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Tax Reform and Small Business (Testimony)
Eric Toder

Eric Toder testified about tax reform and small business, before the House Committee on Small Business on April 15, 2015.

Published: 04/15/15
Availability:   PDF


Earned Income Tax Credit in the United States (Research Report)
Elaine Maag

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides substantial assistance to low-income working families with children. The credit encourages work for many, though may reduce work or wages for some. Counted in the poverty measure, the EITC would have been credited with lifting 6.5 million people out of poverty in 2012. The credit fails to provide substantial benefits to workers without children, is complicated, has a high erroneous payment rate, and creates substantial marriage penalties for some low- and moderate-income couples. Extending the credit to workers without children or replacing it with an individual worker credit could solve some or all of these criticisms.

Published: 04/09/15
Availability:   PDF


Prepared Remarks of John A. Koskinen, IRS Commissioner (Presentation)
John A. Koskinen

John A. Koskinen, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), delivered this speech at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center's event titled "How Do IRS Budget Cuts Affect Taxpayers and the Tax System?" on April 8, 2015.

Published: 04/09/15
Availability:   PDF


Tax Refunds and Affordable Care Act Reconciliation (Research Report)
Leonard E. BurmanGordon MerminElena Ramirez

People may purchase subsidized health insurance through the ACA exchanges with premiums based on projected future income. However, if actual income is higher than estimated, they may be required to repay part or all of the subsidy when they file tax returns. This “reconciliation” process could raise taxes substantially for many ACA participants. However, analysis of income tax return data suggests that for most lower-income filers, the reconciliation will reduce the refund they receive rather than require them to remit additional tax because their refunds exceed the reconciliation amount. We conclude by making suggestions to improve the reconciliation process.

Published: 04/01/15
Availability: HTML | PDF


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

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