Research report

Errors in the formulas for computing payroll tax for the self-employed result in their paying less payroll taxes than workers with the same earnings. All self-employed workers benefit from these errors, but those with high earnings benefit disproportionately. A provision in Ways and Means...

July 1, 2014
James R. Nunns
Research report

The tax code limits the extent to which individuals may take advantage of the tax benefits associated with traditional and Roth IRAs. The only eligibility criteria for contributing to a Roth IRA are income and filing status. In contrast, eligibility for deducting contributions to a traditional...

March 7, 2008
Benjamin H. Harris, Christopher Geissler
Research report

Taxpayers routinely have too much income tax withheld. Of the 126 million tax returns the IRS processed through April 17, 2015, almost three-quarters resulted in a refund. The average refund was $2,711 with higher average refunds going to the earliest filers.

June 9, 2015
Elaine Maag, Elena Ramirez
Research report

Education expenditures are one of the largest spending areas for state and local governments, and perpupil expenditures have been growing over time. We examine trends in state aid for education and overall education spending and decompose the existing drivers behind growing state costs. We then...

January 23, 2008
Sheila Murray, Kim S. Rueben, Carol Rosenberg
Research report

This report tracks the lifetime earnings of men born in the U.S. between 1940 and 1974, focusing on how earnings differences by educational attainment, age, and year of birth have evolved. Both annual and lifetime earnings inequality increased dramatically for men born in the mid-1950s onward....

April 7, 2014
Josh Mitchell
Research report

Although our tax code contains incentives for charitable giving, numerous impediments weaken these incentives or add undue complexity, contrary to the underlying principle. Many of these impediments also create significant complications for the taxpayer, the charitable sector, and the IRS itself...

May 1, 1995
C. Eugene Steuerle
Research report

Brookings Senior Fellow Henry J. Aaron has been named the recipient of the National Tax Associations 2010 Daniel M. Holland Medal, awarded for his lifetime achievements influencing the study and practice of public finance. Aaron figured prominently in advancing substantive discourse within...

December 16, 2010
The Brookings Institution
Research report

This Tax Fact examines minimum wages across states. The current federal minimum wage, which applies to almost all employees, is $7.25 per hour unchanged since 2010. The District of Columbia and 21 states set minimum wages higher than the federal rate.

April 1, 2014
Norton Francis, Yuri Shadunsky
Research report

President Obama and others have proposed increasing the federal earned income tax credit for workers without qualifying children. That would automatically raise state EITCs in the 23 states that calculate a state-level credit for this group as a percentage of the federal credit.

March 19, 2014
Elaine Maag, Brian David Moore
Research report

Senior Fellow Eugene Steuerle considers the future of the single business tax--it could unwind only over a long period of time. He suggests that any expansion is likely to go hand-in-hand with a reduced reliance on other taxes. It could give states more elastic and stable tax sources. At the...

November 23, 1998
C. Eugene Steuerle