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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Mileage-Based Road User Charges
This report examines mileage-based user charges as an possible source of highway funding. Federal highway and public transportation programs are funded mainly by taxes on motor fuel that flow into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The tax rates, set on a per-gallon basis, have not been raised since 1993, and motor fuel tax receipts have been insufficient to support the transportation programs authorized by Congress since FY2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855746/
Spending and Tax Expenditures: Distinctions and Major Programs
This report identifies the largest spending and tax expenditures across eight major categories of federal activity: (1) defense and international affairs; (2) general science, space and technology, natural resources and the environment, and agriculture; (3) commerce and housing, community and regional development, and transportation; (4) education, training, employment, and social services; (5) health, including Medicare; (6) income security; (7) Social Security and veterans' benefits; and (8) administration of justice and general governance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855799/
The 2003 Tax Cut: Proposals and Issues
This report provides a brief description of each tax cut proposal, including major proposals offered by the Democrats in both the House and the Senate during 2003. It discusses the distributional affects of the proposals and potential effects on short and long term economic growth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855800/
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Federal Income Tax
This report addresses some of the frequently asked historical, constitutional, procedural, and legal questions concerning the federal income tax. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855835/
Major Tax Issues in the 108th Congress
This report provides an overview of major tax issues. It begins by describing three aspects of the economic context in which the tax policy debate during 2004 is likely to occur: the general state of the U.S. economy; the position of the federal budget; and the level of taxes in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855846/
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/metadc847710/
Energy Tax Policy: History and Current Issues
This report provides historical context regarding energy tax policy and discusses what may lie ahead. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847751/
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Filers and the Child Tax Credit: Overview and Legislation
This report discusses the child tax credit, which was created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-34) to help ease the financial burden on families when they have children. The ACTC is available to taxpayers with little or no federal income tax liability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847643/
Eligibility and Determination of Health Insurance Premium Tax Credits and Cost-Sharing Subsidies: In Brief
Certain individuals without access to subsidized health insurance coverage may be eligible for premium tax credits, as established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended). This report examines these tax credits and their eligibility requirements, as well as cost-sharing subsidies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847648/
Brownfields Tax Incentive Extension
This report discusses the brownfields tax incentive, which expires on December 31, 2007. Enacted in 1997, the provision allowed a taxpayer to fully deduct the costs of environmental cleanup in the year the costs were incurred, rather than spreading the costs over a period of years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847582/
Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage: In Brief
This report provides an overview of the excise tax. The report includes cost estimates for the excise tax and explores the excise tax's relationship with the tax advantages for employer-sponsored health coverage. The information in this report is based on statute and two notices issued by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847499/
The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet
This report discusses the saver's tax credit, under which eligible individuals receive a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for contributing to a traditional IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan that is qualified under §401, §403 or §457 of the Internal Revenue Code. The credit was first available in 2002 but will expire after 2006 unless extended by Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824777/
Health-Related Tax Expenditures: Overview and Analysis
This report analyzes health-related tax expenditures together at the budget function level, rather than focusing on the size of any single provision. To provide some insights into common questions about health-related expenditures, this report analyzes historical data on health-related tax expenditure estimates published by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824709/
Revenue Legislation in the Congressional Budget Process
This report discusses revenue legislation, which may include changes to individual and corporate income taxes, social insurance taxes, excise taxes, or tariffs and duties. Congressional consideration of revenue legislation is governed by various constitutional provisions and procedural rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824731/
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2000: Analysis of Census Bureau Data
This report examines recent trends in retirement saving and the policy implications. The aging of the American population and the impending retirement of the "baby boom" will place significant strains over the next several decades on both Social Security and on retirees' own financial resources. With continued increases in average life expectancies, retirees in the 21st century will have to stretch their savings and other assets over longer periods of retirement than were experienced by their parents and grandparents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824473/
Energy Tax Policy
This report discusses the history, current posture, and outlook for federal energy tax policy. It also discusses recent energy tax proposals, focusing on the major energy tax provisions that were debated as part of omnibus energy legislation in the 108th Congress (e.g., H.R. 6), which may be reintroduced in the 109th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824500/
Estate and Gift Taxes: Economic Issues
This report discusses how the estate and gift tax works and examines various policy options. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA, P.L. 107-16) repeals the estate tax after 2009. In the 108th Congress, some policymakers have proposed eliminating the sunset provision in the EGTRRA, thus making repeal of the estate tax permanent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824611/
Small Business Tax Relief: Proposals in the 108th Congress and Their Economic Justification
This report examines the economic arguments for and against small business tax subsidies in the context of current congressional proposals to expand them. It begins with a brief description of current federal tax subsidies for small firms, moves on to consider the principal economic arguments for and against these subsidies, and concludes with a discussion of proposals in the 108th Congress to expand small business tax subsidies and their likely economic effects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824642/
Tax Benefits for Health Insurance: Current Legislation
