Renu Zaretsky

BIO
Renu Zaretsky is a writer for the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. She publishes The Daily Deduction, TPC’s news and research digest, and Tax Hound, a blog series that helps make sense of tax policy for those outside the tax world and connects tax issues to everyday concerns. The Daily Deduction posts Monday through Friday, or Mondays when Congress is in recess. Tax Hound posts the first Wednesday of the month. Twitter: @RenuZ


The Long, Hot, Unfunded Summer?

By :: July 6th, 2015

On the Hill: Senate Democrats vow to block all GOP spending bills, while the House plans to spend the remaining weeks of July on two tasks. The first: Finding a way to  extend the Highway Trust Fund. The second: Cutting IRS funding by 7.7 percent and barring the agency from using appropriated funds to implement […]

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MEGA tax credits: Will Michigan bust a deal, or will residents face the wheel?

By :: July 1st, 2015

In the classic post-apocalyptic film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, those who back out of deals in Tina Turner’s Bartertown face a wheel of fortune to determine their punishment. Hero and road warrior Max busts his deal with her, spins the wheel, and seals his own fate. The huge, lucrative tax subsidies Michigan gave the Big […]

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One more step for equality, and two views on state EITCs

By :: June 29th, 2015

Congress is in recess. The Daily Deduction will return to its regular schedule on Monday, July 6. Wyden promises tax changes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. Following the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, senior Senate Finance Committee Democrat Ron Wyden said Friday, “As lawmakers, we must now turn our attention […]

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A Ruling, A Guide, and Progressive Taxation

By :: June 26th, 2015

The Affordable Care Act’s tax subsidies are legal in all 50 states. The US Supreme Court issued its ruling yesterday against the plaintiff in King v. Burwell, the case that questioned whether tax subsidies for low- and moderate-income ACA enrollees could be offered in states without their own health exchanges. The High Court decided that […]

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Paying Taxes: Choice and Consequence

By :: June 25th, 2015

Will some private schools lose their tax-exempt status? If religious schools that ban same-sex relationships want to continue to do so, they might have to start paying taxes. If the US Supreme Court rules this month that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, the IRS could conclude that banning those relationships violates “fundamental national public […]

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Estimates and the Economy: Let the Buyer Beware

By :: June 24th, 2015

The CBO, the ACA, and the economy: Precision doesn’t mean accuracy. Last Friday, the Congressional Budget Office projected that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would add $137 billion to the national debt over 10 years but boost the economy. But the estimates came with a big warning: “[R]epealing the ACA could in fact reduce […]

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With Taxes, Timing Is Everything

By :: June 23rd, 2015

When is a tax payment an “advance” payment? In the 1990s, Ford made an $875 million payment to the IRS to cover some of $2 billion in underpaid taxes from the 1980s. Ford later learned that it had overpaid and asked the IRS to treat the money as an advance tax payment against future liabilities. […]

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No Breaks, Less Sugar, and More Refunds

By :: June 22nd, 2015

Texas Governor Greg Abbott says “no” to a tax break for big corporations. The Republican just vetoed a bill aimed at expanding a tax incentive for wind farms and petrochemical firms along the Gulf Coast. Subsidy backers claim it helps the firms generate jobs, but Abbott doesn’t think it’s worth the money. A 2013 study […]

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When does “repeal” mean “reform?”

By :: June 19th, 2015

Another presidential candidate floats a flat tax, but would it sink under its own weight? This time it’s GOP contender Rand Paul. He’d replace the tax code with 14.5 percent in federal tax on all personal income, including wages, investment income, and rents. He’d repeal the Social Security and Medicare payroll tax but tax wages […]

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On Havens and Stalemates

By :: June 18th, 2015

There could be billions of reasons Wal-Mart’s prices are so low. A report from Americans for Tax Fairness finds that Wal-Mart stashed $76 billion in overseas income in 78 branches and subsidiaries in 15 low-tax jurisdictions. Such foreign units have helped the multinational corporation reduce its income tax by $3.5 billion over the past six years, […]

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