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Sales Tax Holidays: An Ineffective Alternative to Real Sales Tax Reform

Lawmakers in many states have enacted “sales tax holidays” (18 states will hold them in 2018), to provide a temporary break on paying the tax on purchases of clothing, school supplies, and other items. While these holidays may seem to lessen the regressive impacts of the sales tax, their benefits are minimal. This policy brief looks at sales tax holidays as a tax reduction device.

10 Things You Should Know About the Nation's Tax System

This list of resources provides basic information about the federal and state tax systems.

ITEP Resources on Amazon and the Online Sales Tax Debate

For decades, retailers without a “physical presence” within a state have been able to sell to that states’ residents without collecting sales tax. The outcome of that collection gap has been to create an unlevel playing field for local businesses, and significant strain on state and local tax revenues. The following ITEP analyses offer insights into a variety of aspects of this complex issue.

Extensions of the New Tax Law’s Temporary Provisions Would Mainly Benefit the Wealthy

This analysis finds that extending the temporary tax provisions in 2026 would not be aimed at helping the middle-class any more than TCJA as enacted helps the middle-class in 2018.

How the New Federal Tax Law Affects State Tax Codes

As state legislative sessions swing into high gear, the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is figuring prominently in policy discussions, with officials examining how the bill affects their states and weighing the necessary policy responses.

Expertise

Federal Policy

ITEP’s federal policy resources provide quantitative and qualitative research and analysis on current tax policies, proposals, and reform options. Its distributional analyses highlight how tax proposals will affect low-income, middle-class and wealthy Americans nationally and in all 50 states.

Learn more about our Federal Policy work


State Policy

State taxes pay for essential public services, from education to health care. But the ideal design of a tax system is complicated. ITEP’s state policy resources offer insights into central issues, including the impact of state tax systems on individuals, families, and businesses. Its work also analyzes the sustainability of revenue sources over time.

Learn more about our State Policy work


Corporate Tax Research

ITEP’s corporate tax research examines the tax practices of Fortune 500 companies. Besides its corporate study on average effective tax rates paid by the nation’s largest, most profitable corporations, ITEP produces research on subjects such as offshore cash holdings, tax haven abuse, executive stock options and other tax loopholes.

See our Corporate Tax Policy work


Expert's View

The truth is, if lawmakers truly wanted to craft a tax overhaul that would benefit working people most, they would have started from fundamentally different principles and developed policies that would provide true tax relief for all working families while shutting down favorable tax treatment for rich people.
Alan Essig

Alan Essig
Executive Director

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