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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Tax Reform Effects
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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/
Tax Gap: Should the 3% Withholding Requirement on Payments to Contractors by Government Be Repealed?
This reports discusses tax gaps and withholding, and concerns and legislation regarding these issues in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93894/
Tax Return Confidentiality
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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/
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet
The 104th Congress replaced the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit (TJTC, 1978-1994) with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) in section 1201 of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-188). This document provides basic facts about the WOTC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs559/
Value-Added Tax: A New U.S. Revenue Source?
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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/
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 Potential Federal Tax Implications of United States v. Windsor (Striking Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)): Selected Issues
This report will provide an overview of the potential federal tax implications for same-sex married couples of the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling in United States v. Windsor, with a focus on the federal income tax. Estate tax issues are also discussed. Importantly, this report focuses on changes in the interpretation and administration of federal tax law that may result from the SCOTUS decision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227888/
The Federal Tax Treatment of Married Same- Sex Couples
This report provides an overview of the federal tax treatment of same-sex married couples, with a focus on the federal income tax. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743479/
PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified
This report explains Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), with an analysis of the five major factors affecting the calculation of a payment to a given county. It also describes the effects of recent legislative changes to PILT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743442/
The Foreign Tax Credit's Interest Allocation Rules
This report discusses the "worldwide" allocation of interest rule, which was a provision of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-357; the Jobs Act). The provision relates to the taxation of multi-national corporations and allows more generous rules for multinationals to use in allocating interest expense for purposes of the U.S. foreign tax credit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743603/
Corporate Tax Reform: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of corporate tax issues and discusses potential reforms in the context of these issues, with particular attention to some of the recent research concerning large behavioral responses and their implications for revenue and distribution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743616/
Internet Transactions and the Sales Tax
This report is an introduction to the economics of electronic commerce and its potential impact on sales and use tax collections. Presently, 45 states (and the District of Columbia) require that retail outlets add a fixed percentage to the sales price of all taxable items (inclusive of federally imposed excise taxes). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1105/
The Foreign Tax Credit's Interest Allocation Rules
This report discusses the foreign tax credit's interest allocation rules, which alleviate the double-taxation that would result if U.S. investors' overseas income were to be taxed by both the United States and a foreign country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770566/
Gasoline Excise Tax - Historical Revenues: Fact Sheet
This report provides a table concerning the collection of gasoline excise taxes from FY1933-FY2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7855/
Flat-Rate Tax Proposals
In recent months there has been a growing congressional interest in the advantages and disadvantages of revamping our current tax system for a flat-rate tax method. Supporters of the new proposal argue that such a plan would promote productivity, simplify present IRS tax forms, save the public billions of dollars that presently go to tax-preparation professionals, and enhance Federal revenue by closing numerous tax loopholes and special deductions that are now enjoyed by relatively few. Opponents believe, however, that the tax burden under a flat-rate plan might fall more heavily upon the middle class and, unless exceptions were made, would hurt educational institutions and charities. Problems with popular tax deductions, such as home mortgage interest, would have to be addressed. This packet provides background materials which discuss the practical and theoretical issues that surround a flat-rate tax, including the probable redistribution of the tax burden under various rates and income bases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8709/
The Effect of Base-Broadening Measures on Labor Supply and Investment: Considerations for Tax Reform
This report attempts to show how options to broaden the tax base by placing limitations on itemized deductions can potentially work against the expansionary effects of reducing marginal tax rates. The report also addresses other common base-broadening provisions that increase the effective marginal tax rate on the return to capital. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795883/
Individual Retirement Accounts: A Fact Sheet
This report discusses general information about individual retirement accounts (IRAs), established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-406) to promote retirement saving; the accounts were limited at first to workers (and spouses) who lacked employer pension coverage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795397/
The Economic Effects of Capital Gains Taxation
This report discusses tax policy in relation to capital gains. Proposals dealing with the taxation of capital gains have ranged from the outright elimination of capital gains taxation to the reduction of capital gains tax rates for certain classes of taxpayers to the elimination of the preferential tax treatment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795487/
Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k) Plans: Early Withdrawals and Required Distributions
This report summarizes the provisions of law that govern the taxes applicable to pre-retirement distributions from retirement accounts, and the situations in which distributions must be taken from a plan in order to avoid a tax penalty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795763/
The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet
This report discusses the saver's tax credit, under which eligible individuals receive a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for contributing to a traditional IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan that is qualified under §401, §403 or §457 of the Internal Revenue Code. The credit was first available in 2002 but will expire after 2006 unless extended by Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824777/
Tax Benefits for Health Insurance: Current Legislation
This report discusses a variety of potential proposals to change the tax benefits for health insurance and medical expenses, including measures that would expand the availability and attractiveness of health savings accounts (HSAs), or employer tax credits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824518/
Research Tax Credit: Current Law and Policy Issues for the 114th Congress
Technological innovation is a primary engine of long-term economic growth, and research and development (R&D) serves as the lifeblood of innovation. The federal government encourages businesses to invest more in R&D than they otherwise would in several ways, including a tax credit for increases in spending on qualified research above a base amount. This report describes the current status of the credit, summarizes its legislative history, discusses policy issues it raises, and describes legislation to modify and extend it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820882/
Federal Income Tax Treatment of the Family
The first section summarizes the major features of the tax law affecting families and family choices, and how they developed over time, including the relatively recent introduction of large benefits for children at low and moderate income levels, a reversal of a trend in the past that tended to reduce these benefits through the erosion of the real value of the personal exemptions. It also summarizes the origin of the marriage penalty and marriage bonus. The following two sections first discuss general equity issues, and then apply the ability-to-pay standard to examine how tax burdens vary by family size, across the income spectrum. The final section examines the marriage penalties and bonuses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822393/
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/metadc820866/
