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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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Return-Free Filing: A Better Fit for a Better Tax Code

Binyamin Applebaum of The New York Times recently authored an op-ed calling for the adoption of return-free filing. Under return-free filing, many taxpayers would receive an already-completed return that they could amend. It’s an appealing idea, but for it to deliver its promised benefits, the U.S. tax code would have to be much simpler. The […]

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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Avoids Tax Increases, Undermines User-Pay Principle, and Misses Chance to Modernize Obsolete Programs

The Senate has begun deliberations over a bipartisan plan to provide $550 billion in new spending for a wide range of infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, public transit, broadband, and the electrical grid. The good news is that lawmakers avoided raising taxes to cover the cost of the new spending and instead used some reasonable […]

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Simplifying the Tax Code and Reducing the Tax Gap: What Can Be Achieved?

Table of Contents Key Findings The tax gap is the gap between what taxpayers owe the U.S. government, and what the government actually collects from taxpayers. Tax compliance efforts ensure that tax law applies evenly to all taxpayers. At the same time, we would like to avoid placing undue compliance burdens on taxpayers. Reducing the […]

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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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Unanswered Questions about Upcoming Advance Child Tax Credit Payments

Later this month more than 39 million households are set to receive advance payments of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that was expanded in the March 2021 American Rescue Plan. Many households are uncertain about how the advance payments will affect their refunds or taxes owed when they file next year, and some questions about […]

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Exploring How Remote Work Could Impact the Way Countries Tax Individuals

The digitalization of the economy has changed how and where we work. Huddles at the boss’s desk have been replaced by morning video conferences, long nights at the office by incongruous hours flexed around extracurriculars, and dreary days in a metropolitan apartment by weeks in exotic (or at least comfortable) retreats. A question for policymakers […]

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Louisiana Fiscal Session Finishes Strong with Tax Reform

It took until the last day of the session, but Louisiana lawmakers succeeded in passing a tax reform package Thursday that would simplify a complicated tax code and make the state more economically competitive. Because these measures are reliant on constitutional amendments, voters will ultimately decide the success of the plan in October. However, if […]

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Tax Policy in the First 100 Days of the Biden Administration

In his first 100 days as president, Joe Biden has proposed more than a dozen significant changes to the U.S. tax code that would raise upwards of $3 trillion in revenue and reduce incentives to invest, save, and work in the United States. While proposing ways to pay for new spending and for expanded refundable […]