Archive for the ‘The US Tax System’ Category

Incoming Senate Finance Chair Wyden Outlines His Tax Agenda

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), about to become the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Friday that he aims to eventually rewrite what he described as a “dysfunctional, rotting mess of a carcass that we call the tax code.” But in an acknowledgement of the challenges of tax reform, Wyden said he wants to […]

Variation in EITC Take-up, County by County

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of our nation’s most effective anti-poverty policies, bringing 10.1 million families out of poverty in 2012. The EITC is designed to reward work by increasing wages for low-income workers; workers with low incomes can receive up to an additional 45 cents for every dollar they earn. Recognizing […]

State of the Union Speech Promotes New Retirement Savings Vehicles

In this year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama announced a new retirement savings account for workers whose employers do not offer any form of pension or savings plan. He also promoted the Automatic IRA, a retirement savings plan that originated at the Retirement Security Project and has been in the Administration’s budget for […]

Tax Policy is MIA in the State of the Union

When it comes to tax policy, President Obama’s State of the Union address last night was a model of modesty. There was little new. And, while it is always hard to tell what really matters in a speech that included more than 40 separate initiatives, the president showed little enthusiasm for broad-based tax reform. With […]

Oscar Nominees Cash In On State Tax Subsidies

Each of the nine movies nominated for this year’s Oscar for best film may already have taken home a pile of tax subsidies. Seven brought back state goodies from the U.S. and two got cash for their work in the U.K. And, according to data collected by the Manhattan Institute, the winner is….Wolf of Wall Street. […]

Utah Lets Same-Sex Couples File Joint Tax Returns

The Utah State Tax Commission yesterday reversed Governor Gary Herbert (R), ruling that same-sex couples may file their 2013 state tax returns as married, as long as they wed before the end of last year. The ruling also applies to couples who married in other jurisdictions. As I discussed in my last TaxVox post, the […]

Taxes: A Big Gun In The War on Poverty

When Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty 50 years ago this month, he could not have imagined how many battles would be fought through the Tax Code. In the ‘60s and early ‘70s, the safety net was built almost entirely on spending programs.  Back then, policymakers created Medicare, Medicaid, student loan programs, and Head […]

Tax Complications for Same-Sex Couples in Utah (and Elsewhere)

The battle over same-sex marriage in Utah not only raises important questions about marriage law; it also further complicates income tax filing for gay couples who tied the knot during the few weeks when those nuptials were deemed legal. The problem: While federal courts hash out the legality of Utah’s same-sex marriages, gay couples who […]

IRS Gets Hammered in the 2014 Budget Agreement

The Internal Revenue Service is one of the biggest losers in the 2014 budget deal agreed to last night by House and Senate negotiators. Under the agreement, the service would get just $11.3 billion, which is $526 million below its 2013 budget and $1.7 billion less than President Obama requested. According to the House Appropriations […]

Pay to Extend Unemployment Benefits? Why Not Pay to Extend Temporary Tax Breaks Too?

In the battle over whether to extend long-term unemployment benefits, one of the Republican talking points is: Sure, we’ll consider an extension, but it must be paid for. That’s a fine idea. Here’s another: In exactly the same way, Congress should offset the cost of restoring dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired on Dec. […]