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 the current status of energy tax policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815301/
Qualified Charitable Distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts: Features and Legislative History
A provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-280) allows tax-free distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) for charitable purposes. This report describes the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) provision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821079/
Eligibility and Determination of Health Insurance Premium Tax Credits and Cost-Sharing Subsidies: In Brief
Certain individuals without access to subsidized health insurance coverage may be eligible for premium tax credits, as established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended). This report examines these tax credits and their eligibility requirements, as well as cost-sharing subsidies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847648/
Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage: In Brief
This report provides an overview of the excise tax. The report includes cost estimates for the excise tax and explores the excise tax's relationship with the tax advantages for employer-sponsored health coverage. The information in this report is based on statute and two notices issued by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847499/
Application Process for Seeking 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status
Charities and other entities seeking tax-exempt status as 501(c)(3) organizations generally must apply to the Internal Revenue Service. This report provides an overview of the application process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822492/
Tax Code Termination Act: A Fact Sheet
This report discusses the Tax Code Termination Act, which would “sunset” (repeal) the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 on December 31, 2002 and would require that any new federal tax system that is adopted be approved not later than July 4, 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822481/
Taxation of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers
This report discusses the major issues surrounding the tax treatment of hedge fund and private equity managers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822410/
Tax Gap: Administration Proposal to Require Information Reporting on Merchant Payment Card Reimbursements
The high current and forecast budget deficits as well as pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) procedures have resulted in congressional and executive branch interest in raising additional revenue through proposals for improved tax compliance. The Bush Administration’s FY2009 budget includes a proposal (the proposal) to require each payment card processor to inform the IRS on the net dollar amount paid to reimburse each merchant (i.e., seller) for his payment card receipts in a calendar year. Payment cards consist of both credit cards and debit cards. This report examines the proposal by describing current law, presenting the proposal contained in the FY2009 budget, describing the structure of the payment card industry, analyzing the justifications for the proposal, explaining the criticisms of the proposal, and offering concluding observations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821472/
Mileage-Based Road User Charges
This report examines mileage-based user charges as an possible source of highway funding. Federal highway and public transportation programs are funded mainly by taxes on motor fuel that flow into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The tax rates, set on a per-gallon basis, have not been raised since 1993, and motor fuel tax receipts have been insufficient to support the transportation programs authorized by Congress since FY2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855746/
The 2003 Tax Cut: Proposals and Issues
This report provides a brief description of each tax cut proposal, including major proposals offered by the Democrats in both the House and the Senate during 2003. It discusses the distributional affects of the proposals and potential effects on short and long term economic growth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855800/
Tax Deductions for Catastrophic Risk Insurance Reserves: Explanation and Economic Analysis
According to the Insurance Services Office, Inc., (ISO), the property/casualty (p/c) insurance industry paid $62.2 billion in catastrophe losses from 24 disasters and more than 4.4 million claims in 2005, making 2005 the most costly year for catastrophe losses. This report begins by providing some background on the market for catastrophe insurance. It continues by describing the proposal for tax-deductible reserve accounts as set forth in H.R. 164/S. 926 of the 110th Congress, and concludes by providing an economic analysis of the plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821544/
U.S. Taxation of Overseas Investment and Income: Background and Issues
This report analyzes how the current U.S. tax system applies to foreign investment undertaken by U.S. firms abroad, and how that application was changed by recent legislation. It also assesses the impact of the tax system and legislation, and concludes by discussing a variety of issues in international taxation that Congress may face in 2008 and beyond. It begins with a brief examination of the data on international investment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462482/
Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
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/metacrs10193/
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/
Taxes, Exports and Investment: ETI/FSC and Domestic Investment Proposals in the 108th Congress
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State Investment Tax Credits, the Commerce Clause, and Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler
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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/
State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce
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State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce
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State Corporate Income Taxes: A Description and Analysis
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State Corporate Income Taxes: A Description and Analysis
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Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
State governments rely on sales and use taxes for approximately one-third (32.3%) of their total tax revenue – or approximately $174 billion in FY2000. Local governments derived 16.4% of their tax revenue or $51.6 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY1999. Both state and local sales taxes are collected by vendors at the time of transaction and are levied at a percentage of a product’s retail price. Alternatively, use taxes are not collected by vendors if they do not have nexus (loosely defined as a physical presence) in the consumer’s state. Consumers are required to remit use taxes to their taxing jurisdiction. However, compliance with this requirement is quite low. Because of the low compliance, many observers suggest that the expansion of the internet as a means of transacting business across state lines, both from business to consumer (B to C) and from business to business (B to B), threatens to diminish the ability of state and local governments to collect sales and use taxes. Congress has a role in this issue because commerce between parties in different states conducted over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congress can either take an active or passive role in the “Internet tax” debate. This report intends to clarify important issues in the Internet tax debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9627/
Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
State governments rely on sales and use taxes for approximately one-third (32.3%) of their total tax revenue – or approximately $174 billion in FY2000. Local governments derived 16.4% of their tax revenue or $51.6 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY1999. Both state and local sales taxes are collected by vendors at the time of transaction and are levied at a percentage of a product’s retail price. Alternatively, use taxes are not collected by vendors if they do not have nexus (loosely defined as a physical presence) in the consumer’s state. Consumers are required to remit use taxes to their taxing jurisdiction. However, compliance with this requirement is quite low. Because of the low compliance, many observers suggest that the expansion of the internet as a means of transacting business across state lines, both from business to consumer (B to C) and from business to business (B to B), threatens to diminish the ability of state and local governments to collect sales and use taxes. Congress has a role in this issue because commerce between parties in different states conducted over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congress can either take an active or passive role in the “Internet tax” debate. This report intends to clarify important issues in the Internet tax debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9285/