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Evaluating U.S. Tax Reform Options & Trade-Offs

The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic poses a triple challenge for tax policy in the United States. Lawmakers are tasked with crafting a policy response that will accelerate the economic recovery, reduce the mounting deficit, and protect the most vulnerable.

To assist lawmakers in navigating the challenge, and to help the American public understand the tax changes being proposed, the Tax Foundation’s Center for Federal Tax Policy modeled how 70 potential changes to the tax code would affect the U.S. economy, distribution of the tax burden, and federal revenue.

In tax policy there is an ever-present trade-off among how much revenue a tax will raise, who bears the burden of a tax, and what impact a tax will have on economic growth. Armed with the information in our new book, Options for Reforming America’s Tax Code 2.0, policymakers can debate the relative merits and trade-offs of each option to improve the tax code in a post-pandemic world.

IRS budget increase IRS technology modernization and IRS funding for IRS e-filing electronic tax filing

The U.S. Tax Code Is Too Complex for Direct eFile to Work

It is hard to imagine the IRS Direct e-File Program operating seamlessly with the complexity of the current U.S. tax system. Instead, lawmakers should first address the more fundamental problem that causes taxpayer frustration: our highly complicated tax code.

4 min read
EU wealth tax discussion and debate EU wealth tax proposal 2023

The Wealth Tax Discussion Is Back

Given that wealth taxes collect little revenue and have the potential to disincentivize entrepreneurship and investment, perhaps European countries should repeal them rather than implement one across the continent.

4 min read
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism EU CBAM carbon price carbon tariffs US global minimum tax US tax incentives Build Back Better tax rate on gilti Global Intangible Low Tax Income (GILTI) Global intangible low-taxed income US cross-border tax reform and GILTI Global Intangible Low Tax Income. Foreign tax credits

JCT Analyzes Federal Revenue Effects of Pillar Two

The JCT analysis raises some useful questions for the U.S. domestic debate over Pillar Two. The Treasury Department should examine its support for an agreement that will reduce its own revenue intake. But it is also worth noting that the principal mechanism for the revenue reduction—the foreign tax credit—is a policy already baked into U.S. law, including the Republican-enacted global minimum tax from 2017. The OECD deal merely takes advantage of this longstanding feature.

6 min read
NC budget North Carolina tax reform proposals in the NC budget taxes 2023

North Carolina’s Budget Should Prioritize Pro-Growth Structural Reforms

As fiscal year 2023 draws to a close, North Carolina’s House and Senate have each passed their own versions of the biennial budget for fiscal years 2024-25. While legislative leaders have generally agreed to overall spending levels, negotiations remain ongoing to resolve different approaches to tax policy.

7 min read
Texas property tax relief and Texas property tax reform explore Texas property taxes

Texas Lawmakers Should Deliver Principled Property Tax Relief

Texas’s robust surpluses create an opportunity to use state funds to lower local property taxes. However, it remains important for legislators to pursue a principled approach to rate compression, rather than enacting a plan that will simply shift the tax burden in nonneutral ways.

3 min read