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

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
Research report

The figure shows one way to assess the federal income tax burden-federal income taxes as a share of income-for a family of four in the middle of the income distribution, and for similar families at twice and half that income level from 1955 to 2001. In 2001, the median family earned $63,278. By...

December 23, 2002
Leonard E. BurmanElaine Maag

The federal income tax system has been used in a number of ways to promote favored forms of consumption and investment and to help selected groups of taxpayers. Since the mid-1980s, Congress has increasingly used the federal tax code to support social programs. This trend is likely to continue....

July 16, 2002
Frank SammartinoEric ToderElaine Maag

In June 2001, Congress and the president approved the Economic Growth and Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), the largest tax cut in two decades. The multiyear cut, scheduled to phase in gradually over the decade, will reduce taxes (and government revenue) by $1.35 trillion by 2010. EGTRRA then...

June 24, 2002
Leonard E. BurmanElaine Maag

The 2001 tax cut has been roundly criticized because so much of the benefit goes to the rich, but the bill also did much to help low- and middle-income families. Most notably, it increased the child tax credit and made it refundablethat is, available to families with incomes too low to owe...

April 29, 2002
Leonard E. BurmanElaine Maag
Research report

This paper discusses how state income taxes and sales taxes affect the working poor. While some states impose substantial burdens through income taxes with low thresholds and/or sales taxes that do not exempt necessities, others provide generous subsidies through refundable earned income tax...

September 1, 2000
Elaine MaagDiane Lim Rogers

From TaxVox