This report discusses a variety of potential proposals to change the tax benefits for health insurance and medical expenses, including measures that would expand the availability and attractiveness of health savings accounts (HSAs), or employer tax credits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824518/
The Alternative Minimum Tax for Individuals: Legislative Initiatives in the 110th Congress
This report discusses the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals that was originally enacted to ensure that all taxpayers, especially high-income taxpayers, pay at least a minimum amount of federal taxes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821671/
Calculating Estate Tax Liability: 2001 to 2011 and Beyond
This report provides a basic explanation of how to calculate the federal estate tax liability for a taxable estate of any given size, using the schedule of graduated marginal tax rates and the applicable exclusion amount or the applicable credit amount for the year of death. The “applicable exclusion amount” is the amount of any decedent’s taxable estate that is free from tax. It is known informally as the estate tax “exemption.” The “applicable credit amount” or “unified credit” is the corresponding tax credit. It is equal to the tax that would be due on a taxable estate that is the size of the applicable exclusion amount. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822644/
Calculating Estate Tax Liability: 2001 to 2011 and Beyond
This report provides a basic explanation of how to calculate the federal estate tax liability for a taxable estate of any given size, using the schedule of graduated marginal tax rates and the applicable exclusion amount or the applicable credit amount for the year of death. The “applicable exclusion amount” is the amount of any decedent’s taxable estate that is free from tax. It is known informally as the estate tax “exemption.” The “applicable credit amount” or “unified credit” is the corresponding tax credit. It is equal to the tax that would be due on a taxable estate that is the size of the applicable exclusion amount. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc814123/
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Economic Analysis
This report discusses the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a refundable tax credit available to eligible workers earning relatively low wages digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822664/
An Introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, which is one of the federal government’s primary policy tools for encouraging the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. These non-refundable federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified rental projects via a competitive application process administered by state housing finance authorities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820968/
An Introduction to the Design of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which is a federal provision that reduces the income tax liability of taxpayers claiming the credit. These taxpayers are typically investors in real estate development projects that have traded cash for the tax credits to support the production of affordable housing. The credit is intended to lower the financing costs of housing developments so that the rental prices of units can be lower than market rates, and thus, presumably, affordable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc817254/
An Introduction to the Design of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which is a federal provision that reduces the income tax liability of taxpayers claiming the credit. These taxpayers are typically investors in real estate development projects that have traded cash for the tax credits to support the production of affordable housing. The credit is intended to lower the financing costs of housing developments so that the rental prices of units can be lower than market rates, and thus, presumably, affordable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc819117/
An Introduction to the Design of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which is a federal provision that reduces the income tax liability of taxpayers claiming the credit. These taxpayers are typically investors in real estate development projects that have traded cash for the tax credits to support the production of affordable housing. The credit is intended to lower the financing costs of housing developments so that the rental prices of units can be lower than market rates, and thus, presumably, affordable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc819235/
An Introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, which is one of the federal government’s primary policy tools for encouraging the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. These non-refundable federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified rental projects via a competitive application process administered by state housing finance authorities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808248/
Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-skipping Taxes: A Description of Current Law
This report contains an explanation of the major provisions of the Federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. The discussion divides the Federal estate tax into three components: the gross estate, deductions from the gross estate, and computation of the tax, including allowable tax credits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820837/
Federal Estate, Gift, And Generation-Skipping Taxes: A Description Of Current Law
This report contains an explanation of the major provisions of the Federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. The discussion divides the Federal estate tax into three components: the gross estate, deductions from the gross estate, and computation of the tax, including allowable tax credits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc812307/
Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Taxes: A Description of Current Law
This report contains an explanation of the major provisions of the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. The discussion divides the federal estate tax into three components: the gross estate, deductions from the gross estate, and computation of the tax, including allowable tax credits. The federal estate tax is computed through a series of adjustments and modifications of a tax base known as the "gross estate." Certain allowable deductions reduce the gross estate to the "taxable estate," to which is then added the total of all lifetime taxable gifts made by the decedent. The tax rates are applied and, after reduction for certain allowable credits, the amount of tax owed by the estate is reached. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821476/
Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Taxes: A Description of Current Law
This report contains an explanation of the major provisions of the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. The discussion divides the federal estate tax into three components: the gross estate, deductions from the gross estate, and computation of the tax, including allowable tax credits. The federal estate tax is computed through a series of adjustments and modifications of a tax base known as the "gross estate." Certain allowable deductions reduce the gross estate to the "taxable estate," to which is then added the total of all lifetime taxable gifts made by the decedent. The tax rates are applied and, after reduction for certain allowable credits, the amount of tax owed by the estate is reached. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc811776/
Research Tax Credit: Current Law and Policy Issues for the 114th Congress
