The voices of Tax Policy Center's researchers and staff
Treasury shares tax filing data on the Affordable Care Act. It released data Friday that show 81 percent of tax filers “checked the box” to indicate that they had health insurance coverage. Nine percent claimed a health care coverage exemption, and 6 percent paid the fee for remaining uninsured without an exemption. About 4 percent still need to file returns to reconcile advance payments of the ACA’s premium tax credits.
TPC estimates alternatives to the ACA Cadillac tax. The Bipartisan Policy Center would replace the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans with a limit on the exclusion for employer-provided health benefits and repeal of medical flexible spending accounts. TPC estimated the revenue effects of two versions of the BPC plan. For each, revenues would rise initially but fall over the long term. Middle-income and upper-middle-income households would bear the greatest burden as a share of their after-tax income.
Microsoft and the IRS head to court over audit practices. The government has been examining Microsoft’s records for tax years 2004-2006 since 2007 but has yet to calculate if the firm owes any tax. Last year the IRS issued a temporary regulation allowing it to use outside counsel in complex audits, and paid the firm Quinn Emanuel $2.2 million to assist in its Microsoft review. Microsoft called foul, arguing that the agency is improperly delegating a governmental function. A US District Court judge in Seattle will hold a hearing on the dispute tomorrow.
Is an Arizona tax-credit program for public schools equitable? The state’s taxpayers can direct a portion of their Arizona income tax to a public school and get a dollar-for-dollar credit. Taxpayers contributed about $51 million in 2014, averaging about $45 per student. But some schools collected an average of more than $400 per student, and one received nearly a total of $900,000. By contrast, schools with the highest percentage of students who qualified for free- and reduced-priced lunch got much less than average, many receiving little or no money at all.
On the Hill this week. The highway funding clock ticks: Infrastructure funding expires July 31 and Congress continues to wrangle over pay-fors. Meanwhile, tomorrow the Senate Finance Committee will consider a bill to once again temporarily restore expired tax breaks.
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