Tax Policy Center



Elaine Maag

Principal Research Associate

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.

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Research report

Distributional analyses play a prominent role in policy discussions. Both tax and transfer policy have important distributional consequences, but traditionally they have been examined separately. This report describes a new methodology for integrated distributional analysis that imports results...

September 29, 2017
Gordon B. MerminFrank SammartinoMatthew BuettgensMelissa M. FavreaultElaine Maag
Research report

Families with young children tend to have lower incomes than other families. The current child tax credit provides substantial benefits to families with children, but the maximum benefit of $1,000 is the same for all children under 17, regardless of age. We analyze a proposal that would provide...

September 12, 2017
Elaine MaagJulia B. Isaacs
Research report

Income volatility may complicate tax filing and predicting eligibility for critical tax benefits, such as the earned income tax credit. Half of all working-age adults¬—and 64 percent of low-income, working-age adults—have household income that for at least one month of the year will spike above...

May 25, 2017
Elaine MaagH. Elizabeth PetersAnthony HannaganCary Lou

Statement of Elaine Maag, Senior Research Associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, before the Democratic Women’s Working Group on May 24th, 2017.

May 25, 2017
Elaine Maag

This year, Congress will consider what may be the biggest tax bill in decades. This is one of a series of briefs the Tax Policy Center has prepared to help people follow the debate. Each focuses on a key tax policy issue that Congress and the Trump administration may address. This brief...

March 23, 2017
Elaine Maag

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump proposed three new tax benefits related to child care – an expanded credit for low-income families, a deduction for higher income families, and a savings account. These proposals bring attention to the burden child care costs can place on low- and...

February 27, 2017
Lily L. BatchelderElaine MaagChye-Ching HuangEmily Horton
Research report

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 requires the IRS to delay tax refunds for taxpayers who claim an earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit on their returns until at least February 15. The delay could help the IRS better check claims for these credits. But this...

December 7, 2016
Elaine MaagStephen RollJane Oliphant
Research report

The income tax provisions related to families and work—filing status, rate schedules, the standard deduction, personal exemptions, the child and earned income tax credits, and the taxation of dependents—are complex, too small to encourage work for many low earners, and unfair to some families....

December 5, 2016
James R. NunnsElaine MaagHang Nguyen

This brief analyzes seven options for Child Tax Credit reform that would (1) make the CTC more consistent with other parts of the tax code; (2) target additional benefits to young children; or (3) broadly increase the credit for most current recipients.

October 19, 2016
Elaine MaagElena Ramirez

From TaxVox