Tax Policy Center


Christopher Geissler

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Analysts often add up tax expenditures to estimate an aggregate cost, but those tallies are inaccurate because they ignore interactions among provisions. We estimate that interactions raise the cost of nonbusiness tax expenditures by 5 to 8 percent, depending on whether an AMT patch is in effect...

December 4, 2008
Eric ToderLeonard E. BurmanChristopher Geissler

One promising aspect of retirement saving policy in recent years is the "automatic" or opt-out features in 401(k) plans. Automatic 401(k)s enable saving even if the worker makes no effort to participate in their 401(k) plan. Prior research has shown that automatic enrollment increased...

October 30, 2008
Christopher GeisslerBenjamin H. Harris
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. HarrisChristopher Geissler
Research report

Recent tax acts sharply lowered tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividend income. For millions of taxpayers, however, the alternative minimum tax limits the benefits from these cuts by increasing the effective marginal tax rates on capital gains and dividend income. The culprit is the...

March 3, 2008
Benjamin H. HarrisChristopher Geissler