Topic: Individual Income Taxes

Combined Tax Rates and Creating a 21st Century Social Welfare Budget

By :: June 26th, 2015

In testimony yesterday before a joint hearing of two House subcommittees, I urged Congress to modernize the nation’s social welfare programs to focus on early childhood, quality teachers, more effective work subsidies, and improved neighborhoods. One way lawmakers can shift their gaze is by considering the effects of combined marginal tax rates that often rise steeply […]

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Why The Top 2 Percent Pay Lots of Tax: Evidence from President Obama’s 1040

By :: April 15th, 2015

The White House released Barack Obama’s 2014 tax return last week. It showed that the President and First Lady paid $93,362 in federal taxes on a total income of $477,383—an effective tax rate of 19.6 percent. But those are only the top-line numbers—their return contains lots of interesting information that shows how the income tax […]

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Who’s Afraid of Income Taxes? New Interactive TPC Tools To Help You Understand the 1040

By :: March 18th, 2015

Need help understanding the 1040 as we enter the homestretch of this year’s tax filing season? The Tax Policy Center has created a new interactive tool to walk you through key parts of the federal income tax, ranging from the mundane to the arcane. In bite-sized pieces, Who’s Afraid of the Form 1040? discusses the main […]

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The Affordable Care Act Tax Filing Season: A View From the Trenches

By :: February 20th, 2015

Several of us at the Tax Policy Center volunteer with Community Tax Aid to help low-income people file their taxes. We’ve had a chance to see, first-hand, how the Affordable Care Act is affecting tax filing. This is the first filing season when taxpayers must navigate the new provisions of the ACA on their 1040s. The […]

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Why the More Generous Child and Earned Income Tax Credits Should Be Made Permanent

By :: December 3rd, 2014

co-authored with William G. Gale While most of the tax drama these days is focused on the fate of 50+ mostly-business tax breaks that expired nearly a year ago, lawmakers are also debating two provisions that are enormously important to low- and moderate-income households-the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Temporary […]

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How Much Would An Individual Tax Rate Cut Add to the Deficit, and Who Would Benefit?

By :: August 21st, 2014

Reducing tax rates is a guiding principal of most tax reform plans. Even Democrats who see reform partly as a tool to boost revenues agree that some money generated by eliminating tax preferences ought to go to rate reduction. But how much does Treasury lose when Congress reduces individual tax rates, and which taxpayers benefit the […]

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The “Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act” Would Help, but Doesn’t Solve the Timing Mismatch

By :: July 28th, 2014

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) does not work for low-income families. It fails on three counts – the credit is nonrefundable, covers only a portion of expenses, and comes long after expenses have been incurred. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) have proposed the […]

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Making Saving Incentives More Equitable

By :: July 8th, 2014

Tax expenditures for retirement saving top $100 billion annually—from 401(k)-type plans ($61.4 billion) to IRAs ($17.6 billion) to tax preferences for pensions ($35.1 billion)—but these subsidies disproportionately benefit higher-income households and do relatively little to improve the balance sheets of low- and moderate-income Americans. According to one study, the bottom 40 percent of households received […]

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IRS Help Line Is Out Of Service

By :: July 7th, 2014

The IRS is getting a lot of flak these days about lost emails and alleged politically motivated activity. But last week I ran into a problem that hit much closer to home. It appears that the IRS telephone help line is out of service, at least for my basic tax question. I needed to double-check […]

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What’s Behind That 1040? Check Out TPC’s Interactive Tax Forms

By :: April 9th, 2014

Federal income taxes are complicated. That’s why roughly 90 percent of us either hire someone to prepare our tax returns or use computer software to do the job on our own. Only a tenth of us actually sit down and fill out the forms by hand. But it’s still important to understand what goes onto […]

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