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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Date: September 3, 2010
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: 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.
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Tax Deductible Expenses: The BP Case

Tax Deductible Expenses: The BP Case

Date: August 11, 2010
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.
Description: 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.
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Recently Expired Community Assistance Related Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief

Recently Expired Community Assistance Related Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief

Date: October 21, 2014
Creator: Lowry, Sean
Description: 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.
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The Corporate Income Tax System: Overview and Options for Reform

The Corporate Income Tax System: Overview and Options for Reform

Date: December 1, 2014
Creator: Keightley, Mark P. & Sherlock, Molly F.
Description: 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.
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Overview of the Federal Tax System

Overview of the Federal Tax System

Date: November 21, 2014
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Marples, Donald J.
Description: 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.
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The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

Date: December 3, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: 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.
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The Economic Effects of Capital Gains Taxation

The Economic Effects of Capital Gains Taxation

Date: June 18, 2010
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Description: 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.
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Business Investment and Employment Tax Incentives to Stimulate the Economy

Business Investment and Employment Tax Incentives to Stimulate the Economy

Date: September 16, 2010
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L. & Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: 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.
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Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress

Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress

Date: January 7, 2011
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: 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.
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Restrictions on Itemized Tax Deductions: Policy Options and Analysis

Restrictions on Itemized Tax Deductions: Policy Options and Analysis

Date: May 21, 2013
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: 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.
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