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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007
This report discusses various issues that impact the retirement income of Americans. About half of all workers in the United States participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan of some kind, a proportion that has remained relatively stable over the past thirty years. Because the majority of assets held in retirement accounts are invested in stocks, trends in stock prices have a significant impact on households' retirement account balances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700850/
Federal Taxation of the Drug Industry and Its Effects on New Drug Development
This report examines the impact of federal taxation on the incentive to invest in new drug development. More specifically, it looks at the provisions in current tax law that affect the performance of the drug industry, compares the industry's federal tax burden with that of other major industries, and assesses the effect of federal taxation on the incentive to invest in new drug development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700831/
Business Tax Issues in 2009
This report discusses the tax climate for businesses, while economic stimulus proposals dominate the congressional debate. During 2009, it is anticipated that congressional deliberations will once again turn towards the extension of several expiring business tax provisions, energy taxation, tax shelters, and international taxation, while continuing to examine opportunities to stimulate the economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700568/
Tax Reform in the 114th Congress: An Overview of Proposals
This report provides background information regarding tax reform and discusses ways to make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700886/
The Role of Federal Gasoline Excise Taxes in Public Policy
This report examines the effects of the federal excise tax on gasoline and analyzes the positive and negative effects of the tax. The report also evaluates the incentive structure that a higher gasoline tax would likely create, and examines a revised version of the tax, a variable gasoline tax. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689358/
The Internet Tax Freedom Act: In Brief
This report discusses the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA; P.L. 105-277), which enacted in 1998, implemented a three-year moratorium preventing state and local governments from taxing Internet access, or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689445/
Net Operating Losses: Proposed Extension of Carryback Period
This report explains the current law regarding the tax treatment of net operating losses (NOLs). In addition, this report highlights a number of policy considerations relating to the extension of the NOL carryback period. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626978/
An Economic Analysis of the Homebuyer Tax Credit
This report provides an economic analysis of the homebuyer tax credit. Data suggest that home prices in general may be stabilizing and that the home inventory is beginning to return to a more normal level. Given the close proximity of these improvements to when the homebuyer tax credit was enacted by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and first modified by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, one could argue that the tax credit was the cause of these improvements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627233/
Business Investment and Employment Tax Incentives to Stimulate the Economy
This report discusses the merit of various business tax incentives and their effectiveness in providing fiscal stimulus during the recession. The two most common measures to provide business tax incentives for new investment are investment tax credits and accelerated deductions for depreciation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505378/
Charitable Contributions for Haiti's Earthquake Victims
This report discusses the Haiti Assistance Income Tax Incentive Act (HAITI Act; H.R. 4462), a bill passed on January 20, 2010 to accelerate the income tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for the relief of earthquake victims. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505529/
The Rum Excise Tax Cover-Over: Legislative History and Current Issues
This report provides a history and analysis of the rum cover-over program and current legislative efforts to modify the program. The congressional debate on this legislation could also lead to debate on the broader issue of the cover-over program more generally. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505462/
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures
This report reviews the legislative history of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) and legal challenges to it, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative funding mechanisms, and describes the commercial context of current dredging activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505639/
Research Tax Credit: Current Law and Policy Issues for the 114th Congress
This report describes the current status of the research tax credit, summarizes its legislative history, discusses policy issues it raises, and describes legislation to modify and extend it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503371/
Energy Tax Incentives: Measuring Value Across Different Types of Energy Resources
This report presents a comparison of the cost of tax incentives associated with fossil and renewable energy resources, relative to amount of energy produced using each type of resource. The report also reviews other analyses that compare the cost of energy tax incentives relative to production, across different types of energy technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503656/
Tax Provisions that Expired in 2014 ("Tax Extenders")
This report provides a broad overview of the tax extenders that retroactively extend expired tax provisions, including the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which made tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2013 available to taxpayers for the 2014 tax year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503583/
Tax Options for Financing Health Care Reform
This report reviews the revenue raisers proposed to fund health care reform. Other financing proposals are presented including those made by the Obama Administration and those introduced in earlier congressional work. The final sections discuss other proposals suggested by the round-table discussion participants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503565/
Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 111th Congress
This report primarily covers fundamental tax reform by discussing background and proposals for review during the 111th Congress. It includes sections about fundamental tax reform, the relationship between income and consumption, what should be taxed, types of broad-based consumption taxes, international comparisons, other types of fundamental tax reform, legislative proposals and other legislation, and sections looking at other specific kinds of taxation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503359/
Distribution of Small Business Ownership and Income by Individual Tax Rates and Selected Policy Issues
This report examines how small business owners may be affected by tax increases by exploring what is known about the share of small business owners and of small business income that is subject to the top two marginal income tax rates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503626/
Tax-Preferred College Savings Plans: An Introduction to 529 Plans
This report provides an overview of the mechanics of 529 plans and examines the specific tax advantages of these plans for those families saving for college. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503687/
Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches
