We have a new Treasury Secretary, who may soon fill out his team. The Senate confirmed Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary last night. Politico reports that Mnuchin may pick Goldman Sachs banker Jim Donovan to be deputy Treasury ecretary and former Morgan Stanley banker Justin Muzinich as undersecretary for domestic finance. Economist David Malpass, who served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, may be tapped as undersecretary for international affairs.
Marriage is priceless, and costly sometimes. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, TPC has updated its marriage bonus and penalty calculator. It shows how much less—or more—a couple pays in federal income taxes if they marry rather than staying single. Most couples enjoy a tax cut if they tie the knot—especially if one spouse makes significantly more than the other. But when both earn similar amounts, the happy couple can pay more in taxes than when they were single.
IRS halts guidance until it sorts out Trump’s regulatory freeze. President Trump signed an executive order freezing regs and requiring that two current rules be dropped for every one enacted. Until IRS lawyers can figure out what that means, it has stopped issuing guidance, including all but the most routine revenue procedures and revenue rulings. How long will the delay last? No telling, IRS associate chief counsel (corporate) Robert Wellen told a group of tax lawyers.
A congressman wants to bar taxpayers without Social Security numbers from claiming the Child Tax Credit. Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana, a Republican who may soon run for Senate, has introduced the ban. The issue is not new, and as TPC's Elaine Maag explained in late 2014, Messer’s concerns may not be justified.
Pennsylvania may bill small town residents for state police services. Over half of the state’s 2,500 municipalities rely on state officers for full-time policing. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf proposes a $25 per person “fairness fee” that the towns would pay to help defray the costs. In 2012, the state police spent more than half its budget, or $540 million, servicing municipalities that had no local police department.
India’s income tax department is rolling out refunds. The world’s largest democracy has processed over 41.9 million returns and issued 16.2 million refunds in its current fiscal year, which ends March 31. It has distributed the equivalent of $21.3 million in tax refunds, 41.5 percent higher than last year. Nearly all are less than $750.
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.