Friendly or Penalty? Taxes on Married Couples, Businesses, and the Uninsured

Briefing on the Hill this morning: The Institute for Women’s Policy Research hosts  “Tax Credits for New Mothers and Reducing Marriage Penalties for Low-Income Americans” at 10:00 am. The session opens with Representative Tom Petri (R-WI). A panel discussion, moderated by IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann, includes Elaine Maag of TPC, Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, Robert Cherry of City University of New York, Christine Kim of the Heritage Foundation, and Shawn Fremstad of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. You can calculate how marriage affects income taxes here.

Also from the Hill, another call to extend the Earned Income Credit. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the “21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act” yesterday, which would give two-earner families a 20 percent deduction on the second earner’s income, increase the EITC for childless workers, and lower EITC eligibility from 25 to 21. The tax changes would paid for by closing tax breaks for corporations and executives. In case you missed it, TPC’s Elaine Maag addressed key questions about extending the EITC here.

Keeping score on the tax extenders. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has a nice new rundown on the 50+ now-expired tax breaks that are sitting on Capitol Hill. Will Congress restore them? And will it do so without adding to the deficit?

And the state tax cuts keep coming. Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) signed a business tax cut package this week that gives the state one of the nation’s lowest corporate tax rates, down from 6.5 to 4.9 percent. Read here for more on the relative business “friendliness” of states’ tax policies and here for more on states’ sources of revenue.

As for the enrollment deadline for health insurance… The Obama Administration is giving people more flexibility in meeting the March 31 deadline to get insured under the Affordable Care Act. The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll reports, however, that even when reminded of the individual mandate to get insured or face a tax penalty, “half of those without coverage as of mid-March say they think they will remain uninsured, while four in ten expect to obtain coverage and one in ten are unsure.” The mandate is the ACA’s least popular but most widely known provision of the law; its penalty tax is relatively easy to calculate.

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