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.
Temporary policy creates uncertainty for taxpayers and scheduling more expirations will add to the already-expiring provisions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017.3 min read
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.3 min read
While arcane, expense allocation rules are relevant to current debates because they result in a heavier tax burden for U.S. companies under current law than the recently negotiated global minimum tax proposal.10 min read
One of the ways lawmakers intend to pay for $3.5 trillion of new spending in the budget reconciliation package is by creating “health care savings.” The leading proposal to achieve this is H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would change the way that prescription drug prices are negotiated under Medicare Part D.5 min read
There are many ways the U.S.’s international tax rules could be changed, reformed, improved, or worsened. Reflexively jacking up taxes on U.S. multinationals does not necessarily accomplish the goal of reducing or eliminating profit shifting, and it would in fact worsen it.6 min read
The Biden administration recently cited an analysis from Treasury claiming that “the President’s agenda will protect 97 percent of small business owners from income tax rate increases.” However, the figure is misleading. To assess the economic effect of higher marginal tax rates, it matters how much income or investment will be affected—not how many taxpayers.3 min read
According to the Tax Policy Center, an estimated 60 percent of U.S. households paid no income tax in 2020, up from around 43 percent of households in 2019.4 min read
This interaction between the U.S. proposals and those that may be put into law in foreign jurisdictions should give lawmakers caution when evaluating the revenue potential of changes to GILTI.7 min read
Recent Biden administration proposals rely heavily on revenue from better 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 requirements.4 min read
Sen. Wyden recently introduced the Small Business Tax Fairness Act—the impact of which we modeled—to reform the Section 199A pass-through business deduction created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. The provision currently allows taxpayers to deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified business income from their taxable income, subject to certain limitations.2 min read