The growth of the national debt, which is considered unsustainable under current policies, continues to be one of the central issues of domestic federal policy making. On August 2, 2011, Congress adopted, and the President signed, the Budget Control Act (BCA; P.L. 112-25), which might be viewed as an initial step in addressing long-run debt issues. This report examines alternative approaches to reducing the deficit, relating to the immediate issues arising from the BCA and the extended tax cuts as well as to ongoing, longer-term decisions about how to bring the debt under control. It focuses on the trade-offs between limiting the provision of defense and domestic public goods, reducing transfers to persons including entitlements for the elderly and those with low income, reducing support for state and local governments, and raising taxes. Using projections of the debt and deficit, it also addresses how limiting reliance on one source of deficit reduction creates pressure on other sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501513/
Dynamic Scoring
This report explains dynamic scoring, including the types of effects incorporated and the types of models used, as well as what groups conduct or have conducted macroeconomic analysis of tax changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501612/
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion
The first section of this report reviews what countries might be considered tax havens, including a discussion of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) initiatives and lists. The next two sections discuss, in turn, the corporate profit-shifting mechanisms and evidence on the existence and magnitude of profit-shifting activity. The following two sections provide the same analysis for individual tax evasion. The report concludes with overviews of alternative policy options, a summary of legislation enacted in the 111th Congress, and a summary of specific legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501726/
PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified
This report explains Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), with an analysis of the five major factors affecting the calculation of a payment to a given county. It also describes the effects of certain legislative changes to PILT in recent years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501681/
The Bush Tax Cuts and the Economy
The George W. Bush Administration enacted a series of tax cuts through the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. This report examines these tax cuts within the context of the current and long-term economic environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491080/
The Bush Tax Cuts and the Economy
This report examines the Bush tax cuts within the context of the current and long-term economic and budgetary environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491621/
Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis
Almost all state and local governments sell bonds to finance public projects and certain qualified private activities. Most of the bonds issued are tax-exempt bonds because the interest payments are not included in the bondholder's (purchaser's) federal taxable income. In contrast, Tax Credit Bonds (TCBs) are a type of bond that offers the holder a federal tax credit instead of interest. This report explains the tax credit mechanism and describes the market for the bonds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491320/
Federal Proposals to Tax Marijuana: An Economic Analysis
This report focuses solely on issues surrounding a potential federal marijuana tax. First, it provides a brief overview of marijuana production. Second, it presents possible justifications for taxes and, in some cases, estimates the level of tax suggested by that rationale. Third, it analyzes possible marijuana tax designs. The report also discusses various tax administration and enforcement issues, such as labeling and tracking. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491300/
Tax Expenditures and the Federal Budget
Among the options likely to be considered to deal with the long-term fiscal problem is reform of the federal tax system. The growth of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in 2010 will likely force some action on tax policy. The perception that the federal tax system is too complex and unfair could lead to public support for tax reform. Past efforts to reform the federal tax system have included policies to rein in the use and expense of tax expenditures--the special deductions, exclusions, exemptions, and credits resulting in revenue losses. This report examines tax expenditures within the context of the federal budget and discusses tax expenditure analysis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491242/
U.S. International Corporate Taxation: Basic Concepts and Policy Issues
This report provides a general introduction to the basic concepts and issues relevant to the U.S. international corporate tax system. The explanations provided in this report emphasize the underlying concepts of the international tax system and are intended to be as simplified as possible. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491315/
"Amazon Laws" and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis
As more purchases are made over the Internet, states are looking for new ways to collect taxes on online sales. There is a common misperception that the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from taxing Internet sales. This report discusses "Amazon laws", which try to capture uncollected taxes on Internet sales and yet still comply with the Constitution's requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490974/
The Medical Device Excise Tax: Economic Analysis
This report reviews the issues surrounding the medical devices tax within the framework of basic principles surrounding the choice of commodities to tax under excise taxes. The next section describes the tax and its legislative origins. After that, the report analyzes the arguments for retaining and repealing the tax. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491037/
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion
The first section of this report reviews what countries might be considered tax havens, including a discussion of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) initiatives and lists. The next two sections discuss, in turn, the corporate profit-shifting mechanisms and evidence on the existence and magnitude of profit shifting activity. The following two sections provide the same analysis for individual tax evasion. The report concludes with overviews of alternative policy options and a summary of specific legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491146/
Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options
This report provides analysis of various policy options for providing tax relief to oil spill victims, highlighting the circumstantial differences between previous natural disasters and the current oil spill. The report concludes with a brief summary of current legislative efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491474/
Taxation of Internet Sales and Access: Legal Issues
This report first looks at the Constitution's requirement of nexus, including an examination of whether recent state laws comply with the nexus standard and federal legislation that would affect the standard. It then looks at the scope of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) moratorium on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce and taxes on Internet access. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491186/
PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified
This report explains Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), with an analysis of the five major factors affecting the calculation of a payment to a given county. It also describes the effects of recent legislative changes to PILT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491173/
Federal Deductibility of State and Local Taxes
This report provides a brief history of deductible state and local taxes, and discusses deduction for real estate property taxes, deductions for income, sales, and use taxes. The report also discusses policy alternatives and current legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491408/
