Tax Policy Center

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Expert

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

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
Research report

The dependent exemption reduces taxable income by a fixed amount ($3,650 in 2010) for each qualifying child in the family. Benefits depend on a family's marginal tax rate. Low-income families receive a tax reduction of up to $365 per exemption compared to high income families that receive a tax...

December 30, 2010
Elaine Maag
Research report

Complexity plagues the tax code for low-income families, particularly with regard to child related credits. Many analysts advocate separating out the essential functions of these credits: subsidizing work, subsidizing children, and subsidizing specifi c activities such as child care. This paper...

November 22, 2010
Elaine Maag
Research report

Policymakers should be thinking hard about low-income families with children and the tax code. In 2010, the federal income tax system will deliver substantial assistance to these families through refundable tax credits. The Tax Policy Center estimates a third fewer children would be in poverty...

July 19, 2010
Elaine Maag
Research report

The Internal Revenue Code has replaced traditional means-tested programs as the principal means for transferring income to low earners. The largest vehicle is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), now supplemented by both the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Making Work Pay tax credit (MWP).
...

November 9, 2009
Steve HoltElaine Maag
Research report

The Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit (CTC), Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), and the dependent exemption all provide benefits to families with children. In 2009, a single mom (or dad) with two children can receive benefits ranging from $0 to about $7,500 - depending on her income,...

October 14, 2009
Elaine Maag

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