Congressional Research Service Reports - 281 Matching Results

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Internet Transactions and the Sales Tax

Description: 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).
Date: December 12, 2000
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Description: State governments rely on sales and use taxes for approximately one-third (33.6%) of their total tax revenue - or approximately $179 billion in FY2002 .' Local governments derived 12.4% of their tax revenue or $44 .1 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY20012 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 the vendor if the vendor does 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 .
Date: March 31, 2004
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lobbying Regulations on Non-Profit Organizations

Description: This report is intended to provide a brief overview of the various potential restrictions or regulations on lobbying activities of non-profit organizations. Public charities, social welfare organizations, religious groups, and other non-profit, tax-exempt organizations are not generally prohibited from engaging in all lobbying or public policy advocacy merely because of their tax-exempt status.
Date: November 26, 2002
Creator: Maskell, Jack H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 15, 2002
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 29, 2003
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Reform: Innocent Spouse Rule

Description: Married couples filing joint tax returns are liable individually and as a couple for all taxes due on the return with a limited exemption for innocent spouses. This report discusses joint and several liability, which has been the subject of much criticism and calls for reform or elimination.
Date: July 2, 1998
Creator: Ripy, Thomas B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Description: Recent changes in the Nation's tax laws have made Individual Retirement Accounts available to many people previously excluded. This report provides general information on IRAs including material explaining these recent changes and their consequences.
Date: June 28, 1983
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Higher Education Tax Credits: An Economic Analysis

Description: This report provides analysis of the education tax credit program in the context of issues facing Congress in regard to higher education. This report begins with a review of the economic rationale for subsidizing education, then describes federal subsidies for education in general and the education tax credits in particular. An analysis of the education credits follows and the report concludes with a discussion of education tax credit policy options.
Date: January 17, 2006
Creator: Jackson, Pamela J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress

Description: Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA, P.L. 108-357), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has acquired for the second time in its history the legal authority to hire private debt collection agencies (PCAs) to assist in the collection of certain individual tax debt. The grant of authority grew out of a proposal made by the Bush Administration in its budget request for the IRS in both FY2004 and FY2005. This report focuses on IRS’s current plan for hiring PCAs to collect delinquent individual taxes and the policy issues it raises. It begins with an examination of the scope of IRS’s authority to use PCAs under the AJCA and concludes with a discussion of the main issues for Congress as it oversees IRS’s efforts to implement and manage the private tax debt collection initiative. The report will be updated to reflect significant legislative action and new developments related to the initiative
Date: January 11, 2006
Creator: Guenther, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings

Description: This report discusses Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRA) and their tax incentives. Many workers covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans do not work long enough with one employer to be entitled to a pension. Others may be covered by a profit-sharing plan to which the employer may have little or no profits to contribute. Since these individuals were "covered" by a retirement plan, they were ineligible to make tax-deductible contributions to a tax-sheltered Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA). Many observers considered this a tax inequity and felt that all employees should be eligible to establish their own IRAs or make tax-deductible contributions to their employer's plan. Congress responded to this situation by approving retirement savings incentives for all workers as part of the tax cut bill (H.R. 4242). All workers, whether or not covered by an employer pension plan, are now permitted tax deductible contributions to IRAs up to $2,000 a year.
Date: November 22, 1982
Creator: Schmitt, Ray
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flat-Rate Tax Proposals

Description: 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.
Date: June 21, 1982
Creator: Esenwein, Gregg A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Introduction to the Design of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Description: This report discusses the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which is a federal provision that reduces the income tax liability of taxpayers claiming the credit. These taxpayers are typically investors in real estate development projects that have traded cash for the tax credits to support the production of affordable housing. The credit is intended to lower the financing costs of housing developments so that the rental prices of units can be lower than market rates, and thus, presumably, affordable.
Date: February 24, 2006
Creator: Jackson, Pamela J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Description: 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.
Date: January 18, 2002
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Description: 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.
Date: January 18, 2002
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce

Description: 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.
Date: March 9, 2006
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest

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.
Date: August 20, 2008
Creator: Lunder, Erika
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 5, 2008
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department