Renu Zaretsky

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 about tax policy written for those who aren't tax geeks.. 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

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

By :: May 22nd, 2015

Congress will be in recess next week. The Daily Deduction will post on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, after Memorial Day, and will return to its regular schedule on Monday, June 1. Wisconsin’s GOP: Tax bikes to pay for bike paths, use tax dollars to expand private schools. Presidential hopeful Governor Scott Walker’s colleagues proposed this […]

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Rewarding Work, Paying by the Mile, a Windfall, and… Tax Magic 

By :: May 21st, 2015

Redesign the EITC to help more low-income workers. TPC’s Elaine Maag thinks that’s the way to go. She explains in her new paper: “A worker credit based on individual earnings, and not contingent on having children at home, could provide substantial benefits to all low-income workers, ease administration for the IRS, and encourage work for childless individuals and secondary […]

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A Down Payment, A Giveaway, A New Tax, and A Delay

By :: May 20th, 2015

Better something than nothing? House Ways & Means Chairman Paul Ryan has thrown in the towel on broad-based tax reform—at least for the next two years. He says the best possible deal the GOP can manage while President Obama is in office would be a “down payment” that would address international taxation and a permanent […]

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The Supreme Court Kills A Maryland Tax

By :: May 19th, 2015

Maryland’s tax on some out-of-state income is unconstitutional. Maryland gives residents only a partial tax credit for income that is earned—and taxed—outside the state. The US Supreme Court said yesterday that this violates the Commerce Clause by discouraging individuals from conducting business across state lines, since their income would be taxed twice. Residents who tried […]

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Runnin’ on Empty

By :: May 18th, 2015

Long-term federal highway funding: Still stuck in the breakdown lane. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Shuster and Ways & Means Chair Paul Ryan need more time to “reach a bipartisan agreement” on financing the Highway Trust Fund so they introduced a bill to extend the program for two months. The Senate seems ready […]

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Steady On toward Tax Reform

By :: May 15th, 2015

The Senate Finance Committee’s working groups on tax reform have narrowed their focus. Chair Orrin Hatch sounds like he’s given up on broad-based reform for now, but Tax Analysts reports (paywall) that the groups have focused on four areas where they still may make progress: Education, charity, and homeownership incentives, and tax administration. The group […]

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Wishes, Dreams, and Bittersweet Denials

By :: May 14th, 2015

Be careful what you wish for. Businesses have backed an overhaul of the US tax code for quite some time, but their tune changes when it comes to corporate tax reform in other countries. The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project, or BEPS, is an effort by  the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to […]

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Still On a Road to Nowhere

By :: May 13th, 2015

A short road too often traveled. Federal highway funding is due to expire in about two weeks, and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says a temporary extension—the 33rd in six years—would “prolong a dangerous status quo of funding infrastructure at a level that has left our transportation system gasping for air.” But Congress is almost certain […]

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On Cybercrime and Corporate Competitiveness

By :: May 12th, 2015

More about the new IRS cybercrime division. Tax Analysts reports that it will handle “large-scale, multi-jurisdictional, and international cases that facilitate stolen identity refund fraud or that affect tax administration.” Its main base of operations will be in Washington, DC, and it will have points of contact in IRS Criminal Investigation divisions in 25 states. […]

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Broke, Burdened, and Maybe Blowin’ Less Smoke

By :: May 11th, 2015

The Illinois Supreme Court says “No” to the state’s proposed pension overhaul. The plan would have limited cost-of-living adjustments for public employees, raised the retirement age for some, and capped pensions for those with highest salaries. But the Illinois constitution says benefits for public pensioners “shall not be diminished or impaired.” This sends Illinois back […]

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