Tax reform has created questions about which taxpayers actually own stocks and benefit from certain tax provisions.
Tax reform legislation has presented various proposals that would benefit long-term investors in the market. Repealing the estate tax would allow more families to transfer wealth accumulated in assets such as stocks to heirs without paying a tax. Corporate tax cuts and repatriated cash would benefit stock prices as companies would be enticed to buy back stock, increase dividends or invest in capital expansion.
Either way, the eventual benefits of these new tax rules are expected to benefit stockholders. Unfortunately, the bulk of households that own stock are in the upper income brackets, meaning that many don’t get to participate in any stock market increases resulting from tax reform. Federal Reserve data shows that 95% of families in the top 10% by income hold stocks directly and/or mutual funds that hold stocks, while lower income households tend to have much less.