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How Much Do Taxes Affect Startup Investment Incentives? (Commentary)
Donald MarronJoseph Rosenberg

In a contribution to the Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship blog of Kauffman.org. Joseph Rosenberg and Donald Marron examine how tax policy affects investment incentives for startup companies. Startups often make losses, and thus cannot make immediate use of the R&D tax credit, accelerated depreciation, and other tax benefits. The value of those benefits declines the longer startups have to wait to use them. This puts startups and fast-growing young firms at a disadvantage relative to established companies.

Published: 03/18/15
Availability: HTML


Federal Tax Policy Uncertainty and State Revenue Estimates (Research Brief)
Norton FrancisSarah Gault

April is the most important month of the year for individuals who owe federal and state income taxes and for governments that rely on income taxes as a major source of revenue. Because personal income tax receipts account for about 45 percent of federal government receipts and more than 33 percent of state tax revenue, what happens in April has a major impact on these governments’ fiscal positions and their ability to provide services through the end of the year. While the final payments are always a surprise, the past two Aprils produced even larger surprises than usual. A confluence of events in 2012 compounded the normal uncertainty in 2013 and 2014. This brief examines how timing of events like the fiscal cliff affects state budget outlooks and how state economists grapple with uncertain federal policy affecting income tax revenue.

Published: 03/02/15
Availability:   PDF


Composition of Income Reported on Tax Returns in 2012 (Article/Tax Facts)
Lydia AustinRoberton Williams

As income increases, the composition of income changes substantially. For most taxpayers, salaries and wages contribute the most. But higher-earners typically report income from capital gains and businesses.

Published: 03/02/15
Availability:   PDF


Tax Policy and Investment by Startups and Innovative Firms (Research Report)
Joseph RosenbergDonald Marron

Our tax system imposes widely varying tax rates on investments in different activities, favors debt over equity, and favors pass-throughs over corporations. Targeted tax incentives can lower the cost of capital for small businesses, startups, and those that invest in intellectual property. But those advantages are weakened, and sometimes eliminated, because businesses that invest in new ideas rely more on higher-taxed equity than do firms that focus on tangible investment and because startups are often limited in their ability to use tax deductions and credits. These limits can more than offset the benefit from tax incentives.

Published: 02/09/15
Availability:   PDF


Distributional Effects of the President's New Tax Proposals (Research Report)
Leonard E. BurmanNgan Phung

The White House announced a package of tax proposals as part of what President Obama called “Middle Class Economics” in the State of the Union Address. This paper summarizes and discusses TPC’s distributional estimates, focusing on the distribution of all income tax cuts, the major tax cut provisions, and the largest tax increase provisions including the new fee on financial institutions. The tax cuts primarily benefit low-income single workers and working age households with children. The income tax increases primarily affect those with very high incomes and those with a substantial amount of capital assets.

Published: 01/30/15
Availability:   PDF


State Economic Monitor: January 2015 (Series/State Economic Monitor)
Richard C. Auxier

The State & Local Finance Initiative’s State Economic Monitor tracks economic-performance data across the states and the District of Columbia, highlighting differences in key indicators including employment, wages, housing, and taxes. This quarter’s report finds the unemployment rate fell in 46 states and DC between December 2013 and December 2014, but national real average weekly earnings only increased in 16 states. Total tax revenue over the past four quarters was 1.6 percent higher than the previous year.

Published: 01/29/15
Availability:   PDF


Lessons the United States Can Learn From Other Countries' Territorial Systems for Taxing Income of Multinational Corporations (Research Report)
Rosanne AltshulerStephen ShayEric Toder

The United States has a worldwide system that taxes the dividends its resident multinational corporations receive from their foreign affiliates, while most other countries have territorial systems that exempt these dividends. This report examines the experience of four countries – two with long-standing territorial systems and two that have recently eliminated taxation of repatriated dividends. We find that the reasons for maintaining or introducing dividend exemption systems varied greatly among them and do not necessarily apply to the United States. Moreover, classification of tax systems as worldwide or territorial does not adequately capture differences in how countries tax foreign-source income.

Published: 01/21/15
Availability:   PDF | Order this title online at Hopkins Fulfillment Services


Changes in Income Reported on Federal Tax Returns (Article/Tax Facts)
Roberton WilliamsLydia Austin

The composition of reported income has changed markedly since 1952. Investment income has continued to grow, along with business income, interrupted only by periodic economic downturns. Meanwhile, salaries and wages have declined as a share of income.

Published: 01/07/15
Availability:   PDF


Design Changes to the SOI Public Use File (PUF) (Research Report)
Victoria BryantJohn L. CzajkaJim NunnsGeorgia Ivsin

The Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of IRS prepares a publicly available file, the Public Use File, from its annual sample of income tax returns. The PUF is a critical data source for tax policy analysis. To insure taxpayer confidentiality, SOI applies disclosure avoidance procedures to the PUF. In 2012, SOI established a Working Group to perform an in-depth review of these procedures and of the analytical usefulness of the PUF. This paper describes the revised PUF design recommended by the Working Group, and how the design changes improve both disclosure avoidance and the PUF’s analytical usefulness.

Published: 12/18/14
Availability:   PDF


Net Capital Gains Across Zip Codes (Policy Briefs)
Benjamin H. HarrisLucie Parker

This brief examines net capital gains realizations by utilizing zip-code level data on taxes and demographics. This data can help shed light on direct beneficiaries of preferential capital gains tax rates beyond the standard distributional tables based solely on income. In particular, this brief highlights the extent to which the benefits are concentrated among zip codes, and the limited benefits of preferred rates for certain geographic regions. We focus on the relationship between capital gains and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), the demographic characteristics of zip codes with a particularly high percent of tax returns reporting capital gains, and the average capital gains reported across counties.

Published: 12/12/14
Availability:   PDF

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