President-elect Donald Trump won a surprise victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Nov 8. based in part on his platform of helping the average, every day American family. Trump touted himself as a true anti-establishment presidential nominee, a man for the people who would offer massive tax cuts for everyone except that dastardly one percent of the very rich. Well, he has been elected, and how does Trump's new tax plan shape up for single parents, for instance? Because as one single parent to another, we are a demographic that could use a bit of a break every now and then.
According to the Tax Policy Center, Trump's new tax proposal;
would significantly reduce marginal tax rates, increase standard deduction amounts, repeal personal exemptions, cap itemized deductions, and allow businesses to elect to expense new investment and not deduct interest expense. His proposal would cut taxes at all income levels, although the largest benefits, in dollar and percentage terms, would go to the highest-income households.
So congratulations to the highest-income households, I suppose. But what about the 12 million single parent households in the United States, 80 percent of which are headed by single moms? Should they be breaking out the bubbly and celebrating the sweet new tax breaks they should expect?
No More Head of Household
Trump's tax plan would eliminate the head of household status for single parents, meaning they would be filing as individuals. This means the majority of single parents in most income ranges would see their taxes go up. (And just out of curiosity, if a single parent isn't the head of household, who exactly is?)
For example, a single mother with one child can take a 49,350 standard deduction and two $4,050 exemptions, one for herself and one for her child in 2017 under the current system — or $17,450 in exemptions in total. Under Trump’s plan, she would be able to take just a $15,000 standard deduction. The end result? That mother would have to pay income tax on an additional $2,450 under Trump’s plan.
From Seven Rates To Three
Trump's grand plan to simplify everyone's taxes by reducing the tax schedule from seven rates to three rates will actually make things worse for single parent households. According to Forbes:
For example, in 2017 a single parent with one child who claims the standard deduction would face a 25 percent tax rate on adjusted gross income (AGI) between $53,050 and $68,550, compared with just a 15 percent rate under current law.
From where I'm standing, it doesn't seem like Trump's looking out for single parents at all. And I'm standing as the head of a household of four sons, bills to pay and mouths to feed. The last thing any single parent needs to be doing is paying more taxes.