Congressional Research Service Reports - 697 Matching Results

Search Results

The Challenge of Individual Income Tax Reform: An Economic Analysis of Tax Base Broadening
Congressional interest in a major reform of the individual income tax that would broaden the base and use the additional tax revenues to lower rates and/or reduce the deficit has increased. This report discusses ways in which the tax base can be broadened, tax expenditures, and impediments to broadening the base/eliminating or reducing expenditures.
“Amazon” Laws and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis
This report covers ways in which states are attempting to capture taxes on Internet sales. Two basic approaches include imposing tax collection responsibilities on the retailer, and requiring remote sellers to provide tax information to the state and/or it's customers. This report covers the legality of both options.
The Role of Federal Gasoline Excise Taxes in Public Policy
This report examines the effects of the federal excise tax on gasoline and analyzes the positive and negative effects of the tax. The report also evaluates the incentive structure that a higher gasoline tax would likely create, and examines a revised version of the tax, a variable gasoline tax.
Oil and Natural Gas Industry Tax Issues in the FY2014 Budget Proposal
This report discusses the FY2014 budget proposal that outlines a set of proposals, framed as the termination of tax preferences, that would potentially increase the taxes paid by the oil and natural gas industries, especially those of the independent producers.
PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified
This report explains Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments, with an analysis of the five major factors affecting the calculation of a payment to a given county. It also describes the effects of certain legislative changes in PILT in 2009 and 2012.
Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches
Report that examines alternative approaches to reducing the deficit, relating to the immediate issues arising from the Budget Control Act and the expiring tax cuts as well as to ongoing longer term decisions about how to bring the debt under control.
501(c)(3) Organizations: What Qualifies as "Educational"?
Report that discusses the legal definition of the term "educational," as well as the constitutional implications of that definition.
Should the United States Levy a Value-Added Tax for Deficit Reduction?
Report that discusses the levying of a value-added tax (VAT), a broad-based consumption tax, to potentially assist in resolving United States fiscal problems. It considers the experiences of the 29 nations with value-added taxes (VATs) in the 30-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which are relevant to the feasibility and operation of a possible U. S. VAT.
Should the United States Levy a Value-Added Tax for Deficit Reduction?
This report discusses the levying of a value-added tax (VAT), a broad-based consumption tax, to potentially assist in resolving United States fiscal problems. It considers the experiences of the 29 nations with value-added taxes (VATs) in the 30-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which are relevant to the feasibility and operation of a possible U.S. VAT.
Major Decisions in the House and Senate on Social Security: 1935-2010
This report responds to the many inquiries that CRS gets for Social Security vote information, which range from requests for general information about legislative action over the years to requests for information about specific floor amendments. It is intended to be a reference document on the major statutory decisions made by Congress on the Social Security program. A detailed table of contents and a summary table of the legislation discussed are provided to aid the reader.
Tax Policy Options for Deficit Reduction
This report analyzes various revenue options for deficit reduction and highlights proposals made by the President's Fiscal Commission and the Debt Reduction Task Force.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
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 .
State Investment Tax Credits, the Commerce Clause, and Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler
No Description Available.
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.
State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce
No Description Available.
State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce
No Description Available.
State Corporate Income Taxes: A Description and Analysis
No Description Available.
State Corporate Income Taxes: A Description and Analysis
No Description Available.
Taxes, Exports and Investment: ETI/FSC and Domestic Investment Proposals in the 108th Congress
No Description Available.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tax Issues Relating to Charitable Contributions and Organizations
This report focuses on deductions for charitable contributions, and on institutions that are generally eligible for deductible charitable contributions, such as social welfare organizations, educational institutions, nonprofit hospitals, and churches, along with conduits to those institutions such as private foundations, donor-advised funds, and supporting organizations.
Using Business Tax Cuts to Stimulate the Economy
This report discusses issues associated with the use of business tax subsidies. First, is fiscal policy appropriate? Second, how successful are subsidies likely to be and what form might they take to be most effective? Finally, what other consequences might flow from the use of business tax subsidies, especially if they are to be permanent?
Analysis of the Tax Exclusion for Canceled Mortgage Debt Income
This report begins with an overview and analysis of the historical tax treatment of canceled debt income. Next, the changes enacted by recent legislation are reviewed. A discussion of policy options concludes.
H.R. 3768: the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005
This report compares the provisions in H.R. 3768, the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005, as passed by the House with those in the amended version of the bill that was passed by the Senate.
Higher Education Tax Credits: An Economic Analysis
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.
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.
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.