Compliance

In SOTU, Biden backs higher taxes on corporations, wealthy

The president's speech sets campaign themes.
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President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday touched on a variety of topics likely to be key themes on the 2024 campaign trail, such as immigration, reproductive rights, and foreign policy.

Included among his wide-ranging remarks, Biden staked out his policy positions on taxing corporations and the ultra-wealthy.

“The way to make the tax code fair is to make big corporations and the very wealthy begin to pay their fair share,” Biden said.

The fine print. According to a White House fact sheet, if reelected, Biden will seek to implement these corporate tax policies:

  • Raise the corporate tax rate to 28% and the minimum tax on billion-dollar corporations to 21%
  • Instate a minimum tax rate of 25% for billionaires—Biden claimed the current average federal tax rate billionaires pay is a paltry 8.2%
  • Eliminate corporate tax breaks for executive pay over $1 million
  • Quadruple the stock buyback tax from 1% to 4%
  • Eliminate a tax break the White House says benefits corporate jets more than commercial aircraft, as well as increase the fuel tax on corporate and private jets

“I also want to end the tax breaks for big pharma, big oil, private jets and massive executive pay,” Biden said. “They can pay $20 million if they want, but deduct a million. End it now.”

Biden’s proposal is a departure from Trump-era Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which lowered the top corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% and eliminated the corporate alternative minimum tax, according to the Tax Policy Center. The Biden-era Inflation Reduction Act reestablished the minimum tax on large corporations to where it currently stands at 15%. Many of the provisions of the TCJA are set to start expiring at the end of 2025.

A representative of the nation’s largest business lobby criticized Biden’s positions on corporate taxation. Neil Bradley, the Chamber of Commerce’s chief policy officer, claimed the proposals “would actually result in lower economic growth, fewer new business starts, less job creation, and fewer choices for American families,” according to Reuters.

News built for finance pros

CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.