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Tax Proposals in the 2011 Budget

The Tax Policy Center offers the table below as a guide to the tax provisions of President Obama's 2011 Budget. Subsequent pages provide detailed descriptions and brief commentaries on each provision. Linked tables show the distributional effects of the overall proposal and of major elements of the plan. Further details on the analysis appear on the next page.

Download complete analysis in PDF format                   View distribution tables

2011 Budget Header
Temporary Recovery Measures
Making Work Pay Credit
Temporary increased expensing for small businesses
Cash assistance to states in lieu of housing tax credits
Temporary bonus depreciation for certain property
Jobs initiatives
Other temporary provisions not evaluated1
Individual Tax Provisions
Provisions Affecting Lower- and Middle-Income Households
Provisions Affecting High-Income Households
Expand Earned Income Tax Credit
Reinstate 36 and 39.6 percent rates for high-income taxpayers2
Expand refundability of Child Tax Credit
Reinstate personal exemption phaseout and limitation on itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers2
Expand Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
Impose 20 percent rate on capital gains and dividends for high-income taxpayers2
Provide American Opportunity Tax Credit
Limit value of itemized deductions to 28 percent
Expand saver's credit and require automatic enrollment in IRAs
Eliminate Advanced Earned Income Tax Credit
Business Tax Provisions
Eliminate capital gains taxes on small businesses
  Tax carried interest as ordinary income
Make research & experimentation credit permanent
Reform U.S. international tax system
Reform treatment of financial institutions


Combat Under-Reporting in Offshore Jurisdictions


Codify economic substance doctrine
Reinstate Superfund Taxes
Increase certainty regarding worker classification
Repeal LIFO
Eliminate fossil fuel tax preferences
Reform treatment of life insurance companies
  Business provisions not evaluated3
Individual and Business
Continue remaining expiring provisions through CY 2011
  Reduce the tax gap and make reforms
Extend and modify new markets tax credit   -3  Modify estate and gift tax rules
   Total, all tax provisions
Tax revenue adjustments to baseline4
Index 2009 parameters of the AMT to inflation
Continue the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts
Make 2009 estate tax permanent
Expand earned income and child tax credits

*    Less than $500 million.
**   The administration includes expanded refundability of the child credit and part of the expansion of the earned income credit in its baseline. The $98 billion revenue cost of those provisions over the 2010-2020 period is included under "Tax revenue adjustments to baseline." Of that cost, $15 billion results from providing more EITC to married couples and $83 billion comes from expanding the child credit.
1. Provide $250 refundable credit for some government retirees ($0.3 billion); extend COBRA health insurance premium assistance ($9 billion); and provide tax credits for investment in some advanced energy projects ($4 billion).
2. Couples with income over $250,000 and single people with income over $200,000.
3. Modify cellulosic biofuel producer credit ($25 billion), make unemployment insurance surtax permanent ($14 billion), other tax increases ($12 billion), and other tax cuts (-$5 billion).
4. The Administration baseline continues the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts (with the estate tax fixed at 2009 law), indexes the 2009 AMT parameters for inflation, and expands the earned income and child tax credits.

Descriptions of tax provisions and revenue estimates come from Department of the Treasury, General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2011 Revenue Proposals, February 2010. The Joint Committee on Taxation has provided detailed discussion of the tax proposals in the budget and posted its own revenue esimates of the revenue effects.

Revenue effects shown in the table cover 11 years—2010-2020—even though the budget would begin in 2011, when most of the tax changes would take effect. Some proposed tax changes would affect revenue in 2010 because of behavioral changes.

The Tax Policy Center has posted a variety of tables showing the distributional effects of the entire set of tax proposals, all individual tax proposals, and selected specific proposals. Click here for a linked guide to those tables.

The administration assumes a baseline that permanently extends the 2001-2003 tax cuts, makes the estate tax permanent with 2009 parameters, indexes the exemption for the alternative minimum tax (AMT) from its 2009 level, increases the earned income credit for married couples, and expands refundability of the child credit for low-income working families.

This analysis does not use the administration's baseline. Most of our distribution tables compare the effects of tax proposals separately against both a current law baseline and a current policy baseline. The former assumes that the 2001-2003 tax cuts expire in 2011 as scheduled (including changes in the estate tax) and that the AMT exemption reverts to its permanent value after 2010. Our current policy baseline assumes permanent continuation of the 2001-2003 tax cuts for all taxpayers, the estate tax at its 2009 level ($3.5 million effective exemption and a 45 percent tax rate), and an indexed patch to the AMT that maintains its exemptions at the real levels in effect in 2009.

For each tax proposal, a separate web page describes current law, the proposed change, and its distributional effects. We do not consider the long-term effects on the economy.

Because some of the tax proposals are not indexed for inflation, their real effects would change over time. The value of most unindexed proposals would decline in real terms, either because their values are fixed in nominal dollar amounts or because nominal phaseout thresholds would affect more taxpayers. Click here to read a more complete discussion of the impact of indexing.

TPC will update this analysis as the budget moves through Congress.