Congressional Research Service Reports - 697 Matching Results

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Buying American: Protecting U.S. Manufacturing Through the Berry and Kissell Amendments
This report discusses the Berry and Kissell amendments, two separate but closely-related laws requiring that certain goods purchased by national security agencies be produced in the United States.
The Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer- Sponsored Health Insurance: Estimated Economic and Market Effects
This report examines several issues related to health insurance: it evaluates the potential of the Cadillac tax to affect health insurance coverage (and, therefore, the health market), and examines the expected incidence (burden) of the tax--that is, which group will pay the price of the tax.
U.S. International Corporate Taxation: Basic Concepts and Policy Issues
This report provides a general introduction to the basic concepts and issues relevant to the U.S. international corporate tax system. The explanations provided in this report emphasize the underlying concepts of the international tax system and are intended to be as simplified as possible.
Taxpayers with Zero Income Tax Liability: Trends Over Time and Across Income Levels
This report discusses situations when individuals or households have not paid federal income taxes because their income was below the filing threshold.
The Internet Tax Freedom Act: In Brief
This report discusses the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA; P.L. 105-277) enacted in 1998, which implemented a three-year moratorium preventing state and local governments from taxing Internet access, or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
An Overview of Recent Tax Reform Proposals
This report provides a review of legislative tax reform proposals introduced since the 113th Congress. Several proposals have already been introduced in the 115th Congress to replace the current income tax system.
Internet Sales and State Taxes: Policy Issues
This report discusses Internet sales, which do not always include sales and use tax. Customers who do not pay sales or use tax to the vendor are typically required to remit the tax to their home state.
EU State Aid and Apple's Taxes
This report discusses the recent investigations by the European Union (EU) regarding claims that certain countries had provided illegal state aid via favorable tax rulings.
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.
Spending and Tax Expenditures: Distinctions and Major Programs
This report identifies the largest spending and tax expenditures across eight major categories of federal activity: (1) defense and international affairs; (2) general science, space and technology, natural resources and the environment, and agriculture; (3) commerce and housing, community and regional development, and transportation; (4) education, training, employment, and social services; (5) health, including Medicare; (6) income security; (7) Social Security and veterans' benefits; and (8) administration of justice and general governance.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Federal Income Tax
This report addresses some of the frequently asked historical, constitutional, procedural, and legal questions concerning the federal income tax.
Major Tax Issues in the 108th Congress
This report provides an overview of major tax issues. It begins by describing three aspects of the economic context in which the tax policy debate during 2004 is likely to occur: the general state of the U.S. economy; the position of the federal budget; and the level of taxes in the United States.
Tax Reform in the 114th Congress: An Overview of Proposals
This report provides background information regarding tax reform and discusses ways to make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient.
Energy Tax Policy: History and Current Issues
This report provides historical context regarding energy tax policy and discusses what may lie ahead.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Filers and the Child Tax Credit: Overview and Legislation
This report discusses the child tax credit, which was created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-34) to help ease the financial burden on families when they have children. The ACTC is available to taxpayers with little or no federal income tax liability.
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.
Brownfields Tax Incentive Extension
This report discusses the brownfields tax incentive, which expires on December 31, 2007. Enacted in 1997, the provision allowed a taxpayer to fully deduct the costs of environmental cleanup in the year the costs were incurred, rather than spreading the costs over a period of years.
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).
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.
Health-Related Tax Expenditures: Overview and Analysis
This report analyzes health-related tax expenditures together at the budget function level, rather than focusing on the size of any single provision. To provide some insights into common questions about health-related expenditures, this report analyzes historical data on health-related tax expenditure estimates published by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).
Revenue Legislation in the Congressional Budget Process
This report discusses revenue legislation, which may include changes to individual and corporate income taxes, social insurance taxes, excise taxes, or tariffs and duties. Congressional consideration of revenue legislation is governed by various constitutional provisions and procedural rules.
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2000: Analysis of Census Bureau Data
This report examines recent trends in retirement saving and the policy implications. The aging of the American population and the impending retirement of the "baby boom" will place significant strains over the next several decades on both Social Security and on retirees' own financial resources. With continued increases in average life expectancies, retirees in the 21st century will have to stretch their savings and other assets over longer periods of retirement than were experienced by their parents and grandparents.
Energy Tax Policy
This report discusses the history, current posture, and outlook for federal energy tax policy. It also discusses recent energy tax proposals, focusing on the major energy tax provisions that were debated as part of omnibus energy legislation in the 108th Congress (e.g., H.R. 6), which may be reintroduced in the 109th Congress.
Estate and Gift Taxes: Economic Issues
This report discusses how the estate and gift tax works and examines various policy options. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA, P.L. 107-16) repeals the estate tax after 2009. In the 108th Congress, some policymakers have proposed eliminating the sunset provision in the EGTRRA, thus making repeal of the estate tax permanent.
