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Sources of Personal Income, Tax Year 2019

Key Findings Taxpayers reported nearly $12.1 trillion of total income on their 2019 tax returns. About 68 percent ($8.3 trillion) of the total income reported on Form 1040 consisted of wages and salaries, and 82 percent of all tax filers reported earning wage income. Retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and pensions are important sources of […]

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Pro-Growth Tax Reforms Throughout the Republican Study Committee’s FY 2023 Budget

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) released its FY 2023 budget today, led by Budget and Spending Task Force Chair Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) and RSC Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN), and prescribes several pro-growth tax reforms that would simplify the tax code and encourage business investment. Among the most impactful reforms are permanence for the Tax […]

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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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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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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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Proposal for Reporting Requirements for Financial Institutions Misses the Mark

The Biden administration’s proposal to require financial institutions to report inflows and outflows of more than $600 from bank accounts has attracted significant attention. The Treasury Department believes it could generate $463 billion in revenue over 10 years by giving the IRS more insight into certain types of income that members of the public often […]

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5 Things to Consider in the Tax Gap Discussion

Increasing tax compliance is a major part of the Biden administration proposal to raise revenue for physical and social infrastructure. Reducing the tax gap—the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid—is a good way to raise revenue, but it doesn’t come without trade-offs, and it’s important to go about it in the right way. Point […]

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Considering Trade-offs to Improving Tax Collections

Recent Biden administration proposals rely heavily on revenue from better Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax collections to fund spending initiatives. The American Families Plan uses several avenues to reduce the tax gap (or the difference between taxes paid and taxes owed), from increasing the IRS’s tax enforcement budget to improving information technology and expanding reporting […]

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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 […]