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Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT)

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) is a nonpartisan congressional committee in the United States that assists both the House and Senate with tax legislation. The JCT is chaired, on a rotation, by the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

What Does the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) Do?

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) was established by the Revenue Act of 1926 as a result of congressional investigations into administrative problems at the Internal Bureau of Revenue. The original House legislation would have created a temporary “Joint Commission on Taxation,” but the Senate version is what ultimately created the permanent Joint Committee on Taxation. In the mid-1920s, it rapidly expanded its operations, including adding a permanent staff of expert economists, lawyers, and accountants.

The JCT assists with the entire process of tax legislation. This includes helping the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means tax-writing committees, drafting official revenue projections for all tax legislation (as required by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974), and investigating the federal tax system. In addition to facilitating the tax legislative process, the JCT executes independent studies and analyses of tax-related events and topics and reviews all individual IRS tax refunds totaling more than $2 million and corporate refunds above $5 million. The JCT makes recommendations for changes and updates to tax legislation to the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees based on their investigations and analyses.

The JCT is one of only four joint committees in Congress today. Its design as a joint committee between the House and Senate assists in the efficient and continuous production of a tax bill. The expertise of the committee helps the other tax committees understand and design these complicated pieces of legislation throughout the legislative process.

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