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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Tax Gap: Should the 3% Withholding Requirement on Payments to Contractors by Government Be Repealed?
This report covers the background and current status of three bills introduced to the 112th Congress to repeal Section 511 withholding provisions. The bills are S. 89, S. 164, and H.R. 674, as well as S.Amdt. 405 to S.782, the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96705/
Reducing the Budget Deficit: Tax Policy Options
This report analyzes various revenue options for deficit reduction, highlighting proposals made by the President's Fiscal Commission and the Debt Reduction Task Force. Others, such as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and the Obama Administration, have noted the importance of tax reform as part of a deficit reduction plans. These plans, however, do not provide the same level of detail as the Fiscal Commission and Debt Reduction Task Force, and are therefore not reviewed in detail as part of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96684/
State Taxation of Internet Transactions
This report intends to clarify significant issues in the remote sales tax collection debate, beginning with a description of state and local sales and use taxes. Congress has a role in this issue because interstate commerce, in most cases, falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congress will likely be asked to choose between taking either an active or passive role in the debate. In the 111th Congress, H.R. 5660 (former Representative Delahunt) would have granted SSUTA member states the authority to compel out-of- state vendors to collect sales and use taxes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83968/
Tax Cuts on Repatriation Earnings as Economic Stimulus: An Economic Analysis
From the start of the 112th Congress, reform of the current U.S. corporate tax system has been widely debated as an option to stimulate the economy. Most of the debate has focused on lowering the corporate tax rate and moving towards a territorial system. An exception to this is a plan to reduce the tax rate on repatriated dividends that has received some consideration. Under such a plan, the U.S. tax that U.S. firms pay when their overseas operations remit ("repatriate") their foreign earnings as dividends to their U.S. parent corporations would be reduced. Variations of this type of proposal have been introduced in several bills, including H.R. 1036, H.R. 1834, and S. 727, in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40070/
Reducing the Budget Deficit: Tax Policy Options
This report analyzes various revenue options for deficit reduction, highlighting proposals made by the President's Fiscal Commission and the Debt Reduction Task Force. Others, such as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and the Obama Administration, have noted the importance of tax reform as part of a deficit reduction plans. These plans, however, do not provide the same level of detail as the Fiscal Commission and Debt Reduction Task Force, and are therefore not reviewed in detail as part of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40119/
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/metadc40134/
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/metadc83960/
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/metadc99047/
Should the United States Levy a Value-Added Tax for Deficit Reduction?
This report 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98963/
Value-Added Tax (VAT) as a Revenue Option: A Primer
This report summarizes issues, arguments, and concerns relevant to a value-added tax (VAT). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99027/
An Overview of Major Tax Proposals in the President's FY2012 Budget
The Obama Administration released the President's FY2012 budget proposal on February 14, 2011. According to the Administration's estimates, the tax proposals in the budget would increase revenues $280 billion over the next 10 years. This report provides a broad overview of the provisions included in the President's FY2012 budget request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33027/
Tax Policy Options for Deficit Reduction
This report analyzes various revenue options for deficit reduction and highlights proposals made by the President's Fiscal Commission and the Debt Reduction Task Force. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103127/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227705/
Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress
This report primarily covers fundamental tax reform. CRS reports are available online concerning the other three categories of tax reform: tax reform based on the elimination of the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT), proposals for reforming the corporate income tax, and proposals for reforming the U.S. taxation of international business. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93855/
Major Decisions in the House and Senate on Social Security: 1935-2010
This report responds to the many inquiries that CRS gets for Social Security vote information, which range from requests for general information about legislative action over the years to requests for information about specific floor amendments. It is intended to be a reference document on the major statutory decisions made by Congress on the Social Security program. A detailed table of contents and a summary table of the legislation discussed are provided to aid the reader. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122280/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31466/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31427/
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/metadc31367/
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/metadc29603/
Raising the Tax Rates on High-Income Taxpayers: Pros and Cons
This report focuses on the debate over whether the top two marginal tax rates should be permitted to rise back to their 2001 levels, once the temporary tax provisions known as the "Bush tax cuts" expire on December 31, 2010. The report discusses arguments for and against raising the tax rates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29628/
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/metadc29604/
Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options
This report will briefly discuss existing disaster-related tax provisions and their application to the recent Depewater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The report then provides an analysis of the tax treatment of the BP payments to the individuals and businesses impacted by the oil spill as well as 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/metadc29598/
What Effects Would the Expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts Have on the Economy?
