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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Energy Tax Policy: History and Current Issues

Energy Tax Policy: History and Current Issues

Date: June 10, 2008
Creator: Lazzari, Salvatore
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Alternative Minimum Tax for Individuals: Legislative Activity in the 110th Congress

The Alternative Minimum Tax for Individuals: Legislative Activity in the 110th Congress

Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Maguire, Steven & Teefy, Jennifer
Description: The alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals was originally enacted to ensure that all taxpayers, especially high-income taxpayers, pay at least a minimum amount of federal taxes.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.
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Tax Treatment of Employer Educational Assistance for the Benefit of Employees

Tax Treatment of Employer Educational Assistance for the Benefit of Employees

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: 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.
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Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest

Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest

Date: August 20, 2008
Creator: Lunder, Erika
Description: 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.
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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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Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: 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.
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The Tax Exclusion for Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Policy Issues Regarding the Repeal Debate

The Tax Exclusion for Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Policy Issues Regarding the Repeal Debate

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Lyke, Bob
Description: 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.
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Federal Taxation of the Drug Industry and Its Effects on New Drug Development

Federal Taxation of the Drug Industry and Its Effects on New Drug Development

Date: March 18, 2009
Creator: Guenther, Gary
Description: This report examines the impact of federal taxation on the incentive to invest in new drug development. More specifically, it looks at the provisions in current tax law that affect the performance of the drug industry, compares the industry's federal tax burden with that of other major industries, and assesses the effect of federal taxation on the incentive to invest in new drug development.
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Business Tax Issues in 2009

Business Tax Issues in 2009

Date: April 8, 2009
Creator: Marples, Donald J.
Description: This report discusses the tax climate for businesses, while economic stimulus proposals dominate the congressional debate. During 2009, it is anticipated that congressional deliberations will once again turn towards the extension of several expiring business tax provisions, energy taxation, tax shelters, and international taxation, while continuing to examine opportunities to stimulate the economy.
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Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007

Date: April 8, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses various issues that impact the retirement income of Americans. About half of all workers in the United States participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan of some kind, a proportion that has remained relatively stable over the past thirty years. Because the majority of assets held in retirement accounts are invested in stocks, trends in stock prices have a significant impact on households' retirement account balances.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department