Topic: Individual Income Taxes

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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If You Have High Income, Your Taxes Are Going Up

By :: April 8th, 2014

As the April 15 deadline for filing 2013 income taxes nears, most of us are finding that Uncle Sam will take about the same share of our income as last year. But the story is very different for people at the top of the income ladder. Their taxes are going up, in many cases by […]

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Dave Camp’s Most Valuable Contribution to Tax Reform

By :: March 14th, 2014

House Ways & Means Committee chair Dave Camp’s most important contribution to the tax reform debate may be this: By proposing a specific, transparent, and fully-realized reform plan, he has made it far tougher for others to credibly promise trillions of dollars in tax cuts without either describing how they’d pay for them or acknowledging […]

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Stark Variation in Taxpayer Use of Itemized Deductions, County by County

By :: March 7th, 2014

Taxpayer use of itemized deductions varies widely by location, according to a new analysis of 2007 IRS data. In about one in ten counties, 11 percent or fewer taxpayers itemize while in another 10 percent at least 38 percent of taxpayers claim deductions. In a handful of counties, more than half of taxpayers itemize. In […]

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A Web Tool to Calculate ACA Tax Penalties

By :: March 6th, 2014

The deadline is looming: If you don’t have approved insurance coverage by March 31 (and are not exempt from the requirement), the Affordable Care Act will hit you with a penalty on your 2014 income tax return. It is often said the tax is $95, but for many people it will be much more. A […]

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