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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Bush Tax Cuts and the Economy

The Bush Tax Cuts and the Economy

Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Description: 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.
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The Bush Tax Cuts and the Economy

The Bush Tax Cuts and the Economy

Date: October 27, 2010
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Description: 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.
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Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options

Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options

Date: October 14, 2010
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.; Lunder, Erika K. & Liu, Edward C.
Description: 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.
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Raising the Tax Rates on High-Income Taxpayers: Pros and Cons

Raising the Tax Rates on High-Income Taxpayers: Pros and Cons

Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Noto, Nonna A.
Description: 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.
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Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures

Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures

Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Frittelli, John
Description: 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.
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The Bush Tax Cuts and the Economy

The Bush Tax Cuts and the Economy

Date: December 8, 2010
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Description: 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.
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What Effects Would the Expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts Have on the Economy?

What Effects Would the Expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts Have on the Economy?

Date: October 5, 2010
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
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Reform of U.S. International Taxation: Alternatives

Reform of U.S. International Taxation: Alternatives

Date: December 17, 2010
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: 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.
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An Overview of Major Tax Proposals in the President's FY2012 Budget

An Overview of Major Tax Proposals in the President's FY2012 Budget

Date: March 17, 2011
Creator: Keightley, Mark P.; Bickley, James M.; Guenther, Gary; Hungerford, Thomas L.; Maguire, Steven; Marples, Donald J. et al.
Description: 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.
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Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress

Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress

Date: April 14, 2011
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: 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.
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Tax Cuts on Repatriation Earnings as Economic Stimulus: An Economic Analysis

Tax Cuts on Repatriation Earnings as Economic Stimulus: An Economic Analysis

Date: May 27, 2011
Creator: Marples, Donald J. & Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: 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.
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Reducing the Budget Deficit: Tax Policy Options

Reducing the Budget Deficit: Tax Policy Options

Date: May 17, 2011
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.
Description: 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.
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Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress

Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress

Date: April 14, 2011
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: 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.
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State Taxation of Internet Transactions

State Taxation of Internet Transactions

Date: June 7, 2011
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Description: 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.
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An Overview of Major Tax Proposals in the President's FY2012 Budget

An Overview of Major Tax Proposals in the President's FY2012 Budget

Date: May 4, 2012
Creator: Keightley, Mark P.; Bickley, James M.; Guenther, Gary; Hungerford, Thomas L.; Maguire, Steven; Marples, Donald J. et al.
Description: This report provides a broad overview of the provisions included in the President's budget request. The budget groups proposed tax provisions into several general categories. According to the Administration's estimates, the tax proposals in the budget would increase revenues $280 billion over the next 10 years
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An Overview of Tax Provisions Expiring in 2012

An Overview of Tax Provisions Expiring in 2012

Date: April 17, 2012
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: A number of tax provisions either expired in 2011 or are scheduled to expire at the end of this 2012. As Congress decides whether to extend these provisions, it may consider the estimated revenue losses associated with their extension as well as other factors when evaluating tax policy. In the 112th Congress, Members have yet to consider legislation that would extend all of the provisions discussed in this report, although legislation to extend certain provisions has been considered.
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The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History

The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History

Date: March 9, 2012
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Description: A history and overview of current issues relating to the gasoline excise tax.
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The Challenge of Individual Income Tax Reform: An Economic Analysis of Tax Base Broadening

The Challenge of Individual Income Tax Reform: An Economic Analysis of Tax Base Broadening

Date: March 22, 2012
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G. & Hungerford, Thomas L.
Description: 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.
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The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options

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

Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report gives an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)—enacted on a temporary basis by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and extended through the end of 2012 by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010— which is a partially-refundable tax credit that provides financial assistance to taxpayers who are attending college, or whose children are attending college. There are a variety of policy options mentioned in the report regarding the AOTC, including extending the credit, extending a modified AOTC, or repealing the Hope and Lifetime Credits and extending a modified AOTC that includes provisions included in these credits.
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Federal Taxation of Aliens Working in the United States

Federal Taxation of Aliens Working in the United States

Date: May 18, 2012
Creator: Lunder, Erika K.
Description: This report outlines issues regarding the taxation of aliens since several pieces of current legislation have been introduced that would impose restrictions for claiming child tax credits or for claiming credits and refunds. The report includes an overview of immigration status, resident or nonresident aliens, taxation of income for various classifications, and Social Security and medicare taxes.
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Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress

Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress

Date: May 31, 2012
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Description: 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.
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Research and Experimentation Tax Credit: Current Status and Selected Issues for Congress

Research and Experimentation Tax Credit: Current Status and Selected Issues for Congress

Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Guenther, Gary
Description: 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.
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An Analysis of the “Buffett Rule”

An Analysis of the “Buffett Rule”

Date: October 7, 2011
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Description: This report examines the Buffett rule, but uses a measure of income that captures the ability to pay taxes and incorporates the effect of the corporate income tax in addition to the individual income tax and the payroll tax. The Buffet rule states that "no household making over $1 million annually should pay a smaller share of its income in taxes than middle-class families pay" and is named after Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. The report includes figures, tables, and appendices to illustrate calculations and issues involved with the topic.
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Statutory Individual Income Tax Rates and Other Elements of the Tax System: 1988 through 2008

Statutory Individual Income Tax Rates and Other Elements of the Tax System: 1988 through 2008

Date: May 21, 2008
Creator: Shvedov, Maxim
Description: 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.
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