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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.

Stockholm Sweden Scandinavian tax systems to fund large social safety net and public service programs

Insights into the Tax Systems of Scandinavian Countries

Scandinavian countries are well known for their broad social safety net and their public funding of services such as universal health care, higher education, parental leave, and child and elderly care. So how do Scandinavian countries raise their tax revenues?

7 min read
Michigan income tax cut may be temporary due to recent opinion by Michigan attorney general tax opinion

Is Michigan’s Tax Cut Temporary or Permanent?

Michiganders will pay a lower individual income tax rate next year thanks to high general fund revenues, but these savings may be short-lived following an opinion released by the state’s attorney general.

7 min read
IRS funding increase Inflation Reduction Act IRS strategic operating plan includes auditors

IRS Strategic Operating Plan Shows Promise, but Concerns Remain

While the IRS hopes to increase revenue collection and minimize additional burdens on taxpayers, uncertainty remains regarding its ability to deliver, particularly on the latter. Furthermore, some concerns about the original funding package are already surfacing, specifically around insufficient funding for taxpayer services.

6 min read
Portugal inflation tax policies include Portugal VAT exemption for value added tax goods and services

VAT Carveouts in Portugal

The Portuguese government has introduced plans to exempt “essential” food items from its value-added tax (VAT) in response to the recent inflation spike. While this may sound like a reasonable measure on the surface, it comes with numerous unintended consequences that compromise its effectiveness.

4 min read
2023 spain tax reform and spain tax policy including Spain wealth tax and Spain windfall tax policies

Spain Is Doubling Down on Poor Tax Policy

Spain should follow the examples of Italy and the UK and enact tax reforms that have the potential to stimulate economic activity by supporting private investment while increasing its international tax competitiveness.

7 min read
2023 Missouri tax reform proposals and Missouri income tax reform including corporate income tax rate reductions

Missouri Tax Package Would Set State Up for Success

Accelerating its current individual income tax triggers and setting up the corporate income tax for eventual elimination would increase Missouri’s attractiveness among states at a time when businesses are increasingly mobile and tax competition matters more than ever.

4 min read

Shrinking Revenue from Sin Taxes: A Small Price to Pay for Healthier Behaviour

Younger and healthier Brits have created a $17.1 billion budget hole by smoking and drinking less. Yet, despite this resounding piece of positive news, some see any decline in tax revenues as a public finance crisis. Excise taxes target a tax base that is intended to shrink. Less consumption is a stated goal of the policy.

3 min read