How to Enact (and Maintain) Tax Reform

October 26, 2010 08:17 AM | | Bookmark and Share

Tax reform is important and desirable, but too often short-lived. Absent action to address the biases in favor of tax expenditures, lawmakers have almost no chance of maintaining a reformed tax code for long, nor do they have much chance of being able to impartially decide whether new government programs should be implemented as tax expenditures or direct expenditures. Procedural reforms of the type outlined in this report should be the starting point for reining in lawmakers’ unhealthy obsession with tax expenditures.

Note: This report was written for State Tax Notes, and therefore takes a state-level perspective.  It is, however, equally applicable to the situation at the federal level.

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State-by-State Estate Tax Figures: Number of Deaths Resulting in Estate Tax Liability Continues to Drop

October 20, 2010 02:18 PM | | Bookmark and Share

New data from the IRS show that only 0.6 percent of deaths in the U.S. in 2008 resulted in estate tax liability. The estate tax that would exist under President Obama’s tax plan would affect even fewer estates, which demonstrates why Congress should consider enacting a more robust estate tax than what President Obama envisions.

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Refundable Credits Expanded in the Economic Recovery Act

October 19, 2010 01:33 PM | | Bookmark and Share

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), signed into law by President Barack Obama, expanded two refundable tax credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. While most of the provisions in ARRA are intended to be temporary, President Obama has proposed making permanent these expansions of refundable tax credits for low-income families. These figures show how these expansions would affect taxpayers in different income groups if extended through 2011 and how many families and children would be helped in each state.

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