republican, Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.), has come out against both the House and Senate proposals.

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