In 2019, several federal lawmakers have introduced tax credit proposals to significantly expand existing tax credits or create new ones to benefit low- and moderate-income people. While these proposals vary a great deal and take different approaches, all build off the success of the EITC and CTC and target their benefits to families in the bottom 60 percent of the income distribution who have an annual household income of $70,000 or less.
ITEP staff uses the ITEP Microsimulation model to produce quantitative analyses of current and proposed federal tax policies, creating distributional analyses (analyzing 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.
report September 10, 2019
Major Federal Tax Credit Proposals
report August 28, 2019
TCJA by the Numbers, 2020
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law by President Trump at the end of 2017, includes provisions that dramatically cut taxes and provisions that offset a fraction of the revenue loss by eliminating or limiting certain tax breaks. This page includes estimates of TCJA’s impacts in 2020.
report June 25, 2019
The BOOST Act would provide a new tax credit of up to $3,000 for single people and up to $6,000 for married couples, which would be in addition to existing tax credits. Income limits would prevent well-off households from receiving the credit. Unlike other refundable tax credit proposals, the BOOST Act would not be limited to people with earnings or people with children.
blog May 24, 2019
Unlike Trump-GOP Tax Law, There Are Tax Plans That Would Actually Deliver on Promise to Help Working People
Using the tax code to boost the economic security of low- and moderate-income families is a proven strategy. These bold proposals would go much further than any policy currently on the books, and their approach directly contrasts with longstanding supply-side theories that call for continual tax cuts to those who are already economically faring far better than everyone else.
blog May 22, 2019
Proposals for Refundable Tax Credits Are Light Years from Tax Policies Enacted in Recent Years
A new ITEP report examines five big proposals that have been announced this year to create or expand tax credits to address inequality and help low- and middle-income households.
report May 22, 2019
Understanding Five Major Federal Tax Credit Proposals
Federal lawmakers have recently announced at least five proposals to significantly expand existing tax credits or create new ones to benefit low- and moderate-income people. While these proposals vary a great deal and take different approaches, all would primarily benefit taxpayers who received only a small share of benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
report May 22, 2019
Cost-of-Living Refund Act
The Cost-of-Living Refund Act would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low- and moderate-income working people. The maximum EITC would nearly double for working families with children. Working people without children would receive an EITC that is nearly six times the size of the small EITC that they are allowed under current law.
report May 22, 2019
American Family Act
The American Family Act would expand the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for low- and middle-income families. The CTC would increase from $2,000 under current law to $3,000 for each child age six and older and to $3,600 for each child younger than age six. The proposal removes limits on the refundable part of the credit so that low- and moderate-income families with children could receive the entire credit.
report May 22, 2019
Working Families Tax Relief Act
The Working Families Tax Relief Act would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for low- and middle-income families.
report May 22, 2019
LIFT the Middle Class Act
The LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families Today) the Middle Class Act would create a new tax credit of up to $3,000 for single people and up to $6,000 for married couples, which would be an addition to existing tax credits. Eligible taxpayers would be allowed a credit equal to the maximum amount or their earnings, whichever is less. Income limits would prevent well-off households from receiving the credit.
report May 22, 2019
The Rise Credit would replace the existing EITC. In most cases, the Rise Credit would be $4,000 for single people and $8,000 for married couples. Eligible taxpayers would be allowed a credit equal to the maximum amount or their earnings, whichever is less.
report February 1, 2019
Congress Should Reduce, Not Expand, Tax Breaks for Capital Gains
Even though income derived from capital gains receives a special lower tax rate and is therefore undertaxed, some proponents of lower taxes on the wealthy claim that capital gains are overtaxed due to the effects of inflation. But existing tax breaks for capital gains more than compensate for any problem related to inflation. Congress should repeal or restrict special tax provisions for capital gains rather than creating even more breaks.
report November 14, 2018
A Fair Way to Limit Tax Deductions
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.
blog October 24, 2018
Shaking up TCJA: How a Proposed New Credit Could Shift Federal Tax Cuts from the Wealthy and Corporations to Working People
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.
report October 11, 2018
Race, Wealth and Taxes: How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Supercharges the Racial Wealth Divide
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.
blog October 2, 2018
Twelve States Offer Profitable Tax Shelter to Private School Voucher Donors; IRS Proposal Could Fix This
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.
