Tax Policy Center

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Expert

Eric Toder

Institute Fellow and Codirector, Tax Policy Center

Before joining Urban, I had a long career in government, including three years as a political appointee heading the staff of tax policy economists in the Treasury Department.  I joined Urban after leaving government service because it is a place where I could continue to do high-quality research on important issues, surrounded by great colleagues.  I value the commitment to nonpartisan and independent analysis, and the encouragement Urban provides to seek better ways of communicating research findings and basic facts about the economy and policy issues to non-technical audiences.

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Brief

Federal tax law provides several tax benefits for homeowners. This chartbook focuses on the home mortgage interest deduction. We provide updated estimates of the distributional effects of the home mortgage interest deduction, show how those estimates could change if people pay down their home...

July 1, 2020
Chenxi LuEric ToderSurachai KhitatrakunRobert McClelland
Brief

Federal tax law provides substantial tax incentives for retirement saving. These include the deferral of taxes on contributions to retirement savings accounts by employers, employees, and self-employed taxpayers and the earnings on these contributions until the funds are withdrawn in retirement...

May 11, 2020
Eric ToderSurachai KhitatrakunAravind Boddupalli
Research report

In this report, we evaluate major federal tax expenditures. We distinguish between tax expenditures that are effectively spending programs and those that are departures from a comprehensive income tax but are not essentially spending substitutes. Most major tax expenditures have some policy...

January 22, 2020
Frank SammartinoEric Toder
Brief

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced tax expenditures but by much less than the Tax Reform Act of 1986, relative to the size of the economy. In this report, we review the major changes from the new law to individual (nonbusiness) and business tax expenditures. The former category includes tax...

January 22, 2020
Frank SammartinoEric Toder
Brief

Tax expenditures are the revenue losses attributable to special provisions in tax laws that reduce taxes for certain sources or uses of income or for certain groups of taxpayers. They are called tax expenditures because many of them effectively serve the same function as direct spending programs...

January 22, 2020
Frank SammartinoEric Toder
Brief

In this brief, we consider both personal and business income tax expenditures at the state level. We use California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia as examples. We separate tax expenditures into those that occur because of conformity with federal tax provisions and those...

January 17, 2020
Aravind BoddupalliFrank SammartinoEric Toder
Brief

In this brief, we list the 10 major business tax expenditures with the largest revenue losses, as defined by the Office of Tax Analysis (OTA) of the US Treasury Department and the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). We provide a brief description of each provision and briefly...

July 17, 2019
Frank SammartinoEric Toder
Brief

In this brief we consider the largest nonbusiness tax expenditures in the individual income tax. We provide a description of these provisions, estimates of their cost and the distribution of their tax benefits across income groups, and briefly summarize their effects. We consider tax...

July 17, 2019
Frank SammartinoEric Toder
Research report

This paper provides estimates of the total cost of and distributional effects of nonbusiness tax expenditures claimed on individual tax returns after enactment of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taking account of interactions among provisions. Nonbusiness tax expenditures will reduce tax...

June 5, 2019
Eric ToderDaniel Berger

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