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How to stop corporations from fleeing U.S. tax laws (Commentary)
Eric Toder

In a contribution to The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch, Eric Toder explains why corporations expatriate the United States and argues that they will continue to do so until Congress addresses the fundamental flaws in corporate income tax. He then provides some possible solutions to end the erosion of the U.S. corporate tax base.

Published: 07/28/14
Availability: HTML


Constitutional Solutions to Our Escalating National Debt: Examining Balanced Budget Amendments: Testimony of Henry J. Aaron to the House Judiciary Committee (Testimony)
Henry J. Aaron

Henry J. Aaron testifies before the House Judiciary Committee, arguing that despite the relatively high levels of current government debt and the budget challenges that the nation faces in the future, instituting a federal balanced budget amendment would negatively impact the economy and threaten the nation's financial stability. Aaron notes five main reasons a balanced budget amendment should not be passed or implemented.

Published: 07/25/14
Availability:   PDF


Implications for Changing the Child Tax Credit Refundability Threshold (Article/Tax Facts)
Elaine MaagLydia Austin

This Tax Fact explores the child tax credit’s refundability thresholds since its inception. Currently, the CTC is a $1,000-per-child credit that is partially refundable for households earning more than $3,000. This Tax Fact explores the distribution of credits when the refundability threshold rises to $15,000 in 2018, and finds that families in the lowest income quintile would be affected the most.

Published: 07/24/14
Availability:   PDF


Abuse of Structured Financial Products: Misusing Basket Options to Avoid Taxes and Leverage Limits: Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Testimony)
Steven Rosenthal

In this testimony before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Steve Rosenthal describes how two hedge funds, with the help of two investment banks, purported to convert short-term trading profits into long-term capital gains with derivatives—which lowered the tax rate on their gains from 35% to 15% (the difference in rates for short-term and long-term gains for most of the years in question). He explains why he believes the funds stretched the tax law to achieve their goal. He also recommends legislation to address the misuse of derivatives more comprehensively.

Published: 07/22/14
Availability:   PDF


State Economic Monitor: July 2014 (Newsletter)
Norton FrancisKim RuebenRichard C. Auxier

The latest edition of the Tax Policy Center's State and Local Finance Initiative's State Economic Monitor reports that states are still struggling to emerge from the lingering recession. The good news is that nearly all states experienced economic growth in 2013, and only one state has an unemployment rate above 8 percent. But few states have fully recovered from the 2007 downturn, and new problems are arising. State tax revenues were down in the first quarter, driven by a significant decline in income tax revenue, and a non-government forecast estimates that the revenue drop may become even more severe. The Monitor also reviews the health of other aspects of state economies such as total employment, real earnings, and housing. This edition’s special supplement highlights a new Urban Institute report on public pension plans.

Published: 07/09/14
Availability:   PDF


Description and Analysis of the Camp Tax Reform Plan (Research Report)
Jim NunnsAmanda EngLydia Austin

This paper describes the major provisions in the “Tax Reform Act of 2014,” the comprehensive tax reform plan released on February 26, 2014, by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). It also presents the Tax Policy Center’s analysis of the plan’s revenue impact beyond the 10-year budget period, distribution of the tax burden, economic incentives, and compliance costs.

Published: 07/08/14
Availability:   PDF


Costly Error in Payroll Tax Computation for the Self-Employed (Article)
Jim Nunns

Errors in the formulas for computing payroll tax for the self-employed result in their paying less payroll taxes than workers with the same earnings. All self-employed workers benefit from these errors, but those with high earnings benefit disproportionately. A provision in Ways and Means Committee chair Dave Camp’s tax reform proposal would correct the formulas. The $5 billion revenue gain over ten years from enacting this provision could help pay for extending expiring tax provisions or for better targeted tax cuts. And it would eliminate a glaring inequity. This article explains the correct formulas and the effects of applying them.

Published: 07/01/14
Availability:   PDF


Analysis of Specific Tax Provisions in President Obama's FY2015 Budget (Article)
Elaine MaagJim NunnsEric ToderRoberton Williams

This document reviews several notable tax proposals in President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 Budget. These include expanding the earned income tax credit (EITC) for workers without qualifying children, expanding the child and dependent care tax credit for families with young children, conforming rules for self-employment contributions act (SECA) taxes for professional service businesses, and changing business taxes to create a reserve to fund long-run revenue-neutral business tax reform.

Published: 06/30/14
Availability:   PDF


Flattening Tax Incentives for Retirement Saving (Research Report)
Barbara ButricaBenjamin H. HarrisPamela PerunC. Eugene Steuerle

Under current law, a large share of tax benefits for retirement saving accrues to high-income employees. We simulate the short- and long-term effect of three policy options for flattening tax incentives and increasing retirement savings for low- and middle-income workers. Our results show that reducing 401(k) contribution limits increases taxes for high-income taxpayers; expanding the saver's credit raises saving incentives and lower taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers; and replacing the exclusion for retirement saving contributions with a 25 percent refundable credit benefits primarily low- and middle-income taxpayers, and raises taxes and reduces retirement assets for high-income taxpayers.

Published: 06/30/14
Availability:   PDF


Review of Conference on What the United States Can Learn From the Experience of Countries with Territorial Tax Systems (Article)
Eric Toder

On February 28, 2014, the Urban Institute hosted an invitational conference on what policymakers in the United States can learn from the experience of other countries with territorial systems for taxing the income of their multinational corporations. Participants included academic experts, government officials, and private sector tax practitioners from the United States and overseas. The discussion focused on the experience of four countries – two (Australia and Germany) with long-standing territorial systems and two (Japan and the United Kingdom) that moved to a territorial system recently. This document summarizes the discussion at the conference.

Published: 06/17/14
Availability: HTML | PDF

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