Tax Policy Center



Elaine Maag

Senior Fellow, Research

I believe that we can work toward providing a strong safety net for all people—and that the tax system will always be an important part of that effort.

Social Media


Elaine Maag is on leave from the Urban Institute and Tax Policy Center from December 2023 to January 2025.

Elaine Maag is a senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute and a codirector of Innovations in Cash Assistance for Children. She is an expert on the taxation of low- and middle-income families. Her work examines the interactions between tax and transfer programs, the impact of cash supports, how well taxes support families, and the administration of tax and transfer programs.

Maag has testified before state and federal congressional committees and advised congressional staff members and administration officials on the taxation of families with children and on higher education and work incentives in the tax code. Maag codirected the creation of the Net Income Change Calculator, a tool that allows users to understand the trade-offs between tax and transfer benefits and changes in earnings or marital status. 

Before joining Urban, Maag worked at the Internal Revenue Service and at the Government Accountability Office as a presidential management fellow.

Maag holds an MS in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester.

Maag is a board member of the Commonwealth Institute (Virginia), a member of the Code for America Tax Benefits Advisory Committee, and a member of the Humanity Forward Policy Council.

From TaxVox