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

Child care's costs can be too high for low-income working families. As of 2004, along with a federal credit for child care expenses, 27 states offered tax credits or deductions to offset these expenses. Thirteen states offered a refundable child care credit—at least for low-income families;...

July 11, 2005
Elaine Maag
Research report

Provisions in the federal income tax code that treat married couples as one tax unit and cohabiting couples as two tax units result in both marriage penalties and bonuses. This analysis uses data from the 2002 National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) to show the extent to which low-income,...

May 23, 2005
Elaine Maag
Brief

Encouraging and strengthening marriage continues to move up the U.S. social policy agenda. This analysis uses nationally representative data on cohabiting couples with children from the 2002 round of the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) to assess marriage penalties or bonuses facing...

April 25, 2005
Elaine Maag
Research report

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), administered through the federal income tax system, is the largest cash assistance program for low-income families. Data from the 2001 National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) show large disparities in who knows about the EITC amongst families with income...

March 14, 2005
Elaine Maag
Brief

Low-income parents use paid preparers more frequently than other parents. This high reliance may be a good thing. Among low-income parents who know about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) those who receive help are more likely to receive the EITC than their peers who prepare their returns...

February 1, 2005
Elaine Maag
Research report

A person's marginal tax rate, the tax rate on their last dollar of income, may influence their decision to work and save. As marginal tax rates increase, the after-tax reward from working an additional hour or saving more decreases. Although the actual effect on economic decisions is uncertain,...

September 1, 2003
Elaine Maag
Research report

In 1986, a policy decision was made to exempt poor people from the income tax. Increases in the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the introduction of the child tax credit (CTC) have increased the so-called "tax entry threshold" since 1986, and provisions in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief...

May 12, 2003
Elaine Maag
Research report

State tax revenues were $32 billion lower in 2002 than in 2001, the first year over year revenue decline in recent history.1 Since then, budget conditions have deteriorated further, with an aggregate budget gap of $49 billion in 2003, according to the National Conference of State Legislators....

March 31, 2003
Elaine MaagDavid Merriman
Research report

Families with children in poverty receive net subsidies from the federal income and payroll tax system, but that has not always been the case. In the 1970s, income tax filing thresholds were low, and even families in poverty who owed no income tax faced substantial payroll taxes. Congress...

February 3, 2003
Elaine MaagDeborah Kobes

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