In 2001 and 2003, Congress enacted major tax cuts (popularly referred to as the "Bush tax cuts"), the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Congress is currently debating whether to extend some or all of these tax cuts that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. This report discusses the two main economic arguments against allowing the tax cuts to expire as scheduled, using historical evidence and by examining the current economic environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31383/
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion
The federal government loses both individual and corporate income tax revenue from the shifting of profits and income into low-tax countries, often referred to as tax havens. The revenue losses from this tax avoidance and evasion are difficult to estimate, but some have suggested that the annual cost of offshore tax abuses may be around $100 billion per year. Recent actions by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the G-20 industrialized nations have targeted tax haven countries, focusing primarily on evasion issues. There are also a number of legislative proposals that address these issues including the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act (S. 506, H.R. 1265); draft proposals by the Senate Finance Committee; two other related bills, S. 386 and S. 569; and a proposal by President Obama. This report discusses this issue in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26159/
Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis
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. It also discusses related pieces of legislation and what the most common uses of the proceeds from TCBs are. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26145/
Statutory Individual Income Tax Rates and Other Elements of the Tax System: 1988 through 2008
This report summarizes information about the tax brackets and other key elements of the tax system that determine taxpayer's statutory marginal tax rate. Such elements include tax brackets, exemptions, standard deductions, etc. Statutory individual income tax rates, also referred to as “statutory marginal tax rates,” are the rates of tax applicable to the last (marginal) increment of taxable income. Statutory rates play an important role in determining the real marginal tax rates, which affect taxpayers' economic behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94146/
The Tax Exclusion for Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Policy Issues Regarding the Repeal Debate
Employer-provided health insurance is excluded from the determination of employees' federal income taxes, resulting in significant tax savings for many workers. The federal income tax exclusion -- the focus of this report -- is criticized for several reasons. These arguments about the exclusion merit careful consideration as Congress is starting to debate broad health care reform for the first time in 15 years. This report discusses this issue at length, including advantages and disadvantages to keeping the income tax inclusion as Congress undergoes the health policy reform process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26302/
Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 affirmed the constitutionality of the so-called beef check-off program, one of the 18 generic promotion programs for agricultural products that are now active nationally. Supporters view check-offs as economically beneficial self-help activities that need minimal government involvement or taxpayer funding. Producers, handlers, and/or importers are required to pay an assessment, usually deducted from revenue at time of sale - thus the name check-off. However, some farmers contend they are being "taxed" for advertising and related activities they would not underwrite voluntarily. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the beef check-off is considered significant for the future of the other programs, although the Court left open the possibility of additional challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26082/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87255/
Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest
The Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008 is intended to assist with the recovery from the severe weather that affected the Midwest during the summer of 2008. The Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 includes some similar provisions, but these are not limited to the Midwest disaster. The disaster relief in the three bills is similar to that provided to assist with the recovery from the 2005 hurricanes and the 2007 Kansas tornadoes. This report broadly discusses the disaster relief provisions in other relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10785/
Tax Treatment of Employer Educational Assistance for the Benefit of Employees
Educational assistance offered by employers to their employees may be exempt from federal income tax under Section 127 and Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 127 is the employer educational assistance exclusion; Section 132, the fringe benefit exclusion for working condition benefits (e.g., job-related eduction) among other benefits. Congress established the two tax provisions well before it enacted to her higher education tax benefits meant to assist taxpayers, their spouses, and dependents -- regardless of employment status -- pay current educational expenses incurred while obtaining postsecondary degrees and undertaking lifelong learning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10765/
The Alternative Minimum Tax for Individuals: Legislative Activity in the 110th Congress
The alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals was originally enacted to ensure that all taxpayers, especially high-income taxpayers, pay at least a minimum amount of federal taxes. However, the AMT is not indexed for inflation, and this factor, combined with recent reductions in the regular income tax, has greatly expanded the potential impact of the AMT. This report explains legislation for the FY2009 budget compromise, which includes an offset AMT patch. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10764/
Energy Tax Policy: History and Current Issues
This report discusses the history, current posture, and outlook for the federal energy tax policy. It also discusses current energy tax proposals and major energy tax provisions enacted in the 109th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98075/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96794/
Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.
