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Author: Nunns, Jim

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Updated Tables for "Using a VAT to Reform the Income Tax" (Tables)
Jim NunnsJoseph Rosenberg

In "100 Million Unnecessary Returns," Michael Graetz, professor of law at Columbia University, proposed sweeping tax reform that would remove most current taxpayers from the income tax rolls, reform the corporate income tax, significantly reduce the top individual and corporate rates, and adopt a value-added tax (VAT) as the principal tax paid by most Americans. Under a contract with The Pew Charitable Trusts, TPC prepared a detailed analysis of the Graetz proposal. We have updated some of the tables from our previous analysis that reflect the revised proposal as well as updated economic assumptions and technical improvements.

Published: 11/20/13
Availability:   PDF


SOI Releases New Data From Form W-2 (Article/Tax Facts)
Jim Nunns

Newly released W-2 data from the Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of IRS describe in detail the wages and retirement contributions of workers from 2008 through 2010. SOI economists Kevin Pierce and Jon Gober provide an overview of the data and compare them with (much less detailed) data for prior years in an SOI Bulletin article. Three charts illustrate the depth and usefulness of the data.

Published: 10/07/13
Availability:   PDF


Analysis of Specific Tax Provisions in President Obama's FY2014 Budget  (Research Report)
Benjamin H. HarrisJim NunnsKim RuebenEric ToderRoberton Williams

This document reviews several notable tax proposals in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget. These include a 28 percent limit on certain tax expenditures, a cap on tax preferences for retirement savers with high balances, a minimum tax ("Buffett Rule") on high-income taxpayers, alternative incentives for infrastructure investment, and a new measure of inflation ("chained CPI") for indexing tax parameters.

Published: 05/08/13
Availability:   PDF


Top Individual Income Tax Rates: How Does the U.S. Compare? (Article/Tax Facts)
Jim Nunns

Discussions of the effect of taxes on international competitiveness usually focus on corporate income tax rates, but individual income tax rates may also affect a country’s (or state’s) ability to compete for workers.

Published: 04/03/13
Availability:   PDF


Tax Provisions in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) (Research Report)
Jim NunnsJeff Rohaly

The fiscal cliff debate culminated in the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA). ATRA makes permanent most of the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, permanently patches the alternative minimum tax, extends for five years the enhancements to individual income tax credits originally enacted in the 2009 stimulus legislation, and temporarily extends certain other tax provisions. This paper provides a detailed description of the individual, corporate, and estate tax provisions in ATRA.

Published: 01/09/13
Availability:   PDF


How TPC Distributes the Corporate Income Tax (Research Report)
Jim Nunns

Recent economic research has improved our understanding of who bears the burden of the corporate income tax. One key finding is that returns to corporate capital are substantially "supernormal," returns in excess of the "normal" riskless return to waiting. The other key result is that international capital mobility shifts some of the corporate income tax burden to labor. Based on these recent research findings, for standard distributional analyses TPC now assigns 20 percent of the corporate income tax burden to labor, 20 percent to normal returns to all capital, and 60 percent to supernormal returns to corporate equity (shareholders).

Published: 09/13/12
Availability:   PDF


How Hard Is It to Cut Tax Preferences to Pay for Lower Tax Rates? (Research Report)
Hang NguyenJim NunnsEric ToderRoberton Williams

Some political leaders have proposed to lower individual income tax rates and make up the lost revenue by eliminating tax preferences. To help inform the discussion of such proposals, we examine illustrative revenue-neutral combinations of lower rates and cuts in tax preferences and their effects on the distribution of tax burdens. We conclude that paying for lower rates would require substantial reductions in broadly-used and popular preferences. In addition, requiring that changes maintain the current progressivity of the federal income tax would make it much harder to find a politically acceptable mix of preferences to curtail.

Published: 07/10/12
Availability:   PDF


Changes in the Distribution of Top Marginal Tax Rates, 1958-2009 (Article/Tax Facts)
Daniel BanemanJim Nunns

The statutory rate structure of the federal individual income tax — the number and width of brackets and the level of rates — has changed significantly over time, as has the distribution of taxpayers across rates. This article examines how the top statutory marginal tax rate changed at various percentile breaks using data from all available years, 1958-2009.

Published: 03/06/12
Availability:   PDF


Reducing the Deficit by Increasing Individual Income Tax Rates (Research Report)
Eric ToderJim NunnsJoseph Rosenberg

This paper analyzes three options to increase individual income tax rates to reduce the projected debt-to-GDP to 60% by 2020, 2025 or 2035. Option 1 increases all individual income tax rates, Option 2 increases only the top three rates, and Option 3 only the top two rates. Options are analyzed using a Current Law baseline (2001-2003 tax cuts expire) and Current Policy baseline (2001-2003 tax cuts are extended). Under Current Policy, Options 2 and 3 would not meet all targets, even with rates near 100%. Under Current Law, required top rates would range from 44% (Option 1) to 58% (Option 3).

Published: 03/06/12
Availability:   PDF


Implications of Different Bases for a VAT (Research Report)
Eric ToderJim NunnsJoseph Rosenberg

A value added tax (VAT) with a broad base and a VAT that excludes food, housing, and medical care would both impose larger burdens as a share of income on low-income than on high-income taxpayers. A rebate aimed at low-income taxpayers would reduce their VAT burden more than exclusions of selected goods and services. A broad-based VAT that was accompanied by a rebate consisting of an earnings credit up to a ceiling amount and an adjustment in cash transfer payments would impose relatively smaller burdens on lower than on higher income taxpayers throughout most of the income distribution.

Published: 02/14/12
Availability: HTML | PDF

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