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Tax Filing Season: Options for Improvement

Tax Day came and went on April 18th with the regular tax filing deadline, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is facing difficulties. It struggled to manage a deluge of 282 million calls made in fiscal year 2021, only answering 11 percent, and a backlog of several million returns from 2021 were left to be […]

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Chaotic IRS Filing Season Shows the Perils of Running Social Policy Through the Tax Code

As the deadline for the 2022 tax filing season nears, the IRS faces scrutiny for its backlog of returns, inaccessible taxpayer service, and delays in issuing certain refunds. As of January 28th, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had 23.7 million returns awaiting action, compared to a typical backlog at that point of roughly 1 million […]

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Alabama Should Pursue Permanent, Not Piecemeal, Solutions to Federal Deductibility Issues

Alabama lawmakers are acting to ensure that federal relief from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) does not increase tax liabilities in the state. Senate Bill 152, which addresses the issue, recently passed and has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee. This unusual issue is a consequence of Alabama offering a state-level deduction […]

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States Should Act Fast on UC Trust Fund Deposits, and Other Takeaways from the New Treasury Guidance on ARPA Funding

The Department of the Treasury has finalized its rule governing State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), the $350 billion state and local governments received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). State policymakers should have three key takeaways: If states want to use the funds to replenish their unemployment compensation (UC) trust funds—and they […]

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Bumpy Tax Filing Season Ahead Due to IRS Backlog and Pandemic Tax Relief

Taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are set to face a bumpy 2022 tax filing season, which the IRS announced will begin January 24th and run through April 18th. Two major challenges await taxpayers: a second year of navigating pandemic-related tax relief on their returns and IRS backlogs that may delay processing and refunds. […]

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U.S. Fiscal Response to COVID-19 Among Largest of Industrialized Countries

As the Omicron variant continues to sweep through the world, it is possible there will be renewed talks of fiscal support if economic growth declines. For this reason, it is worth reviewing how various countries responded to the pandemic over the past two years. One thing stands out: The U.S. fiscal response was among the […]

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States Have $95 Billion to Restore their Unemployment Trust Funds—Why Aren’t They Using It?

Key Findings States have paid out $175 billion in unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic, with the federal government providing an additional $660 billion. Taking debt into account, state trust funds now have a negative aggregate balance of -$11 billion and are $115 billion shy of minimum adequate solvency levels. States are authorized […]

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Temporary Policies Complicate the Child Tax Credit’s Future

Over the next ten years, the structure of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is scheduled to change, complicating efforts to extend enhanced Child Tax Credit benefits or reform the Child Tax Credit for the long-term. Rather than take an all-or-nothing approach or kick the can down the road by relying on temporary expansions, lawmakers could consider […]

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COVID-19 Tax Relief Added to Increasing Share of Households Paying No Income Tax

On Wednesday, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) released estimates on the portion of households with no federal income tax liability, finding that in 2020, about 60.6 percent of households did not pay income tax, up from 43.6 percent of households in 2019. Much of the 2020 increase was due to pandemic-related factors, but the growing […]

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Evaluating Trade-Offs of Expanded Premium Tax Credits as Enrollment Period Ends

August 15th was the deadline to take advantage of the premium tax credits (PTC) originally provided in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and recently expanded in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Future extensions may provide longer-lasting benefits, although the extensions may create trade-offs for consumer choice and program costs. The ACA provided a refundable […]