September 26, 2018
Tax Cuts 2.0 – PennsylvaniaThe $2 trillion 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) includes several provisions set to expire at the end of 2025. Now, GOP leaders have introduced a bill informally called…
blog September 12, 2018
We Crunched Some Numbers to Show What Tax Reform for Working People Really Looks Like
Throughout President’s Trump’s presidential campaign and from his first day in office until now, his administration has favored and promoted policies that benefit the wealthy and corporations even as it claims to be the working people’s champion. If more recent economic data are a reflection of what we’ll see in the long-term due to the Trump Administration’s recent tax cuts, wealth will continue to accrue at the top while income remains stagnant or barely budges for low- and moderate-income families. Policy can make a difference: ITEP Staff shows how the Grow American Incomes Now (GAIN) Act would help millions of working families left behind by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
blog September 11, 2018
Repealing the Federal Tax Law’s Cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) Deductions Is No ImprovementNational and State-by-State Data Available for Download Nearly Two-Thirds of Benefits from Repealing the SALT Cap Would Go to the Richest 1 Percent Lawmakers who opposed the Tax Cuts and…
blog August 9, 2018
Insult to Injury: Why Tax Cuts 2.0 Makes No Sense
In this illustrated breakdown of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and Tax Cuts 2.0, ITEP staff examine TCJA’s role in growing income inequality, broken promises from corporations pledging to invest tax savings into workers and wages, and the embarrassment of riches flowing to the wealthiest Americans as a result of these “middle-class tax cuts.”
report April 13, 2018
10 Things You Should Know about the Nation’s Tax System
Everyone pays taxes, including those who earn the least. Our collective federal, state, and local tax system includes income taxes, payroll taxes (Social Security, Medicare), property taxes, sales and other excise taxes. The total share of taxes (federal, state, and local) that Americans across the economic spectrum will pay in 2018 is roughly equal to their total share of income.
blog April 11, 2018
A Paul Ryan Retrospective: A Decade of Regressive Budget and Tax Plans
As Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan pushed through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that will cost at least $1.5 trillion and provide around half of its benefits to the richest five percent of households. He then announced that Congress needs to cut entitlements to get the budget deficit under control. Before becoming Speaker, Ryan spent several years running the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, where he issued budget and tax plans each year to carry out his goals (lower taxes for the rich and cuts in entitlement spending), which are described in the reports below.
report April 11, 2018
Who Pays Taxes in America in 2018?
America’s tax system overall is marginally progressive. The share of all taxes paid by the richest Americans slightly exceeds their share of the nation’s income. Conversely, the share of all taxes paid by the poorest Americans is slightly smaller than the share of the nation’s income going to that group.
blog December 1, 2017
Senator Collins Pushes Hard for a Property Tax Deduction that Very Few of Her Constituents Will Be Able to Claim
Adding a property tax deduction back into the Senate bill may sound like a compromise, but a new analysis performed using the ITEP Microsimulation Tax Model reveals that the amount of state and local taxes deducted by Maine residents would plummet by 90 percent under this change, from $2.58 billion to just $262 million in 2019. In short, this change is much more symbolic than substantive.
report November 29, 2017
Six More Things to Know About the Senate Tax Plan
A recent ITEP study concluded that the tax bill before the Senate would raise taxes on at least 29 percent of Americans and cause the populations of 19 states to pay more in federal taxes in 2027 than they do today, while providing foreign investors with more benefits than American households. This report delves deeper by breaking out impacts of different components of the Senate tax plan on U.S. taxpayers in 2019 and 2027. This approach leads to several conclusions.