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Business Tax Collections Within Historical Norm After Accounting for Pass-through Business Taxes

A common argument for raising the corporate income tax rate is that collections as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) fell after the rate was reduced to 21 percent as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017. But that argument is incomplete, as the U.S. also has a large pass-through […]

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A Neutral Tax Code Counts Unemployment Compensation as Taxable Income

During the pandemic, implementation issues in some states resulted in underwithholding income tax due on enhanced unemployment benefits, and surprise tax bills, for many jobless workers. For instance, in California, when workers opted to withhold 10 percent of their unemployment compensation for taxes, that only applied to state benefits and not enhanced federal benefits. The […]

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IRS Data Shows Who Benefited from the First Round of Economic Impact Payments

Newly published data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shows that the first round of economic impact payments primarily benefited households earning less than $100,000. Lawmakers passed the first round of payments under the CARES Act in March 2020 and the Treasury Department began sending payments in early April 2020. The IRS sent more than […]

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What to Expect During the 2021 Tax Season

In the next few weeks, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting federal tax returns for the 2020 tax year. The coronavirus pandemic and multiple pandemic-related relief packages passed last year will make the tax season unique for taxpayers and for the IRS. Congress introduced several tax policy changes in 2020 that will impact […]

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Potential Regulatory Changes in Tax Policy Under the Biden Administration

With a likely divided U.S. Congress this January, the incoming Biden administration may have a limited ability to pass the tax changes proposed by Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign. Much of Biden’s tax plan included tax increases on higher earners and businesses, which are unlikely to be considered by a likely Republican-controlled Senate pending […]

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A Preliminary Look at 2019 Tax Data for Individuals

The IRS has released tax data covering the first 30 weeks of the tax season, providing a glimpse of how individual taxpayers fared in 2019, the second tax year under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The preliminary data provides aggregate information by income group on a range of topics, including sources of income […]

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National Taxpayer Advocate’s Report Is a Road Map to Simpler Pandemic Relief Provisions

Last week, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins released her first report to Congress on the challenges taxpayers have faced related to the coronavirus pandemic, including the tax changes made through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The National Taxpayer Advocate’s findings show that policymakers should prioritize simplicity in the next round […]