Tag: ‘tax preferences’

Is Obama Closing Retirement Savings Loopholes or Just Curbing Congress’ Generosity?

By :: January 28th, 2015

In his upcoming budget, President Obama will propose to strip away the “loopholes” that permit wealthy individuals to accumulate large amounts in tax-favored retirement plans. He would prohibit a taxpayer from contributing any more to IRAs or other qualified retirement plans once his or her accounts reach a combined value of $3.4 million. For sure, […]

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My Favorite (Expired) Tax Breaks

By :: December 1st, 2014

And now, for a lighter look at tax extenders, here’s a song that borrows the tune of The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things.” If you’re looking for something more serious, check out Len Burman’s TaxVox thoughts on the issue. My Favorite (Expired) Tax Breaks Special deductions of teachers’ expenses, Tax-free forgiveness for lost residences, […]

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How Asset Building Tax Subsidies Miss Their Targets

By :: October 7th, 2014

Nearly one-third of all federal tax expenditures–$384 billion in 2013 alone– is aimed at various forms of asset building, such as retirement savings, higher education, and home ownership. Yet, according to research by several of my Tax Policy Center and Urban Institute colleagues, these tax breaks do little to help low- and middle-income households build […]

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Dave Camp’s Tax Plan: A Brave Start But Lots of Gimmicks

By :: February 26th, 2014

Give House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) all the credit in the world for years of hard work developing his tax reform plan. Just don’t look too hard at the blueprint, which he released this afternoon. On one level, it is a serious framework for reform. For individuals, it would consolidate and […]

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Taxes: A Big Gun In The War on Poverty

By :: January 16th, 2014

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 […]

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A New Look at Who Benefits from Tax Expenditures

By :: December 19th, 2013

Who benefits from the tax credits, deductions and exclusions that have become such an integral part of the modern tax code? Nearly all of us. And that’s why any tax reform that eliminates or scales back many of these preferences in return for lower tax rates is so hard to do. The Tax Policy Center […]

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How Do High-Income People Avoid Paying Federal Income Tax?

By :: September 5th, 2013

Most of the 43 percent of Americans who the Tax Policy Center projects will pay no federal income tax this year make very little money. Some are middle-income households that qualify for enough tax preferences to zero out their tax bills. But more than 70,000 households with income over $200,000 will pay no federal income […]

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And Now for the Movie: Fewer Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax

By :: August 29th, 2013

The percentage of Americans who pay no federal income tax is falling, thanks to an improving economy and the expiration of temporary Great Recession-era tax cuts. In 2009, the Tax Policy Center estimated that 47 percent of households paid no federal income tax. This year, just 43 percent will avoid the tax. TPC’s 2009 estimate […]

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Beware of Tax Reform That Promises Deep Rate Cuts

By :: August 8th, 2013

Two new studies show just how hard a time Congress will have trying to slash tax rates without adding trillions of dollars to the budget deficit and producing a massive tax windfall for the highest-income American households. Last week, the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that a tax plan that cuts individual rates to […]

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Not All Curbs on Tax Preferences Are Created Equal

By :: July 10th, 2013

Because politicians seem unwilling to confront specific individual tax preferences, it is likely that any broad-based tax reform will be based on across-the-board curbs on deductions, credits, and exclusions. That’s how lawmakers could generate the revenue they need to reduce tax rates and (perhaps) help reduce the deficit without seeming to tackle popular tax subsidies […]

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