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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Estate Tax: Legislative Activity in 2002
The provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA, P.L. 107-16) are scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2010. On April 18, 2002, the House passed legislation, H.R. 586, that would remove the sunset provision and thereby make permanent all other provisions of the tax cut law enacted in June 2001. This includes making permanent the repeal of the estate tax. On June 6, the House passed a free-standing estate tax repeal bill. H.R. 2143 would remove the sunset provision of EGTRRA solely with respect to the estate tax provisions of the 2001 Act.
Tax Provisions to Assist with Disaster Recovery
Report that provides a basic overview of existing, permanent provisions that benefit victims of disasters, as well as past, targeted legislative responses to particular disasters. The relief is discussed without examining either the qualifications for or the limitation on claiming the provisions' benefits.
Tax Code Termination Act: A Fact Sheet
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Estate Tax Legislation in the 109th Congress
Under provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA, P.L. 107-16), the estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax are scheduled to be repealed effective January 1, 2010. But the estate tax repeal, and all other provisions of EGTRRA, are scheduled to sunset December 31, 2010. If the sunset provision is not repealed, or the law is not otherwise changed beforehand, in 2011 estate and gift tax law will return to what it would have been had EGTRRA never been enacted. The unified estate and gift taxes will be reinstated with an exclusion amount of $1 million. The maximum tax rate will revert to 55%.
The Level of Taxes in the United States, 1940-1997
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Income Tax Relief in Times of Disaster
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Retirement Plans with Individual Accounts: Federal Rules and Limits
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Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Expensing Allowances: Current Law, Legislative Proposals in the 112th Congress, and Economic Effects
This report examines the current status, legislative history, and economic effects of the two expensing allowances (Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Allowance) and also discusses initiatives in the 112th Congress to modify them. Expensing is the most accelerated form of depreciation for tax purposes. Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) allows a taxpayer to expense up to $125,000 of the total cost of new and used qualified depreciable assets it buys and places in service in 2012, within certain limits. In addition, Section 168(k) generally allows taxpayers to expense half the cost of qualified assets bought and placed in service in 2012.
Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945
This report attempts to clarify whether or not there is an association between the tax rates of the highest income taxpayers and economic growth. Data is analyzed to illustrate the association between the tax rates of the highest income taxpayers and measures of economic growth.
Superfund Taxes or General Revenues: Future Funding Issues for the Superfund Program
This report discusses the role of dedicated taxes and other sources of revenue in funding the Hazardous Substance Superfund Trust Fund.
Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes the temporary charitable tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 and are being considered for extension. The report also discusses the economic impact of these charitable tax provisions.
Recently Expired Community Assistance Related Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes four community assistance-related tax provisions included in the EXPIRE Act, which are (1) the New Markets Tax Credit, (2) Empowerment Zone Tax Incentives, (3) allocation of bond limitations for Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, and (4) the American Samoa Economic Development Credit.
Expired and Expiring Temporary Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders")
This report discusses dozens of temporary tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013, and several other temporary tax provisions that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2014.
Tax Treaty Legislation in the 110th Congress: Explanation and Economic Analysis
This report discusses the proposals that are designed to curb “treaty shopping” — instances where a foreign parent firm in one country receives its U.S.-source income through an intermediate subsidiary in a third country that is signatory to a tax-reducing treaty with the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tax Reform in the 113th 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.
Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief
This report discusses the four charitable tax provisions are discussed in this report: the enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory; tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes; basis adjustment to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property; and special rules for contributions of capital gain real property for conservation purposes.
Selected Recently Expired Individual Tax Provisions ("Extenders"): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes and discusses items categorized as individual tax provisions. These and other temporary tax provisions that are regularly extended for one or two years are often referred to as "tax extenders."
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.
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.
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.
State and Local Sales Tax Deductibility: Legislation in the 108th Congress
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Internet Tax Bills in the 107th Congress: A Brief Comparison
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Internet Tax Bills in the 105th Congress
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Reform of U.S. International Taxation: Alternatives
This report describes and assesses the principal prescriptions that have been offered for broad reform of the current U.S. system for taxing international businesses. The report begins with an overview of current law and of possible revisions. It then sets the framework for considering economic efficiency as well as tax shelter activities. Finally, it reviews alternative approaches to revision in light of those issues.