Technological innovation is a primary engine of long-term economic growth, and research and development (R&D) serves as the lifeblood of innovation. The federal government encourages businesses to invest more in R&D than they otherwise would in several ways, including a tax credit for increases in spending on qualified research above a base amount. This report describes the current status of the credit, summarizes its legislative history, discusses policy issues it raises, and describes legislation to modify and extend it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820882/
Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945 (Updated)
Income tax rates are at the center of many recent policy debates over taxes. Some policymakers argue that raising tax rates, especially on higher income taxpayers, to increase tax revenues is part of the solution for long-term debt reduction. This report examines the top tax rates since 1945 and analyzes the ways in which tax rates affect economic growth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820953/
An Introduction to the Design of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which is a federal provision that reduces the income tax liability of taxpayers claiming the credit. These taxpayers are typically investors in real estate development projects that have traded cash for the tax credits to support the production of affordable housing. The credit is intended to lower the financing costs of housing developments so that the rental prices of units can be lower than market rates, and thus, presumably, affordable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820505/
An Introduction to the Design of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which is a federal provision that reduces the income tax liability of taxpayers claiming the credit. These taxpayers are typically investors in real estate development projects that have traded cash for the tax credits to support the production of affordable housing. The credit is intended to lower the financing costs of housing developments so that the rental prices of units can be lower than market rates, and thus, presumably, affordable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818152/
IRS Reform: Innocent Spouse Rule
Married couples filing joint tax returns are liable individually and as a couple for all taxes due on the return with a limited exemption for innocent spouses. This report discusses joint and several liability, which has been the subject of much criticism and calls for reform or elimination. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820985/
Federal Income Tax Treatment of the Family
The first section summarizes the major features of the tax law affecting families and family choices, and how they developed over time, including the relatively recent introduction of large benefits for children at low and moderate income levels, a reversal of a trend in the past that tended to reduce these benefits through the erosion of the real value of the personal exemptions. It also summarizes the origin of the marriage penalty and marriage bonus. The following two sections first discuss general equity issues, and then apply the ability-to-pay standard to examine how tax burdens vary by family size, across the income spectrum. The final section examines the marriage penalties and bonuses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822393/
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822609/
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc813371/
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. H.R. 6844 would provide a two-year suspension of the taxation of UC benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810335/
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc817870/
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822046/
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. Legislation was introduced in the 108th Congress that would have repealed the taxation of UC benefits, provided a two-year suspension of the taxation of UC benefits, or transferred the proceeds from taxing UC benefits to the Unemployment Trust Fund. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc811277/
Taxes and Offshore Outsourcing
This report discusses the impact of taxes on international trade and investment has been debated for decades. Most recently, a variety of bills addressing international taxation have been introduced in the 110th Congress—some would cut taxes for U.S. firms overseas, while others would increase taxes on foreign investment. The debate over taxes and foreign outsourcing has tended to grow more heated during times of domestic economic weakness and high unemployment; questions arise over whether taxes contribute to such weakness by discouraging exports (or encouraging imports) or by encouraging U.S. firms to move abroad. The debate over international taxation has again become prominent as a part of the wider debate over “outsourcing.” With taxes, the debate asks how the current system affects outsourcing, and whether policies designed to limit the phenomenon might be desirable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822650/
Taxes and Offshore Outsourcing
The impact of taxes on international trade and foreign investment has had a place in tax policy debates for decades, although its prominence has waxed and waned. The debate has tended to grow more heated during times of domestic economic weakness and high unemployment ; questions arise during such times over whether taxes contribute to such weakness by discouraging exports (or encouraging imports) or by encouraging U.S. firms to move abroad. In recent months, the debate over international taxation again became prominent as a part of the wider debate over “outsourcing.” With taxes, the debate asks how the current tax system likely affects outsourcing, and whether alternative tax policies designed to limit the phenomenon might be desirable. This report applies economic analysis to both questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808948/
Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress
The economic rationale for interventions in energy markets helps inform the debate surrounding energy tax policy. This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions, highlighting various market failures. After identifying possible market failures in the production and consumption of energy, possible interventions are discussed. The report concludes with an analysis of energy tax policy as it stands at the start of the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820866/
Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress
The economic rationale for interventions in energy markets helps inform the debate surrounding energy tax policy. This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions, highlighting various market failures. After identifying possible market failures in the production and consumption of energy, possible interventions are discussed. The report concludes with an analysis of the current status of energy tax policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815301/
Tax Benefits for Families: Recent Changes for the Head of Household Filing Status
This report describes the recent changes to file a federal income tax return as a head of household. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821692/
Passthrough Organizations Not Taxed As Corporations
This report describes the various forms of tax conduit organizations found in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), or the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) regulations and discusses how the form of organization affects the tax situation of the owners. It is organized according to the major types of conduit organization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822561/
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