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Topic:   Simplification and Administration

1-10 of 225     Back to Topics Next>>

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

Better Tax Policy Requires Better Data (Presentation)
Leonard E. Burman

In his 2011 NTA presidential address, Len Burman argued that tax policy in the US is stymied by lack of high quality data. He argues that the states should be encouraged to experiment and collect the data necessary to evaluate the effects of policies such as tax subsidies for saving. He also argues for much wider access to available administrative tax and information return data, which are currently available only within the IRS and a few government agencies, with suitable safeguards in place to protect taxpayer privacy.

Published: 12/01/14
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

Analysis of Specific Tax Provisions in President Obama's FY2015 Budget (Research Report)
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

The Tax Reform That Just Won't Die and Shouldn't (Research Report)
Leonard E. Burman

This paper provides an historical overview of tax reform with an eye toward identifying conditions that would make successful reform plausible in the near future. Burman begins by analyzing the environment that led to tax reform in 1986 and posits that successful reform would require strong leadership from the White House, bipartisan support, and a new source that would make possible substantial income tax rate cuts—all of this while addressing the concerns of Republicans that new revenues would fuel a growth in government and of Democrats about progressivity. He argues that the new revenue source should be a value-added tax with proceeds earmarked to pay for government health care. This could slow healthcare spending because the tax would stimulate efforts to find cost savings, would result in a more efficient revenue system, and would go a long way towards addressing our long term budget imbalances.

Published: 04/24/14
Availability: HTML | PDF

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

Pathways to Tax Reform Revisited (Research Report)
Leonard E. Burman

There is widespread agreement that the income tax needs reform, although little agreement about how to do it. A common thread in most reform proposals is to slash most tax expenditures. A 1973 book by Stanley Surrey made the case that cuts in tax expenditures was the "pathway to tax reform." This paper revisits Surrey's pathway, examining various proposals to eliminate, reduce, or reformulate tax expenditures as part of tax reform, including limitations on tax expenditures, converting most tax expenditures to credits, and more radical reforms that would vastly reduce the number of return filers.

Published: 07/11/13
Availability:   PDF

How Would Reforming the Mortgage Interest Deduction Affect the Housing Market? (Research Brief)
Margery Austin TurnerEric ToderRolf PendallClaudia Ayanna Sharygin

Opponents of MID reform warn that reducing the deduction would undermine the value of owner-occupied homes and impede the recovery of the depressed housing market. The best available evidence predicts far less dire effects and suggests that some reforms could actually bolster the housing market recovery. However, the results are far from definitive. As debate continues, the Urban Institute plans to further explore behavioral and market changes, strengthening the evidence upon which policymakers can rely.

Published: 03/26/13
Availability:   PDF

The Charitable Contribution Deduction: Section 170 Reorganized (Research Report)
Dan Halperin

This paper attempts first to clarify tax rules concerning charitable contributions by reorganizing section 170 and simplifying the language, where possible, so that the operative rules will be clearer. In addition, a revision of the estate and gift tax provisions, intended to increase uniformity, is proposed. The possibility of further substantial simplification is explored in the section by section analysis which follows the proposed code revision. Whether or not the Code is actually revised in accordance with the proposed draft, having this tool available will help analyze the statute.

Published: 03/21/13
Availability:   PDF

Options to Reform the Deduction for Home Mortgage Interest (Research Report)
Amanda EngHarvey GalperGeorgia IvsinEric Toder

Taxpayers can currently deduct interest on up to $1 million in acquisition debt used to buy, build, or improve their personal residences and interest on up to another $100,000 of home equity loans. This brief estimates the effects on revenue and the distribution of the tax burden of proposals that would replace the current mortgage interest deduction with a non-refundable interest credit of either 15 or 20 percent of interest and reduce the ceiling on the amount of all eligible mortgage debt to $500,000. We also estimate the revenue effect of phasing in the proposals over five years.

Published: 03/18/13
Availability:   PDF

1-10 of 225     Back to Topics Next>>