ITEP Reports

Cigarette Taxes: Issues and Options

October 18, 2016

Efforts to increase taxes usually face some opposition, particularly increases to broad-based taxes such as the sales or income tax. Yet in many states, lawmakers have been able to agree on one approach to revenue-raising: the cigarette tax. Since 2002, nearly every state has enacted a cigarette tax in-crease to fund health care, discourage smoking, or to help balance state budgets. This policy brief looks at the advantages and disadvantages of cigarette taxes, and cigarette tax increases, as a source of state and local revenue.

State Tax Subsidies for Private K-12 Education

October 12, 2016

This report explains the workings, and problems, with state-level tax subsidies for private K-12 education. It also discusses how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has exacerbated some of these problems by allowing taxpayers to claim federal charitable deductions even on private school contributions that were not truly charitable in nature. Finally, an appendix to this report provides additional detail on the specific K-12 private school tax subsidies made available by each state.

Offshore Shell Games 2016

October 4, 2016

This study explores how in 2015 Fortune 500 companies used tax haven subsidiaries to avoid paying taxes on much of their income. It reveals that tax haven use is now standard practice among the Fortune 500 and that a handful of the country's wealthiest corporations benefit the most from this tax avoidance scheme.

Comment Letter to FASB on Income Tax Disclosure

September 30, 2016

We appreciate the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) ongoing review of its accounting standards to ensure that financial statements are "facilitating clear communication of information that is important to financial statement users." Overall, the changes to disclosure requirements proposed by FASB in the exposure draft would represent a significant step forward toward providing users of financial statements the clarity that they need. We believe, however, that the exposure draft does not go far enough in providing the clarity needed and sought by investors and the public alike.

State Tax Codes as Poverty Fighting Tools

September 15, 2016

Despite this unlevel playing field states create for their poorest residents through existing policies, many state policymakers have proposed (and in some cases enacted) tax increases on the poor under the guise of "tax reform," often to finance tax cuts for their wealthiest residents and profitable corporations.