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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches

Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches

Date: December 9, 2014
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. International Corporate Taxation: Basic Concepts and Policy Issues

U.S. International Corporate Taxation: Basic Concepts and Policy Issues

Date: December 2, 2014
Creator: Keightley, Mark P. & Stupak, Jeffrey M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Taxation of Internet Sales and Access: Legal Issues

Taxation of Internet Sales and Access: Legal Issues

Date: December 1, 2014
Creator: Lunder, Erika K.
Description: 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.
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"Amazon Laws" and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis

"Amazon Laws" and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis

Date: November 28, 2014
Creator: Lunder, Erika K. & Pettit, Carol A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Proposals to Tax Marijuana: An Economic Analysis

Federal Proposals to Tax Marijuana: An Economic Analysis

Date: November 13, 2014
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G. & Lowry, Sean
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Deductibility of State and Local Taxes

Federal Deductibility of State and Local Taxes

Date: November 10, 2014
Creator: Maguire, Steven & Stupak, Jeffrey M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

An Introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Date: November 7, 2014
Creator: Keightley, Mark P. & Stupak, Jeffrey M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Medical Device Excise Tax: Economic Analysis

The Medical Device Excise Tax: Economic Analysis

Date: November 3, 2014
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G. & Lowry, Sean
Description: 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.
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The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

Date: October 22, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene
Description: This report discusses the earned income tax credit (EITC), established in the tax code in 1975, which offers cash aid to working parents with relatively low incomes who care for dependent children.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief

Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief

Date: October 17, 2014
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G. & Sherlock, Molly F.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Selected Recently Expired Individual Tax Provisions ("Extenders"): In Brief

Selected Recently Expired Individual Tax Provisions ("Extenders"): In Brief

Date: October 17, 2014
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: 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."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues

Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues

Date: September 3, 2014
Creator: Marples, Donald J. & Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: This report begins with a brief discussion of relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system before examining how inversions were commonly structured. The report then looks at how Congress and Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions. The report concludes with an examination of methods that remain to invert and policy options available to prevent or limit these inversions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options

The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options

Date: July 10, 2014
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report provides both an in-depth description of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, an analysis of its economic impact, and an overview of various policy options.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options

The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options

Date: July 10, 2014
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report provides both an in-depth description of this tax credit and an analysis of its economic impact. This report is organized to first provide an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), followed by a legislative history that highlights the evolution of education tax credits from proposals in the 1960s through the recent extension of the AOTC at the end of 2012. This report then analyzes the credit by looking at who claims the credit, the effect education tax credits have on increasing college attendance, and administrative issues with the AOTC. Finally, this report concludes with a brief overview of various policy options, including tax law changes proposed in Chairman Camp's tax reform bill3 and in the President's FY2015 budget request.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Dynamic Scoring for Tax Legislation: A Review of Models

Dynamic Scoring for Tax Legislation: A Review of Models

Date: June 8, 2014
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: This report first 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. The following section discusses the specific issues associated with tax reform. The final section discusses general issues surrounding the use of various models and reviews the empirical evidence on supply side responses.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Estate and Gift Taxes for Nonresident Aliens

Estate and Gift Taxes for Nonresident Aliens

Date: June 2, 2014
Creator: Lanza, Emily M.
Description: This report explains the major provisions of the federal estate and gift transfer taxes for transfers by nonresident aliens in 2014. This discussion highlights the different tax rules for estates of nonresident aliens as compared to the estates of U.S. citizens and resident aliens.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Recently Expired Community Assistance Related Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief

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

Date: May 22, 2014
Creator: Lowry, Sean
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Selected Recently Expired Business Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders")

Selected Recently Expired Business Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders")

Date: April 30, 2014
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.; Marples, Donald J. & Sherlock, Molly F.
Description: This report briefly summarizes and discusses the economic impact of selected business-related tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 and that are being considered for extension.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Expired and Expiring Temporary Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders")

Expired and Expiring Temporary Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders")

Date: April 7, 2014
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

Date: April 3, 2014
Creator: Scott, Christine & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report discusses the earned income tax credit (EITC), established in the tax code in 1975, which offers cash aid to working parents with relatively low incomes who care for dependent children.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department