Tax Policy Center

Experts

Research report

The figure shows one way to assess the federal income tax burden-federal income taxes as a share of income-for a family of four in the middle of the income distribution, and for similar families at twice and half that income level from 1955 to 2001. In 2001, the median family earned $63,278. By...

December 23, 2002
Leonard E. Burman, Elaine Maag
Brief

[Newsday] Currently affecting only a few, mostly wealthy, taxpayers, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) will expand dramatically over the next several years, visiting high tax rates and mind-numbingly complex paperwork on unsuspecting middle-class families. Prompt action could reverse...

November 14, 2002
Leonard E. Burman, William G. Gale
Research report

A perpetual policy debate surrounds the proper taxation of capital gains. One concern is that the tax creates a "lock-in effect." That is, people will hold onto assets longer than they otherwise would in order to avoid the tax. If significant, the lock-in effect would represent an undesirable...

October 28, 2002
Leonard E. Burman, George A. Plesko
Brief

The practice of requiring well-to-do Americans to pay a minimum tax was developed more than three decades ago. In January, 1969, then-Treasury Secretary Joseph W. Barr informed Congress that 155 individual taxpayers with income exceeding $200,000 paid no tax in 1966. The news set off a political...

September 18, 2002
Leonard E. Burman, William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris
Brief

Originally targeted at high-income households, the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) is now on the verge of switching from a "class" tax to a "mass" tax. Under current law, the AMT will encroach dramatically on the middle-class over the next decade and will become the de facto tax...

September 18, 2002
Leonard E. Burman, William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris
Research report

Taxpayers pay alternative minimum tax (AMT) if their AMT liability exceeds their regular income tax. Originally targeted at a few high-income households who paid no federal income tax, this class tax is about to become a mass tax. The projected expansion occurs because the AMT is not indexed for...

September 16, 2002
William G. Gale, Leonard E. Burman
Brief

In June 2001, Congress and the president approved the Economic Growth and Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), the largest tax cut in two decades. The multiyear cut, scheduled to phase in gradually over the decade, will reduce taxes (and government revenue) by $1.35 trillion by 2010. EGTRRA then...

June 24, 2002
Leonard E. Burman, Elaine Maag
Commentary

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 phased out the estate tax by 2010, but it is scheduled to be restored, along with the rest of the 2001 tax changes, in 2011. This commentary argues that the federal estate tax is the most progressive tax in the federal system, an...

June 14, 2002
Leonard E. Burman
Brief

The 2001 tax cut has been roundly criticized because so much of the benefit goes to the rich, but the bill also did much to help low- and middle-income families. Most notably, it increased the child tax credit and made it refundablethat is, available to families with incomes too low to owe...

April 29, 2002
Leonard E. Burman, Elaine Maag

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