ITEP Reports

Privatization, Waste, and Unfunded Projects: The Problems with Trump's Infrastructure Proposal

November 30, 2016

In his acceptance speech, President-elect Donald Trump placed a heavy emphasis on the need to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. In theory, expanded investments in our nation's infrastructure could generate wide support among the public and within Congress. And yet Congressional negotiations on this issue have repeatedly broken down because of disagreements over how to fund those investments. Unfortunately, a flawed proposal for new funding put forth by Mr. Trump fails to offer a realistic path forward.

State Tax Preferences for Elderly Taxpayers

November 28, 2016

State governments provide a wide array of tax breaks for their elderly residents. Almost every state that levies an income tax allows some form of income tax exemption or credit for citizens over age 65 that is unavailable to non-elderly taxpayers. Most states also provide special property tax breaks to the elderly. Unfortunately, too many of these breaks are poorly-targeted, unsustainable, and unfair. This policy brief surveys federal and state approaches to reducing taxes for older adults and suggests options for designing less costly and better targeted tax breaks.

Comprehensive Guide to "Repatriation" Proposals

November 28, 2016

Corporations falsely claim that they have to engage in offshore tax avoidance maneuvers because the U.S. corporate tax rate is too high, an argument which has unfortunately found an audience in lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. In 2017, Congress likely will evaluate a number of approaches to taxing the trillions of dollars corporations currently hold offshore. This report explains and evaluates these proposals, including a so-called repatriation holiday and deemed repatriation. Further, it explains why ending deferral of taxes on U.S. multinational corporations' foreign earnings could halt the widespread corporate practice of funneling money to subsidiaries for the express purpose of avoiding taxes.

Fact Sheet: What You Need to Know About Repatriation Proposals

November 28, 2016

Fortune 500 corporations collectively have stashed $2.5 trillion in profits offshore, on which they have avoided up to $718 billion in taxes. It's no wonder that policymakers on both sides of the aisle are weighing legislative options to either tax these profits or create an incentive for corporations to "repatriate" or bring these profits to the United States so that they are subject to taxation. Lawmakers have introduced several "repatriation" proposals that would glean tax revenue from these offshore profits. But the only solution that will ensure corporations pay taxes on their offshore profits AND shut down the practice of stashing cash offshore is to end deferral, the tax code loophole that allows corporations to indefinitely avoid paying taxes on profits stashed offshore.

Collecting Sales Taxes Owed on Internet Purchases

November 18, 2016

Retail trade has been transformed by the Internet. As the popularity of "e-commerce" (that is, transactions conducted over the Internet) has grown, policymakers have engaged in a heated debate over how state and local sales taxes should be applied to these transactions. This debate is of critical importance for states as sales taxes comprise close to one-third of all state tax revenues and hundreds of billions of dollars in retail spending is now occurring online.