Tax Expenditures

Tax Policy Center: Fewer Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax

One area of controversy in the last election was the percentage of American households that pay no federal income tax, often cited as 47 percent. The number actually peaked at 50 percent in 2009, but that proportion will fall to 43 percent this year.

The Tax Break-Down: Child Tax Credit

This is the fourth post in our blog series, The Tax Break-Down, which will analyze and review tax breaks under discussion as part of tax reform. 

The Tax Break-Down: Preferential Rates on Capital Gains

This is the third post in a new CRFB blog series The Tax Break-Down, which will analyze and review tax breaks under discussion as part of tax reform. In previous posts, we've written about the State & Local Tax Deduction and Last-in-First-Out (LIFO) Accounting rules.

The Tax Break-Down: LIFO Accounting

This is the second post in a new CRFB blog series The Tax Break-Down, which discusses tax breaks under discussion as part of tax reform.

Last-in, first-out accounting, or LIFO, is a preferential method of measuring profits from inventory sales and is one of the ten largest tax breaks in the corporate code. LIFO accounting has been part of the U.S. tax code since 1939, but it is a uniquely American invention; it is not permitted under International Financial Reporting Standards.

The Tax Break-Down: The State and Local Tax Deduction

This is the first post in a new CRFB blog series The Tax Break-Down, which will analyze and review tax breaks under discussion as part of tax reform.

Introducing "The Tax Break-Down"

We've written many times before about the $1.3 trillion of tax breaks currently littering the code, urging policymakers to focus on paring back tax preferences in order to reform the tax code and reduce rates and deficits.

Opening the Tax Reform Vault

Updated 8/2/2013: Newly released submissions to the Finance Committee have been added.

The deadline for Senators to make their arguments for what tax expenditures should be included in Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) “blank slate” approach to tax reform has now come and gone. Baucus and Hatch are going to great lengths to keep the submissions private, but some Senators have declined privacy and released letters to the public, with more expected to do so in the coming weeks.

Weinstein: Simplification Should Be First Priority of Tax Reform

The tax reform debate is heating up and many groups are weighing in on what tax provisions should be kept and what the broad revenue and distributional goals of tax reform should be. But Paul Weinstein of the Progressive Policy Institute, a former senior advisor to the Fiscal Commission reminds in a new report that lawmakers should not forget about the opportunity to make the code drastically simpler for taxpayers.

Making the Case for Fundamental Tax Reform

Today, the Campaign to Fix the Debt released a memo making the case for the “blank slate” approach to tax reform proposed by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The “blank slate” process would eliminate all of the $1.3 trillion in tax expenditures and put the burden of proof on lawmakers to justify adding them back at the cost of higher rates.

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