In 1998, a U.S. district court held that the imposition of the coal excise tax, or black lung excise tax, on coal destined for export was unconstitutional. The process of refunding the tax has been controversial. This is because some coal producers and exporters have attempted to bypass the limitations in the Internal Revenue Code's refund scheme for bringing suit under the Export Clause in the Court of Federal Claims, seeking damages from the United States in the amount of coal excise taxes paid. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held the court had jurisdiction under the Tucker Act to hear the suits and allowed them as an alternative to the Code's refund process. However, in a 2008 decision, United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co., the Supreme Court unanimously held that taxpayers must comply with the Code's administrative refund process before bringing suit. Meanwhile, H.R. 1762 and S. 373 would provide an alternative method for taxpayers to receive coal excise tax refunds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10743/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98045/
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/metadc26089/
A History of Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Taxes
Three primary categories of legislation pertaining to transfer taxes have been introduced in the 110th Congress. As noted above, the repeal of the estate and generation-skipping taxes is not permanent. One category would make the repeal permanent. (See, H.R. 411 and H.R. 2380). Another category would accelerate the repeal of these transfer taxes. (See, H.R. 25, H.R. 1040, H.R. 1586, H.R. 4042, S. 1025, S. 1040, and S. 1081). The third would reinstate these taxes at lower rates and/or in a manner more considerate of family-owned business. (See, H.R. 1928, H.R. 3170, H.R. 3475, H.R. 4172, H.R. 4235, H.R. 4242, and S. 1994). In this report, the history of the federal transfer taxes has been divided into four parts: (1) the federal death and gift taxes used between 1789 and 1915; (2) the development, from 1916 through 1975, of the modern estate and gift taxes; (3) the creation and refinement of a unified estate and gift tax system, supplemented by a generation-skipping transfer tax; and (4) the phaseout and repeal of the estate and generation-skipping taxes, with the gift tax being retained as a device to protect the integrity of the income tax. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26091/
Value-Added Tax: A New U.S. Revenue Source?
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9516/
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report reviews the status of energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation introduced during the 109th Congress. Action in the second session has focused on appropriations bills; the first session focused on omnibus energy policy bill H.R. 6 and several appropriations bills. this report describes several major pieces of legislation, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Transportation Equity Act. For each bill listed in this report, a brief description and a summary of action are given, including references to committee hearings and reports. Also, a selected list of hearings on renewable energy is included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9380/
The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 authorized a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for eligible individuals who contribute to an IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The maximum credit is 50% of retirement contributions up to $2,000. This credit can reduce the amount of taxes owed, but the tax credit itself is non-refundable. The maximum credit is the lesser of either $1,000 or the tax that the individual would have owed without the credit. Eligibility is based on the taxpayer's adjusted gross income. The eligible income brackets are not indexed to inflation. Taxpayers under age 18 or who are full-time students are not eligible for the credit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10233/
The Advisory Panel's Tax Reform Proposals
In early 2005, the President appointed a tax reform advisory panel to formulate tax reform proposals. The report of the President’s Advisory Panel on Tax Reform, issued in November 2005, recommended two reform plans to consider: 1) a revised income tax, referred to as the simplified income tax (SIT); and 2) a consumption tax coupled with a tax on financial income, referred to as the growth and investment tax (GIT). This report discusses the provisions and implications of these two taxes in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9482/
State Corporate Income Taxes: A Description and Analysis
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The Alternative Minimum Tax for Individuals
This report provides a brief overview of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals, discusses the issues associated with the current system, and describes current legislation to amend the AMT. The report will be updated as legislative action warrants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10481/
The Alternative Minimum Tax for Individuals
This report provides a brief overview of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals, discusses the issues associated with the current system, and describes current legislation to amend the AMT. The report will be updated as legislative action warrants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9738/
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: Trends from 2001 to 2004
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Tax-Exempt Organizations: Political Activity Restrictions and Disclosure Requirements
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The Effects of Government Expenditures and Revenues on the Economy and Economic Well-Being: A Cross-National Analysis
Congress passed and the President signed a reconciliation bill (P.L. 109-171) to reduce mandatory spending by $39 billion between FY2006 and FY2010. A revenue reduction reconciliation bill (H.R. 4297) has not been enacted as of the date of this report. Many argue that tax and spending reductions will stimulate economic growth, whereas many others argue that tax cuts will lead to a larger deficit with adverse economic effects and that spending cuts will reduce critical government services. This report examines the effects of government spending and taxation on economic growth and economic well-being by comparing the United States with 20 other industrial Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9956/
The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History
Excise taxes have long been a part of our country's revenue history. The federal government first imposed its excise tax on gasoline at a one-cent per gallon rate in 1932 to correct a federal budgetary imbalance. The burden for much of the tax ultimately falls on the consumer. The Highway Revenue Act of 1956 established the federal Highway Trust Fund for the direct purpose of funding the construction of an interstate highway system and aiding in the finance of primary, secondary, and urban routes. This act increased the tax on gasoline from two to three cents per gallon. President Bush recently signed a piece of legislation that calls for the extension of the Highway Trust Fund excise tax and an eventual expiration after September 30, 2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10496/
State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce
In theory, state sales and use taxes are based on the destination principle, which prescribes that taxes should be paid where the consumption takes place. States are concerned because they anticipate gradually losing more tax revenue as the growth of Internet commerce allows more residents to buy products from vendors located out-of-state and evade use taxes. The size of the revenue loss from Internet commerce and subsequent tax evasion is uncertain. Congress is involved in this issue because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The degree of congressional involvement is an open question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10474/