Two Years Later: Winners/Losers Of Trump’s Tax Law

Today is the anniversary of the signing of Trump’s tax law, which was sold as a middle class tax cut. That was a lie. Since then, the biggest beneficiaries of Trump’s tax law have been large corporations, the wealthiest 1% and Trump himself, while working families have fallen further and further behind. 


Large corporations.

  • 91 large publicly traded companies paid zero federal income tax in the first year under Trump’s tax law. 
  • Corporations lowered their effective tax rate to 7% last year, the lowest since 1947
  • 400 of America’s largest companies paid an effective federal tax rate of 11.3% on average, possibly the lowest in more than three decades.

The wealthiest 1%.

  • By 2027, 82.8% of the Trump tax law’s benefits will go to the top 1%. 
  • “Donald Trump’s $1.5tn tax cuts have helped billionaires pay a lower rate than the working class for the first time in history.” 

Donald Trump.

  • Based on his 2005 tax return, Trump could save about $11 million per year on his taxes under his tax law. 
  • We can’t know for sure how much Trump could save since he refuses to release his tax returns.

Trump’s kids.

  • The Trump family could save $4.4 million on their inheritance from the estate tax cut. 

Big pharmaceutical companies.

  • Four major pharmaceutical companies alone saved a combined $7 billion on their tax bills in 2018. 

Wall Street.

  • Major U.S. banks saved $21 billion on their tax bills in 2018.

CEOs and wealthy shareholders.

  • CEOs and wealthy shareholders were the biggest beneficiaries of a record $806 billion S&P 500 companies spent on stock buybacks in 2018 rather than investing or expanding their businesses.

Wealthy heirs.

  • Wealthy heirs can now inherit about $22 million without having to pay any tax at all after Trump’s tax law doubled the estate tax exemption. 
  • Trump’s tax law exempted 3,700 of the wealthiest heirs in the country from having to pay any tax on their inheritance. 

Real estate developers.

  • Trump’s tax law included a provision to allow real estate investors like Trump to take advantage of the “pass-through” loophole that Republicans sold as a small business tax cut.
  • The top 1% of income earners get more than half the benefits from the pass-through deduction in Trump’s tax law, while the bottom 20% only get 0.1% of the benefits. 


The working class.

  • Under Trump’s tax law, average taxes will rise for everyone earning under $75,000 by the end of the decade.

The majority of Americans.

  • Compared with previous law, 53% of taxpayers will pay more in taxes by the end of the decade.

Future taxpayers.

  • Future taxpayers will have to bear the cost of Trump’s tax law that the CBO projected would add $1.9 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. 
  • The federal budget deficit hit its highest level in seven years in FY 2019 as Trump’s tax law has failed to pay for itself as he and Republicans promised. 

American workers.