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion
The first section of this report reviews what countries might be considered tax havens, including a discussion of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) initiatives and lists. The next two sections discuss, in turn, the corporate profit-shifting mechanisms and evidence on the existence and magnitude of profit shifting activity. The following two sections provide the same analysis for individual tax evasion. The report concludes with overviews of alternative policy options and a summary of specific legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491490/
Tax Deductible Expenses: The BP Case
Following the release of BP's second quarter earning statement, which showed a $10 billion reduction in tax liability for oil-spill-related cleanup and expenses, media headlines have generated public concern, and in some cases outrage, over these tax savings. Further, the ability of BP to realize these tax savings has generated a number of inquiries as to how and why BP is entitled to this reduction in tax liability. This report discusses the nature of BP's $10 billion "credit" and the nature of corporate tax deductions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491647/
Recently Expired Community Assistance Related Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes four community assistance-related tax provisions included in the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act, which are the New Markets Tax Credit, Empowerment Zone Tax Incentives, allocation of bond limitations for Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, and the American Samoa Economic Development Credit. The EXPIRE Act would extend each of these provisions for two years (through 2015). A discussion of their economic impact and related extension bills in the 113th Congress is also included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491540/
The Corporate Income Tax System: Overview and Options for Reform
This report presents information and research on the corporate tax to help policy makers understand and evaluate arguments presented in the tax reform debate. This report first reviews the structure of the corporate income tax. Data on which companies pay the corporate tax, corporate tax revenue, and how the U.S. system compares to the rest of the world are then presented and analyzed. Next, the economic effects of the corporate tax are reviewed--including a discussion of the purpose of the corporate tax, who bears the burden of the tax, and how to evaluate alternative corporate tax systems. The report then reviews broad reform options and concludes with a comparison of specific proposals that have been offered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491518/
Overview of the Federal Tax System
The major sources of federal tax revenue are individual income taxes, Social Security and other payroll taxes, corporate income taxes, excise taxes, and estate and gift taxes. This report describes the federal tax structure, provides some statistics on the tax system as a whole, and presents analysis of selected tax concepts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491524/
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit available to eligible workers earning relatively low wages. This report provides an overview of the EITC, first discussing eligibility requirements for the credit, followed by how the credit is computed and paid. The report then provides data on the growth of the EITC since it was first enacted in 1975. Finally the report concludes with data on the EITC claimed on 2012 tax returns, examining EITC claims by number of qualifying children, income level, tax filing status, and location of residence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491354/
The Economic Effects of Capital Gains Taxation
One provision of the 1913 individual income tax that generated a great deal of confusion was the taxation of income from the sale of property (i.e., capital gains income). This initial confusion has led to almost 100 years of legislative debates over capital gains. Beginning in 1922 capital gains were first subject to lower tax rates than ordinary income. This preferential treatment has continued throughout most of the history of the income tax. Proposals dealing with the taxation of capital gains have ranged from the outright elimination of capital gains taxation to the reduction of capital gains tax rates for certain classes of taxpayers to the elimination of the preferential tax treatment. This report discusses the manner in which capital gains are taxed, including rates and revenue figures. It also examines various economic issues regarding such taxes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491028/
Business Investment and Employment Tax Incentives to Stimulate the Economy
This report discusses the merit of various business tax incentives and their effectiveness in providing fiscal stimulus during the recession. The two most common measures to provide business tax incentives for new investment are investment tax credits and accelerated deductions for depreciation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490963/
Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress
In response to the economic downturn, Congress considered providing relief to Americans by suspending two tax penalties on defined contribution retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). This report discusses the reasons offered in support of suspending these provisions, as well as the drawbacks. This report also presents data that estimates the number of households that these proposals would impact. Borrowing from retirement plans as an alternative to withdrawals is also discussed. Finally, the report discusses the kinds of proposals offered to either suspend or eliminate the early withdrawal penalty or the required minimum distribution provision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491272/
Restrictions on Itemized Tax Deductions: Policy Options and Analysis
This report analyzes various proposals to restrict itemized deductions--both across-the-board and individually tailored--using standard economic criteria of economic efficiency, distribution, simplicity, and estimated revenue effects. In particular, this report estimates each proposal's potential to contribute to revenue-neutral reductions in income tax rates and the consequences for economic behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462228/
Tax Rates and Economic Growth
This report summarizes the evidence on the relationship between tax rates and economic growth, referring in a number of cases to more-detailed CRS reports. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462844/
State Taxation of Internet Transactions
This report discusses significant issues in the remote sales tax collection debate, beginning with a description of state and local sales and use taxes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463510/
International Corporate Tax Rate Comparisons and Policy Implications
This report focuses on the global issues relating to tax rate differentials between the United States and other countries. It provides tax rate comparisons; discusses policy implications, including the effect of a corporate rate cut on revenue, output, and national welfare; and discusses the outlook for and consequences of a revenue neutral corporate tax reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463460/
An Analysis of the Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction
This report analyzes variation in the mortgage interest deduction tax expenditure across states. Tax expenditures, such as the mortgage interest deduction, can generally be viewed as government spending administered via the tax code, or as tax incentives that are intended to achieve particular policy objectives. Regardless of the interpretation, tax expenditures provide a benefit to qualifying taxpayers by lowering their federal tax liabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463404/
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