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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
The 2001 and 2003 Bush Tax Cuts and Deficit Reduction
This report uses the context of the current and long-term economic environment to examine the tax cuts implemented by the George W. Bush Administration, including the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98014/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides both an in-depth description of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, an analysis of its economic impact, and an overview of various policy options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332894/
Estate and Gift Taxes for Nonresident Aliens
This report explains the major provisions of the federal estate and gift transfer taxes for transfers by nonresident aliens in 2014. This discussion highlights the different tax rules for estates of nonresident aliens as compared to the estates of U.S. citizens and resident aliens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332983/
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/
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/
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/
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/
An Analysis of the Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction
This report analyzes variation in the mortgage interest deduction tax expenditure across states. Tax expenditures, such as the mortgage interest deduction, can generally be viewed as government spending administered via the tax code, or as tax incentives that are intended to achieve particular policy objectives. Regardless of the interpretation, tax expenditures provide a benefit to qualifying taxpayers by lowering their federal tax liabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463404/
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/metadc491080/
Tax Deductible Expenses: The BP Case
Following the release of BP's second quarter earning statement, which showed a $10 billion reduction in tax liability for oil-spill-related cleanup and expenses, media headlines have generated public concern, and in some cases outrage, over these tax savings. Further, the ability of BP to realize these tax savings has generated a number of inquiries as to how and why BP is entitled to this reduction in tax liability. This report discusses the nature of BP's $10 billion "credit" and the nature of corporate tax deductions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491647/
Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress
In response to the economic downturn, Congress considered providing relief to Americans by suspending two tax penalties on defined contribution retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). This report discusses the reasons offered in support of suspending these provisions, as well as the drawbacks. This report also presents data that estimates the number of households that these proposals would impact. Borrowing from retirement plans as an alternative to withdrawals is also discussed. Finally, the report discusses the kinds of proposals offered to either suspend or eliminate the early withdrawal penalty or the required minimum distribution provision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491272/
An Overview of the Tax Provisions in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
This report provides an overview of the tax provisions (Titles I-IV and Title X of P.L. 112-240) included in the "fiscal cliff deal," including the permanent extension and modification of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, often referred to collectively as the "Bush-era tax cuts"; the temporary extension of certain tax provisions originally included as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA; P.L. 111-5), often referred to as the "2009 tax cuts"; the permanent extension of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch; the temporary extension of a variety of other temporary expiring provisions for individuals, businesses, and energy often referred to as "tax extenders" and the expansion of in-plan conversions of traditional employer-sponsored retirement accounts (like 401(k) plans) to employer-sponsored Roth accounts (like Roth 401(k) plans). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462208/
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report begins with a brief discussion of relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system before examining how inversions were commonly structured. The report then looks at how Congress and Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions. The report concludes with an examination of methods that remain to invert and policy options available to prevent or limit these inversions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462056/
The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens
This report examines the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its role in changes to U.S. laws related to bribery, tax havens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462229/
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 and will be updated as legislative developments warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462305/
Distribution of the Tax Burden Across Individuals: An Overview
This report discusses in the first section different philosophies about how the tax burden should be distributed, and what those philosophies imply for the shape of the tax system. In particular, it addresses the question of the justifications for a progressive tax system (one where the share of income collected as a tax rises as income rises). This section is presented for the interested reader, but is not a necessary preliminary to examining the analysis in the second section, which presents estimates of the distribution of the federal and total U.S. tax burden. The third section of the report discusses the measures that can be used to characterize the distributional effects of tax changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462383/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides both an in-depth description of this tax credit and an analysis of its economic impact. This report is organized to first provide an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), followed by a legislative history that highlights the evolution of education tax credits from proposals in the 1960s through the recent extension of the AOTC at the end of 2012. This report then analyzes the credit by looking at who claims the credit, the effect education tax credits have on increasing college attendance, and administrative issues with the AOTC. Finally, this report concludes with a brief overview of various policy options, including tax law changes proposed in Chairman Camp's tax reform bill3 and in the President's FY2015 budget request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463239/
The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens
This report examines the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its role in changes to U.S. laws related to bribery, tax havens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462457/
Conservation Reserve Program Payments: Self-Employment Income, Rental Income, or Something Else?