Small Business Tax Relief: Proposals in the 108th Congress and Their Economic Justification
This report examines the economic arguments for and against small business tax subsidies in the context of current congressional proposals to expand them. It begins with a brief description of current federal tax subsidies for small firms, moves on to consider the principal economic arguments for and against these subsidies, and concludes with a discussion of proposals in the 108th Congress to expand small business tax subsidies and their likely economic effects.
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.
Value-Added Tax as a New Revenue Source
This report discusses the valueadded tax (VAT), which has been frequently discussed as a full or partial replacement for the U.S. income tax system.
Dependent Care: Current Tax Benefits and Legislative Issues
This report discusses current tax treatment of dependent care expenses under those two provisions and options for changing those policies. Two income tax provisions help taxpayers pay for the costs of caring for children and older dependents who cannot care for themselves.
Estate Tax Options
After a brief description of the estate and gift tax and of options, this report compares the alternatives, focusing largely on a $1 million exemption and 55% rate, a $3.5 million exemption and a 45% rate, and a $5 million exemption and a 35% rate. Several policy effects and issues are analyzed: the share of decedents subject to tax, revenue effects, distributional effects, and effects on savings, charitable contributions, and compliance and administration. The report also considers other aspects of the proposals, such as whether the exemptions are indexed for inflation, a proposed inheritance of the exemption for spouses, and proposals to address perceived abuses.
Estate and Gift Taxes: Economic Issues
The unified estate and gift tax is levied on the transfer of assets that occurs when someone dies or gives a gift. Filing an estate tax return can be difficult depending on the value and complexity of the estate. The purpose here is to outline the mechanics of the estate and gift tax. The first section begins with a brief review of the general rules accompanied with a numerical example. There are some minor provisions of the law that are not discussed here, however, such as the phase out of the graduated rates and the credit for taxes on property recently transferred. The second section summarizes the special rules for farms and small businesses. And, the final section briefly describes the generation skipping transfer tax. The appendix of this report provides detailed data from returns filed in 2005, the latest year for which data are available.
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.
Taxation of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers
This report provides background on hedge funds and private equity and summarizes the tax issues.
An Overview of Tax Provisions Expiring in 2012
A number of tax provisions have either expired at the end of 2011 or are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. This report provides an overview of these expiring provisions.
Federal Excise Taxes on Tobacco Products: Rates and Revenues
This report examines increases in excise tax rates on tobacco products contained in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33). Under that act, the increased rates on tobacco products became effective in two stages. The first scheduled increase in rates occurred on January 1, 2000, while the second increase in rates occurred two years later on January 1, 2002
A History of Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Taxes
This report details the history of the three federal transfer taxes, tracing their development from their 18th-century roots to the present.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Economic Analysis
This report discusses the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a refundable tax credit available to eligible workers earning relatively low wages
An Introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, which is one of the federal government’s primary policy tools for encouraging the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. These non-refundable federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified rental projects via a competitive application process administered by state housing finance authorities.
An Introduction to the Design of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
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.
An Introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
This report discusses the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, which is one of the federal government’s primary policy tools for encouraging the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. These non-refundable federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified rental projects via a competitive application process administered by state housing finance authorities.
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.
Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945 (Updated)
Income tax rates are at the center of many recent policy debates over taxes. Some policymakers argue that raising tax rates, especially on higher income taxpayers, to increase tax revenues is part of the solution for long-term debt reduction. This report examines the top tax rates since 1945 and analyzes the ways in which tax rates affect economic growth.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. H.R. 6844 would provide a two-year suspension of the taxation of UC benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxes and Offshore Outsourcing
This report discusses the impact of taxes on international trade and investment has been debated for decades. Most recently, a variety of bills addressing international taxation have been introduced in the 110th Congress—some would cut taxes for U.S. firms overseas, while others would increase taxes on foreign investment. The debate over taxes and foreign outsourcing has tended to grow more heated during times of domestic economic weakness and high unemployment; questions arise over whether taxes contribute to such weakness by discouraging exports (or encouraging imports) or by encouraging U.S. firms to move abroad. The debate over international taxation has again become prominent as a part of the wider debate over “outsourcing.” With taxes, the debate asks how the current system affects outsourcing, and whether policies designed to limit the phenomenon might be desirable.
Tax Benefits for Families: Recent Changes for the Head of Household Filing Status
This report describes the recent changes to file a federal income tax return as a head of household.
Passthrough Organizations Not Taxed As Corporations
This report describes the various forms of tax conduit organizations found in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), or the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) regulations and discusses how the form of organization affects the tax situation of the owners. It is organized according to the major types of conduit organization.