Tax Policy Center



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.

Social Media

Research report

The United States raises less tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) than most other countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2003, taxes in the United States, including all levels of government, amounted to 25.6 percent of GDP,...

May 8, 2006
Sonya HooEric Toder
Research report

In recent years, the percentage of individual taxpayers using paid preparers and software has increased, while the share of taxpayers who self-prepare without software has dropped sharply. Using the Individual Taxpayer Burden Model developed by IBM Business Consulting Services for the IRS, we...

July 14, 2005
John L. GuytonAdam K. KorobowPeter S. LeeEric Toder
Research report

Few taxpayers still prepare their returns the old-fashioned way - with pencil and paper. The percentage of individual taxpayers who prepare their own returns without software dropped from 40 percent to 13 percent in the last decade, while paid preparer and software use increased. In tax year...

May 9, 2005
Eric Toder

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
Research report

To sort out the pros and cons of using the tax system to enact social policy goals, in particular to help low-income families, the Urban Institute convened a tax policy forum in Washington, D.C., on June 21, 2001. The discussion revealed that using the tax system as a social policy tool is a...

January 1, 2002
Frank SammartinoEric Toder
Research report

This paper presents alternative measures of actual and projected net benefits (benefits minus payroll taxes) from the Old and Survivors Insurance (OASI) component of Social Security, based on results from a microsimulation model. The simulations take into account marital histories, income, and...

May 17, 2001
Karen E. SmithEric ToderHoward Iams
Research report

The use of tax incentives instead of direct spending to promote social and economic goals is growing. This paper considers whether it matters if fiscal interventions take the form of direct spending or tax breaks. Tax breaks can, and increasingly do, replace spending programs with the same...

June 8, 2000
Eric Toder

From TaxVox