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

A robust carbon tax would generate considerable revenue. Some carbon tax advocates have suggested returning those revenues to Americans through direct payments, often called carbon dividends. We examine how to design these dividends considering two, sometimes conflicting, principles. Carbon...

December 11, 2018
Donald MarronElaine Maag

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modestly decreased federal individual income taxes for most low- and middle-income families. However, the federal tax changes interacted with state laws in ways that meant some of these same families could see state tax increases. This brief discusses how implementing...

November 15, 2018
Richard C. AuxierElaine Maag

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) missed an opportunity to help low-income childless workers, very low-income families with children, and families with young children – all groups where investments could be particularly productive. The child tax credit (CTC) and earned income tax credit (EITC)...

July 30, 2018
Elaine Maag

When a recession hits, the federal government usually responds with tax cuts and additional financial assistance, because automatic policies built into the law often prove inadequate and elected officials need and want to respond to the crisis. This brief compares the distributional and stimulus...

June 14, 2018
C. Eugene SteuerleCaleb QuakenbushElaine Maag
Research report

Children under age 6 experience the highest rates of poverty of any age group and are particularly vulnerable to poverty’s lasting effects. The child tax credit (CTC) provides a $2,000 per child credit for children under age 17 (along with a credit of up to $500 per dependent 17 and older). But...

April 1, 2018
Elaine MaagChye-Ching HuangEmily HortonChloe Cho

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 doubled the maximum child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. But about 29 million children under age 17 with at least one working parent will miss out on the full increase because their families earn too little in income or owe too little in taxes.


February 15, 2018
Elaine Maag
Research report

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) would reduce tax revenue by nearly $1.5 trillion over the 10-year budget window from FY2018 to FY2027. Analysis by the Tax Policy Center shows that the tax cuts would tilt heavily toward the highest fifth of the income distribution, largely the result of cuts to...

November 28, 2017
Elaine MaagJulia B. Isaacs
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

From TaxVox