In brief

  • A senior presidential advisor has suggested that a new stimulus package include tax-free investments, outside of the standard 401k exemptions.
  • The measure is designed to boost for the stock market, and could affect cryptocurrency investments.
  • The new proposals won't be formally introduced until fall.

President Donald Trump’s administration is considering new tax incentives intended to boost the stock market, and allow more Americans to buy stocks, shares and—potentially—cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

According to multiple sources who spoke to CNBC on Friday, the proposal treats a portion of household income as tax-free for the purposes of investing outside a traditional 401(k)—a plan that allows an employee to divert a portion of their salary into long-term investments.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council and a senior adviser to Trump, told CNBC that the approach centers on creating “universal savings accounts,” funded tax-free. Any accumulation of profits during the investment timeframe, known as capital gains, would not be taxed, Kudlow suggests. However, he added that the specifics are yet to be worked out. 

Bitcoin tax liability

Tax liability has been a major source of concern for anyone invested in cryptocurrencies, so an investment plan to ringfence a portion of income which would be tax-free is a potential boon for the industry.

Sources told CNBC that one example would see a household with an income of $200,000 per year able to invest $10,000 of this on a tax-free basis. 

 

The tax cutting proposals—due to be formally announced as early as September—are seen as a vehicle for Trump to distinguish himself from the so-called “socialist” policies of his Democratic rivals in an election year. 

The White House is keen to further accelerate the stock-owning trend which it says is a direct result of its policies. In 2019, a record 55% of Americans were invested in the stock market—the highest proportion since the Great Depression.

But, as tax legislation must be approved by the US House of Representatives—currently controlled by the Democrats, such sweeping changes are likely to be a pipe dream, in the short term at least.