President Donald Trump and Joseph Biden are far apart on such issues as the corporate tax rate and deductions and credits for businesses. How do clients plan ahead for the presidential candidates’ tax plans?

“I don’t think many clients have had time to fully dive into the different aspects” of the plans, said Brian Bruggeman, director of financial planning at Baker Boyer in Walla Walla, Wash. “I’ve had clients ask about individual concepts, but few advisors, let alone clients, have fully grasped the potential impact.”

“Most clients have a general understanding that Donald Trump’s tax proposals would build on the changes already made, including tax reform, whereas Joe Biden’s proposals would make significant changes to existing policy, many of which would increase the tax bill for wealthy clients,” said Rochelle Hodes, principal in the Washington National Tax Office of the accounting firm Crowe in Washington, D.C. Crowe has provided a tax-proposal scorecard for the past few elections of the two candidates’ ideas.

James Rabasca, senior tax specialist at Summit Financial in Parsippany, N.J., said, “While the candidates have yet to provide much substance to their proposals, the vast difference between them is readily apparent.”

Bruce Primeau, CPA and president at Summit Wealth Advocates in Prior Lake, Minn., said one of Biden’s major plans potentially impacting wealthy is to increase the top tax rate. “I imagine the goal here is to reduce the federal deficit as well as to generate more cash flow to fund more programs,” Primeau said. Biden also wants to lift the Social Security taxable wage base cap on high earners.

Trump’s major plan is to extend the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act provisions beyond 2025, which means the lower individual income tax rates would be extended across the board, Primeau said.

“This year, it’s not what has been proposed by each party that concerns top earners,” said Jo Anna M. Fellon, lead partner of private client services at accounting firm Friedman LLP in New York. “It’s what they fail to address that’s creating cause for concern among families stewarding generational wealth.”

High-net-worth families, she added, are more focused on the potential “quiet levers” of wealth transfer, such as increases in estate transfer tax rates, decreased lifetime estate and gift tax exemptions, elimination of gifting discounts or possible removal of the estate tax portability.

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