tax policy center
Tax Policy Center
   Chapter 2 of 6  

Chapter Summary: Key Elements of the U.S. Tax System

This chapter discusses specific aspects of our tax system and how they affect taxpayers.

  • Taxation and the Family explores the effects of the tax system on families, with particular emphasis on families with children.
  • Taxes and the Poor itemizes ways in which the tax system affects households at the bottom of the income distribution.
  • Saving and Retirement discusses tax provisions designed to encourage saving, particularly for retirement, as well as who benefits from those provisions.
  • The Individual AMT explains how inflation and tax cuts have caused the alternative minimum tax to affect more taxpayers each year and describes the patches that have kept its reach from expanding even further.
  • Health Insurance and Health Care explains ways in which the tax system affects the availability and cost of health insurance and the provision of health care.
  • Homeownership lays out the tax provisions that subsidize the costs of owning a home.
  • Education Tax Incentives enumerates the tax provisions that help students pay for college and encourage families to save for education expenses.
  • Capital Gains and Dividends explains the special tax treatment given to those two sources of income.
  • Wealth Transfer Taxes outlines ways in which the United States taxes transfers of wealth and how those taxes change over time.
  • Taxes and Energy describes tax provisions intended to encourage the production of energy and energy conservation.
  • Taxes and the Environment discusses tax provisions designed to promote a cleaner environment.
  • Business Taxation describes how the tax code affects corporations and small businesses.
  • Tax Incentives for Economic Development outlines the tax provisions designed to encourage particular forms of economic development and evaluates their effectiveness.
  • Tax-Exempt Organizations focuses on the tax treatment of nonprofit organizations and others that do not have to pay taxes.
  • International Taxation discusses how the United States taxes economic activity that takes place outside the country and related issues.