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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
Tax-Preferred College Savings Plans: An Introduction to 529 Plans

Tax-Preferred College Savings Plans: An Introduction to 529 Plans

Date: February 23, 2015
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report provides an overview of the mechanics of 529 plans and examines the specific tax advantages of these plans for those families saving for college.
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: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Charitable Choice, Faith-Based Initiatives, and TANF

Charitable Choice, Faith-Based Initiatives, and TANF

Date: August 9, 2004
Creator: Burke, Vee
Description: This report is one in the series of reports that discusses the Charitable Choice Act of 2001 (Title II of the House bill) and its rules, as well as the charitable choice laws, and other areas of this program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Constitutionality of Retroactive Tax Legislation

Constitutionality of Retroactive Tax Legislation

Date: October 25, 2012
Creator: Lunder, Erika K.; Meltz, Robert & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: Report that examines the constitutional provisions that might be implicated by retroactive tax legislation, including legislation that seems intended to punish past behavior.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Taxes: A Description of Current Law

Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Taxes: A Description of Current Law

Date: January 4, 2008
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Higher Education Tax Benefits: Brief Overview and Budgetary Effects

Higher Education Tax Benefits: Brief Overview and Budgetary Effects

Date: July 10, 2012
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the higher education tax benefits that are currently available to students and their families. The report contrasts higher education tax benefits with traditional student aid, presents a brief history of higher education tax policy over the past 60 years, summarizes key features of the available tax benefits, and provides JCT estimates of revenue losses resulting from individual tax provisions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Higher Education Tax Benefits: Brief Overview and Budgetary Effects

Higher Education Tax Benefits: Brief Overview and Budgetary Effects

Date: September 25, 2012
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the higher education tax benefits that are currently available to students and their families. The report contrasts higher education tax benefits with traditional student aid, presents a brief history of higher education tax policy over the past 60 years, summarizes key features of the available tax benefits, and provides JCT estimates of revenue losses resulting from individual tax provisions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Tax Credit

Date: September 16, 2005
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: The Work Opportunity Tax Credit and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit are temporary provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Since their initiation in the mid-1990s, the Congress has allowed the credits to lapse four of the five times they were up for reauthorization. In each instance, they were reinstated retroactive to their expiration dates as part of large tax-related measures. The employment tax credits never have been addressed independently of broader legislation. This report describes the WOTC and WtW Tax Credit and outlines issues for members of Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department