Brief

In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act temporarily expanded the child tax credit (CTC) to provide a credit of up to $3,000 per child ages 6 to 17 and up to $3,600 per child under age 6. Many families with very low incomes, including some not typically required to file a tax return, were eligible...

August 3, 2022
Michael KarpmanElaine Maag
Brief

Families typically receive the child tax credit (CTC) as part of an annual refund after filing their tax returns. The American Rescue Plan Act changed that temporarily. From July to December 2021, the Internal Revenue Service automatically delivered up to half the anticipated annual credit to...

July 27, 2022
Elaine MaagMichael Karpman
Brief

Each year, the Internal Revenue Services receives over 3 billion information returns, such as W-2s and 1099-INTs, from employers, banks, and other entities. The IRS also collects some data about taxpayers from other government agencies and the private sector. But given budget cuts and data...

June 22, 2022
Janet HoltzblattAlex Engler
Brief

In 2010, Abadie, Diamond and Hainmueller used the synthetic control method to analyze a cigarette tax implemented in California in 1988. Since then, this method has been increasingly popular, with the original article garnering more than four thousand citations. Part of the synthetic control...

May 31, 2022
Robert McClellandLivia Mucciolo
Brief

The American Rescue Plan temporarily increased the child tax credit (CTC) in 2021, including extending the credit to families who had not previously filed tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service automatically sent monthly payments of the CTC to families that had filed a tax return in 2019 or...

May 18, 2022
Fay WalkerElaine Maag
Brief

Legislated changes affecting capital income have dramatically reduced the federal income tax base and revenues over the past 25 years. A significant share of capital income is never subject to tax. The massive “leakage” between the generation of economic income and the reporting of income on tax...

April 20, 2022
William G. GaleSwati JoshiChristopher PulliamJohn Sabelhaus
Brief

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) dramatically changed tax law, including how taxpayers deduct the interest on their home mortgages. It narrowed the deduction in several ways, so we would expect new mortgages to be smaller than old ones. But it also raised most taxpayers’ after-tax...

March 30, 2022
Robert McClellandLivia MuccioloSafia Sayed
Brief

In this policy brief, we explore the tax implications of the fact that most of the economic income generated by closely held businesses (that is, businesses other than corporations) in the United States does not show up on tax forms. Understanding the sources of this discrepancy—including tax...

February 23, 2022
William G. GaleSwati JoshiChristopher PulliamJohn Sabelhaus
Brief

The “tax gap”—the difference between the amount of taxes owed and the amount of tax actually paid—includes substantial gray areas where the law is ambiguous and the IRS’s determination of taxes owed is debatable. Understanding the tax gap’s shades of gray can inform discussions of tax law and...

February 22, 2022
Daniel HemelJanet HoltzblattSteven M. Rosenthal
Brief

This policy brief summarizes a new paper (Gale et al. 2022a) in which we develop and refine methods for estimating income tax liabilities in public-use Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) micro data files. Most recently conducted in 2019, the SCF is a triennial household survey with extensive...

February 8, 2022
William G. GaleSwati JoshiChristopher PulliamJohn Sabelhaus