Research report

We model taxpayer decisions to realize or delay their capital gains and losses. We use a unique data set of capital asset sales to examine the shifting of gains across time periods with different tax rates, but eliminates the effect of the large pool of accrued gains that enlarge previous...

February 7, 2017
Timothy DowdRobert McClelland
Research report

New information from the Congressional Budget Office allows an update of the fiscal outlook. While deficits are manageable in the short run, the debt-GDP ratio is already high relative to historical norms. Under “current policy,” we project the ratio will rise to 96 percent by 2027 and 154...

January 29, 2017
Alan J. AuerbachWilliam G. Gale
Research report

This paper applies the Schumpeterian view of entrepreneurship to estimate the tax rate on entrepreneurial income under alternative assumptions about the pattern of returns from innovations, the tax rules applied to different types of income (wages, interest, capital gains, dividends, corporate...

January 2, 2017
Eric Toder
Research report

Governments are starting to use taxes to discourage consumption of sugary drinks. Those taxes typically scale with drink volume. But sugar content varies widely. This report analyses the potential benefits and costs of scaling these taxes to sugar content. Taxes based on sugar content reduce...

December 12, 2016
Norton FrancisDonald MarronKim S. Rueben
Research report

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 requires the IRS to delay tax refunds for taxpayers who claim an earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit on their returns until at least February 15. The delay could help the IRS better check claims for these credits. But this...

December 7, 2016
Elaine MaagStephen RollJane Oliphant
Research report

This report considers three options for restructuring the home mortgage interest deduction – replacing the deduction with a 15 percent non-refundable interest credit, reducing the ceiling on debt eligible for an interest subsidy to $500,000, and combining the substitution of the credit for the...

December 6, 2016
Chenxi LuEric Toder
Research report

The income tax provisions related to families and work—filing status, rate schedules, the standard deduction, personal exemptions, the child and earned income tax credits, and the taxation of dependents—are complex, too small to encourage work for many low earners, and unfair to some families....

December 5, 2016
James R. NunnsElaine MaagHang Nguyen
Research report

Long-term budget projections do not have to be right to be useful. Even when they are wrong, forecasts give valuable information about the long-term direction of key sectors of the budget, economy, and population. A variety of models now shows important demographic shifts—such as the aging of...

December 1, 2016
Rudolph G. Penner
Research report

Bad framing of fiscal policy contributes to a poor allocation of money collected and spent. Almost all real growth in government goes automatically to health, retirement and tax subsidies, while spending on children, the work force, and infrastructure are scheduled for decline as a share of...

December 1, 2016
C. Eugene SteuerleCaleb Quakenbush
Research report

Every year, the Urban Institute produces hundreds of reports, briefings, webcasts, and blog posts. In this publication, Urban’s State and Local Finance Initiative has brought together the latest evidence-based research, data, and solutions with direct relevance for analysts charged with crafting...

August 20, 2015
Norton FrancisTracy GordonMegan Randall