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures
In 1986, the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) was enacted to fund U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE or the Corps) activities related to the routine operation and maintenance (O&M) of harbors, namely the dredging of harbor channels to their authorized depths and widths. Economic and equity issues related to HMT expenditures and collections are the main focus of this report. Before analyzing these issues, the report reviews the legislative history of the tax and legal challenges to it, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative funding mechanisms, and describes the commercial context of current dredging activity. The last section identifies legislation related to harbor maintenance funding.
Research and Experimentation Tax Credit: Current Status and Selected Issues for Congress
This report examines the current status of the credit, summarizes its legislative history, discusses some key policy issues it raises, and describes legislation in the 110th Congress to modify or extend it.
Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress
This report gives an overview of tax reform issues. The President and leading members of Congress have stated that fundamental tax reform is a major policy objective for the 112th Congress. Some Members have said that fundamental tax reform is needed in order to raise a large amount of additional revenue, which is necessary to reduce high forecast budget deficits and the sharply rising national debt. Congressional interest has been expressed in both a major overhaul of the U.S. tax system and the feasibility of levying a consumption tax.
“Amazon” Laws and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis
This report covers ways in which states are attempting to capture taxes on Internet sales. Two basic approaches include imposing tax collection responsibilities on the retailer, and requiring remote sellers to provide tax information to the state and/or it's customers. This report covers the legality of both options.
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.
A Value-Added Tax Contrasted with a National Sales Tax
Proposals to replace all or part of the income tax and proposals for national health care have sparked congressional interest in possible sources of additional revenue. A value-added tax (VAT) or a national sales tax (NST) have been frequently discussed as possible new tax services. Both the VAT and the NST are taxes on the consumption of goods and services and are conceptually similar. Yet, these taxes also have significant differences. This issue brief discusses some of the potential policy implications associated with these differences.
The Challenge of Individual Income Tax Reform: An Economic Analysis of Tax Base Broadening
Congressional interest in a major reform of the individual income tax that would broaden the base and use the additional tax revenues to lower rates and/or reduce the deficit has increased. This report discusses ways in which the tax base can be broadened, tax expenditures, and impediments to broadening the base/eliminating or reducing expenditures.
Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches
Report that examines alternative approaches to reducing the deficit, relating to the immediate issues arising from the Budget Control Act and the expiring tax cuts as well as to ongoing longer term decisions about how to bring the debt under control.
Should the United States Levy a Value-Added Tax for Deficit Reduction?
Report that discusses the levying of a value-added tax (VAT), a broad-based consumption tax, to potentially assist in resolving United States fiscal problems. It considers the experiences of the 29 nations with value-added taxes (VATs) in the 30-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which are relevant to the feasibility and operation of a possible U. S. VAT.
501(c)(3) Organizations: What Qualifies as "Educational"?
Report that discusses the legal definition of the term "educational," as well as the constitutional implications of that definition.
Tax Benefits for Health Insurance: Current Legislation
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The Federal Income Tax and the Treatment of Married Couples: Background and Analysis
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The Federal Excise Tax on Telephone Service: A History
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The Federal Income Tax and the Treatment of Married Couples: Background and Analysis
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Internet Transactions and the Sales Tax
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Flat Tax Proposals and Fundamental Tax Reform: An Overview
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The Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) Tax Benefit for Exporting and the WTO
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The Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) Tax Benefit for Exporting: WTO Issues and an Economic Analysis
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Energy Tax Policy
President Bush has issued a comprehensive energy policy initiative, which includes limited energy tax measures; the Administration has criticized such measures as being inconsistent with its free market philosophy. Several of the issues that drove energy policy and energy tax policy during the 106th Congress are extant: 1) tax incentives to increase the supply of oil and gas; 2) energy tax issues relating to energy conservation and energy efficiency; 3) energy tax issues relating to alternative fuels; 4) energy taxes/subsidies and residential energy costs; and 5) issues relating to electricity restructuring. In addition, there are certain energy tax provisions that are either expiring or are time-sensitive that the 107th Congress may choose to take action on.
Social Security Taxes: Where Do Surplus Taxes Go and How Are They Used?
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Conservation Reserve Payments and Self-Employment Taxes
Farmers enrolling their land in the Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) receive payments for refraining from farming their property and for engaging in certain conservation practices mandated by the Department of Agriculture. These payments are described in the contract with the Department of Agriculture as "rental payments." Farmers would like to treat the income as "rental income" because it would not be subject to self-employment taxes, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) insists that under certain conditions, the payments are income from the trade or business of farming and thus subject to self-employment taxes.