This report outlines the history of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the changing positions of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), pertinent case law, and other provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Several possible approaches to the taxation of CRP payments are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461958/
The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens
This report examines the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its role in changes to U.S. laws related to bribery, tax havens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462803/
Global Climate Change: The Energy Tax Incentives in the President's FY1999 Budget
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Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501513/
Tax-Preferred College Savings Plans: An Introduction to 529 Plans
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503687/
The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement: A Brief Description
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The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement: A Brief Description
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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/
An Overview of Tax Provisions Expiring in 2012
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85404/
An Overview of Major Tax Proposals in the President's FY2012 Budget
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 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85390/
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change
Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10190/
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change
Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10189/
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/
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/
Funding School Renovation: Qualified Zone Academy Bonds vs. Traditional Tax-Exempt Bonds
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527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change
This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. The report will be updated as new proposals are reported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1156/
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/
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: Trends from 2001 to 2004
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Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: A Summary of Recent Data
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Taxpayer Protection and IRS Accountability Act of 2003, H.R. 1528
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Minimum Distribution Requirements for Foundations: Proposal to Disallow Administrative Costs
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Pension Reform: The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
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Budget Surpluses: Economic Effects of Debt Repayment, Tax Cuts, or Spending - An Overview
Updated projections released on July 15 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicate budget surpluses rising from $63 billion (0.9% of GDP) in FY1998 to more than $100 billion (1.3% to 1.5% of GDP) from FY2002 through FY2005 and over $200 billion (1.8% to 1.9%) from FY2006 through FY2008.1 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs552/
Tax Incentives for Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles
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527 Organizations: Reporting Requirements Imposed on Political Organizations after the Enactment of P.L. 106-230
On July 1, 2000, President Clinton signed H.R. 4762, P.L. 106-230. The law amended the Internal Revenue Code [IRC] to require political organizations described in IRC § 527 to disclose their political activities, if they were not already required to do so by the Federal Election Campaign Act [FECA]. This report summarizes the three major changes made by the law and some of the major responses to the legislation. First, all 527 organizations which expect to have over $25,000 in gross receipts during a taxable year and which are not required to report to the Federal Election Commission [FEC] are required to register with the IRS within 24 hours of their formation, whether they are involved in state, local, or federal elections. Second, 527 issue advocacy organizations, which previously reported neither to the IRS nor the FEC, are required to file regular disclosure statements with the IRS. Third, all 527 organizations with gross receipts in excess of $25,000 per year are required to file annual reports with the IRS. The registration statements, disclosure forms, and annual reports will be made public. H.R. 527 and S. 527 in the 107th Congress would exempt most state and local 527 organizations from the requirements of P.L. 106-230. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1965/
Comparison of Tax Incentives of Domestic Manufacturing: 108th Congress
The enacted provision of this legislation (H.R. 4520), following the passage of the Senate’s version (then S. 1637) and the House bill (H.R. 4520) followed the Senate version, which allowed a deduction and would cover unincorporated firms as well as corporations. However, the proposal contained the broader definition of manufacturing in the House bill which included oil and gas extraction, utilities, construction, and electricity. This report discusses the provisions in these two versions of the subsidy as well as some of the issues surrounding alternative methods of providing a manufacturing subsidy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6477/
Comparison of Tax Incentives of Domestic Manufacturing in Current Legislative Proposals
This report presents two approaches that have quite different implications for tax administration and Compliance. First, additional domestic investment would have both a direct tax benefit effect, and an indirect effect through increasing the ratio of domestic to world production. Secondly, if one considers the other provisions of H.R. 2896 and S. 1637, these provisions provide benefits (in some cases quite large benefits) to investment overseas that could more than offset any domestic incentive. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6538/
Federal Tax Benefits for Families' K-12 Education Expenses in the Context of School Choice
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527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change
This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. For developments after the enactment of P.L. 106-230, please see CRS Report RS20650, 527 Organizations: Reporting Requirements Imposed on Political Organizations after the Enactment of P.L. 106-230. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9625/