Tax Policy Center

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Benjamin H. Harris

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Research report

Increased demand for better use of evidence in policymaking has sparked bipartisan support for better evaluation of federal spending programs. Tax expenditures, spending-like subsidies embedded in the tax code, cost taxpayers roughly as much as domestic discretionary programs, yet receive little...

July 10, 2018
Benjamin H. Harris, C. Eugene Steuerle, Caleb Quakenbush
Research report

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 leaves many promises of tax reform unfulfilled. In this paper, we examine the plan’s prospects to boost future growth, and discuss fundamental reforms that would boost the stock of capital and generate sustained, long-term growth. After making the case that the...

May 24, 2018
Benjamin H. Harris, Adam Looney
Brief

This brief examines net capital gains realizations by utilizing zip-code level data on taxes and demographics. This data can help shed light on direct beneficiaries of preferential capital gains tax rates beyond the standard distributional tables based solely on income. In particular, this brief...

December 12, 2014
Benjamin H. Harris, Lucie Parker
Brief

This fact sheet summarizes the key conclusions from a series of briefs aimed at contributing to the knowledge of select tax expenditures—the EITC, MID, and preferential rates on capital gains—by analyzing zip code-level tax data. In particular, the goal of the research was to better characterize...

December 12, 2014
Benjamin H. Harris, Aurite Werman
Brief

This brief examines characteristics of the mortgage interest deduction by utilizing zip-code level data on taxes and demographics. In the following sections, we focus on the relationship between the mortgage interest deduction and Adjusted Gross Income, the demographic characteristics of zip...

December 5, 2014
Benjamin H. Harris, Lucie Parker
Brief

This brief provides a fresh look at the role of the EITC by utilizing zip-code level data on taxes and demographics. In the following sections, we focus on the relationship between EITC claiming rates (i.e., the percent of tax returns receiving the EITC) and poverty rates, the demographic...

December 2, 2014
Benjamin H. Harris, Lucie Parker
Research report

Under current law, a large share of tax benefits for retirement saving accrues to high-income employees. We simulate the short- and long-term effect of three policy options for flattening tax incentives and increasing retirement savings for low- and middle-income workers. Our results show that...

June 30, 2014
Barbara Butrica, Benjamin H. Harris, Pamela Perun, C. Eugene Steuerle
Research report

The share of households with student loans rose from 9 percent in 1989 to 19 percent by 2010, while inflation-adjusted median student debt rose by more than 50 percent. Rising debt burdens can affect numerous outcomes. For those in school, loans may affect completion rates, choice of major, and...

May 14, 2014
William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris, Bryant Renaud, Katherine Rodihan
Research report

The federal government channels much of its support for asset building through the tax code. Asset-building tax subsidies, primarily for homeownership and retirement saving, totaled $384 billion in 2013. This report reviews federal tax expenditures for housing, retirement, savings, business...

March 7, 2014
Benjamin H. Harris, C. Eugene Steuerle, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caleb Quakenbush, Caroline Ratcliffe

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