The president wants to increase the top individual income tax bracket from 37% to 39.6% — reversing part of the 2017 tax law.
In 2022, the new tax brackets would be expected to kick in at about $452,700 in taxable income for a single individual and $509,300 for a married couple.
A White House official said a married couple collectively earning up to $509,300 wouldn’t see a tax increase.
“Consistent with the president’s campaign proposal, we are proposing to reverse the tax cut for the top bracket by returning that top tax bracket to what it would’ve been under pre-2017 law,” the official said. “That applies to less than 1 percent of Americans — the very top earners.”
The official said the president’s pledge not to increase taxes on those making less than $400,000 per year still stands.
“If you are an American individual or family earning less than $400,000, you will not see a dollar increase in your taxes,” they said. “And in fact, for the top bracket, it’s actually a little higher than that.”
Axios first reported on the clarification that a married couple with a combined income of more than $509,300 — theoretically, two individuals each with taxable income exceeding $255,000 — would see a portion of those earnings taxed at the new, higher rate.
The White House has given varying explanations on whether the $400,000 threshold applies to individuals or households.
Press secretary Jen Psaki had said last month that individuals making less than $400,000 per year wouldn’t see a tax hike under the president’s plans.
Ms. Psaki and the White House had previously said the threshold applied to households or families.
In an interview with ABC last month, Mr. Biden said anybody making more than $400,000 per year could expect to see a “small to significant” tax increase under his plans.
“If you make less than $400,000, you won’t see one single penny in additional federal tax,” the president said.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Biden said that nobody earning less than $400,000 per year would see their taxes go up under his plans.
“He won’t ask a single person making under $400,000 per year to pay a penny more in taxes, and will in fact enact more than one-dozen middle class tax cuts that will finally give working families the financial support they deserve,” reads a partial summary of his tax plan from his campaign website.