ITEP staff uses the ITEP Microsimulation model to produce quantitative analyses of current and proposed federal tax policies, creating distributional analyses (or the effect on taxpayers according to their income group), producing revenue estimates (how much a tax policy would affect annual federal revenue collection), and even breaking down the impact of federal policies on each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. We also provide qualitative analyses and commentary on the overall fairness of tax proposals with a keen regard for the economic well-being of working people.
The cap on federal tax deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) that is in effect now under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is a flawed provision but repealing it outright would be costly and provide a windfall to the rich. Congress should consider replacing the SALT cap with a different type of limit on deductions that would avoid both of these outcomes. Using the ITEP microsimulation tax model, this report provides revenue estimates and distributional estimates for several such options, assuming they would be in effect in 2019.
A new federal proposal, the Livable Incomes for Families Today (LIFT) the Middle Class Act, would create a new refundable tax credit for low- and middle-income working families who were little more than an afterthought in last year’s federal tax overhaul. This proposal would take the place of TCJA, providing tax cuts similar in cost to the recent federal tax law but targeted toward working people rather than the wealthy. ITEP analyzed the bill, proposed by California Senator Kamala Harris, and compared its potential impact to TCJA.
A newly released report by Prosperity Now and the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy, Race, Wealth and Taxes: How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Supercharges the Racial Wealth Divide, finds that the TCJA not only adds unnecessary fuel to the growing problem of overall economic inequality, but also supercharges an already massive racial wealth divide to an alarming extent.
A proposed IRS regulation would eliminate a tax shelter for private school donors in twelve states by making a commonsense improvement to the federal tax deduction for charitable gifts. For years, some affluent taxpayers who donate to private K-12 school voucher programs have managed to turn a profit by claiming state tax credits and federal tax deductions that, taken together, are worth more than the amount donated. This practice could soon come to an end under the IRS’s broader goal of ending misuse of the charitable deduction by people seeking to dodge the federal SALT deduction cap.
The $2 trillion 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) includes several provisions set to expire at the end of 2025. GOP leaders wrote the bill this way to adhere to their own rule that limits how much a piece of legislation can add to the federal debt. But it’s clear that proponents planned all along to make those provisions permanent. Less than a month after the law passed, the White House and Republican leaders began calling for a second round of tax cuts. Now, they have introduced a bill informally called “Tax Cuts 2.0” or “Tax Reform 2.0,” which would make the temporary provisions permanent. And they falsely claim that making these provisions permanent will benefit the middle class.