Archive for the ‘Individual Income Taxes’ Category

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 […]

Taxing Bitcoin

By now most everyone has heard of bitcoin. But exactly what is it? And how should it be taxed? Bitcoin is usually described as virtual currency. That’s useful shorthand, but is it really money? And should it be taxed as if it is? Or is it a capital asset? How about a commodity? And then […]

Rethinking Homeownership Subsidies

Tax expenditures for homeownership, such as deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes and the partial exclusion for capital gains on the sale of a primary residence, have long been recognized as ineffective, regressive, and extraordinarily expensive—costing $121 billion in 2013 alone. Until now, most reforms—including the Bowles-Simpson deficit-reduction plan—have focused on restructuring the mortgage […]

Time To Park The Commuter Tax Subsidy

Am I the only one who thinks today’s commuter tax subsidies are nuts? The issue is in the headlines because at midnight tonight, thanks to yet another dose of congressional inaction, the amount of pre-tax dollars mass transit commuters can put aside will fall from a maximum of $240 a month to $130. At the […]

The US Income Tax Burden, County by County

Differences in income and other characteristics mean that federal income tax  burdens vary substantially across counties. While the median federal income tax burden across counties is about $3,400, approximately 10 percent of counties  have average tax burdens less than $2,100 and around 10 percent of counties have  average tax burdens over $6,700. Counties with high federal […]

The Year in Taxes: From the Fiscal Cliff to Tax Reform Talks

The year in taxes started with the nation toppling, briefly, over the fiscal cliff. And it ended with some interesting policy proposals on tax reform though little political progress. Remember the fiscal cliff? While that crisis was resolved on New Year’s Day, it really began in 2001, when President George W. Bush signed the Economic […]

Senator Lee’s New Reform Plan Focuses on Young Children

At an AEI panel discussion earlier this week, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) unveiled the Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act. The centerpiece is an additional $2,500 tax credit for all children under age 17. The plan retains the $1,000 child tax credit under current law. Unlike the current credit, the new credit would not […]

Eight in Ten U.S. Households Pay Social Security and Medicare Taxes

While relatively few low-income people pay federal income tax, a large and growing share owe Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, according to new estimates by the Tax Policy Center. As a result, while about 43 percent of all households will pay no federal income tax this year, only 14 percent will pay neither income […]

A Closing Window for Some Same-Sex Couples to File 2012 Tax Returns

Last week’s IRS ruling on same-sex marriages received a lot of attention. Going forward, a same-sex married couple must file federal income tax returns as married, regardless of whether the state where they live recognizes their marriage. In addition, same-sex couples may—but don’t have to—file amended returns for some earlier years to recoup any extra […]