tax policy center

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Urban Institute
2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: Stu Kantor at 202-261-5283

Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: DJ Nordquist at 202-797-4382

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The Tax Policy Center’s Resource Guide for Journalists

To assist reporters working on tax stories, the Tax Policy Center offers this quick resource guide. We hope it helps with some of the topics you are writing about.

If you have questions not addressed here, you can find a Tax Policy Center expert using the Media Resources section of our website. Just choose your topic from drop-down lists and you’ll find phone numbers for our experts.



The Taxes We Pay. We sort it out by income, age, and family situation.

Fiscal Stimulus. What has Congress done to provide economic stimulus, what does it mean for taxpayers (and non-taxpayers), and does it make economic sense?

Gas Tax Holiday. Senators McCain and Clinton proposed a summer gas tax holiday and almost all economists come out against the idea. Here’s why.

Alternative Minimum Tax. Late in 2007, Congress adjusted AMT rules for this filing season. Here is a rundown on what Congress did and what it means.

Earned Income Tax Credit. How does it work? Who benefits?

Retirement Plans. IRAs, Roths, 401(k)s--sort through the different rules.

The Tax Gap. How much of the taxes people owe does the government fail to collect?

Costs and Complexity. How costly is it for taxpayers to file returns in our complex tax system?

Tax Expenditures. In recent years, Congress has used the tax system to conduct social policies ranging from helping families buy homes and pay for college to encouraging saving for retirement and subsidizing employment-based health insurance. Here are data on the amount of tax savings those policies involve.

Itemized deductions and personal exemptions. The phaseout of personal exemptions (PEP) and the limitation on itemized deductions (Pease) reduce exemptions and deductions for high-income taxpayers. Both provisions were in effect between 1990 and 2009 but were temporarily removed for 2010-2012. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) allowed PEP to resume as scheduled but raised thresholds above those set under previous law.There are currently no limitations on itemized deductions or personal exemptions. Phaseouts of itemized deductions and personal exemptions are scheduled to return in 2013 if Congress does not vote to extend their repeal in 2012.

Other Questions?

If you have questions about the federal income tax or other tax issues,
talk with a TPC expert.