For wealthy Americans, a big win by Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8 could get pretty expensive.
Clinton is proposing higher taxes on Americans who make more than $250,000, including a 4 percent “fair share surcharge” on incomes over $5 million a year. She’s also trying to limit the ability of the rich to lower their tax bills through clever planning.
This has made the election a hot topic at accounting and advisory firms that cater to the wealthy. The election “dominates the conversations we have with clients today,” said Brian Andrew, chief investment officer at Johnson Financial Group.
Changing tax laws is easier said than done. Even if the Democratic presidential candidate defeats Donald Trump, she’ll probably be negotiating any tax bills with a House of Representatives still controlled by Republicans. Democrats would get free rein to set tax policy only if a big Clinton win helps them gain control of both the Senate, which is teetering, and the House. The likeliest scenario is divided government, in which the House will thwart any substantial tax increase, said Joe Heider, founder of Cirrus Wealth Management in Cleveland.
Still, “there’s a growing concern [among Republicans] that this could become a wave election,” Heider said.