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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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Business Tax Refunds Must Be Provided Quickly During Future Downturns

During the pandemic, policymakers relied on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to administer business relief through the tax code. The emergency relief, including business tax refunds for net operating losses (NOLs), was intended to quickly help businesses that lost their source of income during the pandemic. A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) […]

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Census Data Shows Households Saved Economic Impact Payments

In 2020 and 2021, Congress enacted three rounds of economic impact payments (EIPs) for direct relief to households amidst the pandemic-induced downturn. Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that households increasingly saved their EIPs or used them to pay down debt rather than spend them. While the data indicates that debt and saving became more common uses […]

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Tax Foundation Webinar Recaps the Complexities of the 2021 Tax Filing Season

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State Conformity to Federal Pandemic-Related Tax Provisions in CARES and ARPA

Table of Contents Key Findings The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act made temporary structural changes to the federal tax code to enhance business liquidity, including more generous treatment of net operating losses and business interest expenses. Under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), businesses that receive loan forgiveness are not required […]

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How the CARES Act Shifted the Composition of Tax Expenditures Towards Individuals

In November 2020, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released its annual report on expenditures in the tax code, showing a total of almost $1.8 trillion in 2020, up from $1.5 trillion in 2018. Much of that roughly $1.8 trillion was due to tax relief provided by the CARES Act—and reflect the policy choice to […]

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Which States Are Taxing Forgiven PPP Loans?

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is providing an important lifeline to help keep millions of small businesses open and their workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many borrowers will have these loans forgiven; eligibility for forgiveness requires using the loan for qualifying purposes (like payroll costs, mortgage interest payments, rent, and […]

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U.S. COVID-19 Relief Provided More Than $60,000 in Benefits to Many Unemployed Families

With passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), much of the $6 trillion in relief over the past year was directed to the unemployed in unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and to low- and moderate-income households in stimulus payments and child tax credits (CTC). The unemployment insurance benefits paired existing state-level weekly aid with a federal […]

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House Ways and Means Committee Takes First Steps Toward Additional Coronavirus Relief Legislation

The nine legislative measures released by the House Ways and Means Committee under the budget reconciliation instructions begins to put legislative text to Congress’ next round of pandemic relief. The nine measures comprise more than half of the $1.9 trillion in additional coronavirus-related relief put forth by congressional Democrats and President Biden. The Ways and […]

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Tax-A-Rama in Maryland

The potential override of Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of a digital advertising tax (HB732) looms large over the current legislative session in Maryland, though it is only one of many tax proposals under consideration in the state. House Bill 732 passed with a veto-proof majority in 2020, and, if lawmakers override the governor’s veto, […]