Tax Policy Center

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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

Senator Mike Lee's Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act (S.1616) would significantly expand tax benefits for children, repeal the alternative minimum tax, and repeal the Affordable Care Act surtaxes on earnings and net investment income. To partially offset the cost of these provisions...

March 4, 2014
Leonard E. BurmanElaine MaagGeorgia IvsinJeffrey Rohaly
Brief

The federal income tax system provides substantial benefits to families with children. In 2013, the Tax Policy Center estimates that five major child-related tax benefits the earned income tax credit (EITC), the child tax credit, the child and dependent care tax credit, the dependent exemption,...

January 27, 2014
Elaine Maag
Research report

In 1975, the federal income tax code joined the "War on Poverty" with the enactment of the earned income tax credit (EITC). Today, tax credits form some of the largest and most effective anti-poverty programs in the US. In 2012, the Census Bureau estimated that tax credits cut poverty (under a...

January 7, 2014
Leonard E. BurmanElaine Maag
Research report

High marginal tax rates can make moving above poverty very difficult for low-income families. These high tax rates result from increasing direct taxes and decreasing transfer payments. A single parent with two children who increases her wages from poverty-level to 150 percent of poverty-level...

December 19, 2012
Elaine MaagC. Eugene SteuerleCaleb QuakenbushRitadhi Chakravarti
Research report

Taxes and transfers at the state and federal level can have a large impact on the well-being of low-income families. How large a role states play varies, as demonstrated by the Urban Institutes recently released Net Income Change Calculator (http://nicc.urban.org...

May 21, 2012
Elaine Maag
Research report

The tax entry threshold is the income level at which a person begins paying federal income taxes. Unlike payroll taxes, income taxes do not start at the first dollar of earnings. Rather, the federal income tax system exempts an amount of income from taxation based on the type of tax unit (...

September 7, 2011
Elaine Maag
Brief

The individual income tax contains multiple provisions that favor families with children. They range from credits targeted towards low-income families to deductions that favor higher income families. Some provisions benefit a family by virtue of the family having children, others try to...

April 27, 2011
Elaine MaagStephanie RennaneC. Eugene Steuerle
Research report

The federal income tax code is riddled with complex provisions concerning children. Families with children qualify for and receive substantial assistance, but the provisions are difficult for parents to understand and for the IRS to administer. This article proposes making uniform the definition...

March 30, 2011
Elaine Maag
Research report

President Obama's 2012 Budget contains a number of tax provisions that would cut taxes for low- and middle-income households and raise taxes on wealthier taxpayers. This resource guide describes the tax proposals, offers more detailed commentary on key provisions, and links to tables showing the...

March 28, 2011
Benjamin H. HarrisElaine MaagDonald MarronJames R. NunnsJoseph RosenbergKim S. RuebenEric ToderRoberton C. Williams

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