When peeling back layers of the JCT report, it becomes clear that many tax expenditures are not “loopholes” or benefits for narrow special interests, but important structural elements of the tax code.
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Congress is debating new ways to raise revenue that would make the tax code more complex and more difficult to administer. The new proposals—imposing an alternative minimum tax on corporate book income, applying an excise tax on stock buybacks, and, at one point this week, a tax on unrealized capital gains for billionaires—are unreliable and highly complex ways to raise revenue.
In a new report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzes federal policies that influence R&D spending in the pharmaceutical industry. The report highlights how taxes affect R&D investment incentives, underscoring the importance of structuring the tax code so that it is not biased against investment.
The debate in Washington, D.C. often centers around tax expenditures, so-called corporate loopholes, in the tax code. But not all tax expenditures are created equal. Some represent neutral tax treatment and should be left alone, while others are distortionary and should be repealed. Understanding what a tax expenditure represents is essential for understanding how our tax code works for both businesses and individuals.