A large majority of Americans want corporations to pay more taxes and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has several proposals to achieve that. The newest idea is to require corporations to pay a minimum tax equal to 15 percent of profits they report to shareholders and to the public if this is less than what they pay under regular corporate tax rules. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal quotes several critics of the proposal, but none of their points are convincing.
Tax Reform Options and Challenges
In addition to distributional analyses of existing and proposed tax law, ITEP provides policy recommendations for lawmakers to build a more equitable tax code, from progressive revenue-raising options to corporate tax reform to establishing a model for a wealth tax.
blog July 29, 2020
Biden’s Minimum Corporate Tax Proposal: Yes, Please Limit Amazon’s Tax Breaks
brief July 28, 2020
New Analysis Compares HEROES Act and HEALS Act, Disaggregates Data by Race and Income
The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act released by Senate Republicans Monday includes a tax rebate that is slightly more generous than the one provided under the March CARES Act, but fails to correct most of the earlier act’s problems. House Democrats addressed these shortcomings in the May HEROES Act, a better starting place for negotiations over the next round of COVID-19 relief. ITEP has analyzed both acts to provide a detailed comparison of how the tax rebate provisions would affect families across the income spectrum and by race. Both measures would provide cash payments to a majority of individuals and families, but the HEROES Act goes farther and is more inclusive.
blog April 7, 2020
Addressing the COVID-19 Economic Crisis: Advice for the Next Round
Americans need many things right now beyond tax cuts or cash payments. But for people whose incomes have declined or evaporated, money is the obvious, immediate need to prevent missed rent or mortgage payments, skipped hospital visits and other cascading catastrophes. So, what should Congress do next to get money to those who need it?
blog March 25, 2020
How the Tax Rebate in the Senate’s Bill Compares to Other Proposals
Congress is poised to pass a $2 trillion plan that includes $150 billion in fiscal aid to states, $150 billion in health care spending, large expansions of unemployment compensation and more. These measures are clearly needed as the economy teeters on the brink. As the Senate votes on its stimulus/COVID19 bill, one provision ITEP has deeper insights on is the payments to households in the form of tax rebates. ITEP has provided several analyses over the past few days showing that the rebate in the current bill is an improvement over a previous GOP proposal but still falls short of the benefits offered under Democratic proposals.
blog March 20, 2020
Why the GOP Senate Bill Fails to Address the Crisis, and Why a Democratic Bill Looks More PromisingNational and state-by-state data available for download By Steve Wamhoff and Meg Wiehe On Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a bill that reportedly cost more than $1…
blog February 19, 2020
How Democratic Presidential Candidates Would Raise Revenue
One of the biggest problems with the U.S. tax code in terms of fairness is that investment income, which mostly flows to the rich, is taxed less than the earned income that makes up all or almost all of the income that working people live on.
blog February 4, 2020
Washington Is Finally Having the Right Conversation about Taxes
Presidential candidates and some elected officials are finally talking about bold tax policy ideas that would increase taxes and raise revenue. This is a dramatic shift from when a radical, right-wing narrative dominated the public debate. Republicans redefined “fiscal responsibility” as fewer taxes and less government, peddled supply-side economic theories, and denied the clear evidence that tax cuts were adding to our nation’s deficits.
blog January 29, 2020
ITEP Urges IRS to End SALT Workaround Scheme for Businesses
A new IRS proposal could once again allow wealthy business owners to use state charitable tax credits–including tax credits for donating to support private and religious K-12 schools–to dodge the federal government’s $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions.
blog December 19, 2019
Corporate Tax Avoidance Is Mostly Legal—and That’s the Problem
As usual, corporate spokespersons and their allies are trying to push back against ITEP’s latest study showing that many corporations pay little or nothing in federal income taxes. One way they respond is by stating that everything they do is perfectly legal. This is an attempt by the corporate world to change the subject. The entire point of ITEP’s study is that Congress has allowed corporations to avoid paying taxes, and that this must change.
report December 16, 2019
Corporate Tax Avoidance in the First Year of the Trump Tax Law
Profitable Fortune 500 companies avoided $73.9 billion in taxes under the first year of the Trump-GOP tax law. The study includes financial filings by 379 Fortune 500 companies that were profitable in 2018; it excludes companies that reported a loss.
blog December 11, 2019
House Democrats’ Latest Bill on SALT Deductions Would Mean Bigger Tax Cuts for the Rich
ITEP estimates show that if the House Democrats’ proposal was in effect in 2022, it would have a net cost of $81 billion in that year alone. The estimates also show that 51 percent of the benefits would go to the richest 1 percent of taxpayers in the U.S. Clearly, lawmakers concerned about the SALT cap need to go back to the drawing board.
blog October 30, 2019
There’s a lot more to Corporate Tax Reform than Tax Rates
Several Democratic candidates have proposed raising the statutory corporate tax rate from its current level of 21 percent to fund their spending proposals. Political reporters and observers may read a great deal into the different corporate rates proposed by candidates, but the truth is that rates mean very little on their own.
report October 28, 2019
Benefits of a Financial Transaction Tax
A financial transaction tax (FTT) has the potential to curb inequality, reduce market inefficiencies, and raise hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue over the next decade. Presidential candidates have proposed using an FTT to fund expanding Medicare, education, child care, and investments in children’s health. Any of these public investments would be progressive, narrowing resource gaps between the most vulnerable families and the most fortunate.
blog October 15, 2019
Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman’s New Book Reminds Us that Tax Injustice Is a Choice
Cue Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. In their new book, The Triumph of Injustice, the economists, who already jolted the world with their shocking data on exploding income inequality and wealth inequality, tell us to stop acting like we are paralyzed when it comes to tax policy. There are answers and solutions. And in about 200 surprisingly readable pages, they provide them.
blog October 2, 2019
How a Federal Wealth Tax Can Help the Economy
A New York Times article explained that proponents of a federal wealth tax hope to address exploding inequality but then went on to list the fears of billionaires and economic policymakers, finding that “the idea of redistributing wealth by targeting billionaires is stirring fierce debates at the highest ranks of academia and business, with opponents arguing it would cripple economic growth, sap the motivation of entrepreneurs who aspire to be multimillionaires and set off a search for loopholes.” A wealth tax will not damage our economy and instead would likely improve it. Here’s why.
blog September 12, 2019
Sen. Wyden’s Anti-Deferral Accounting Proposal Could Be a Game-ChangerToday, Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, fulfilled a promise he made several months ago to release a proposal that could fundamentally transform how the…
report September 10, 2019
Major Federal Tax Credit Proposals
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.
blog August 28, 2019
Updated Estimates from ITEP: Trump Tax Law Still Benefits the Rich No Matter How You Look at It
President Trump’s allies in Congress continue to defend their 2017 tax law in misleading ways. Just last week, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee stated that most “of the tax overhaul went into the pockets of working families and Main Street businesses who need it most, not Wall Street.” ITEP’s most recent analysis estimates that in 2020 the richest 5 percent of taxpayers will receive $145 billion in tax cuts, or half the law’s benefits to U.S. taxpayers.
blog August 13, 2019
IRS’s SALT Workaround Regulations Should be Strengthened, Not Rejected
Lawmakers are seeking to achieve a backdoor repeal of the $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes paid (SALT) by invalidating recent IRS regulations that cracked down on schemes that let taxpayers dodge the cap. If successful, their efforts would drain tens of billions of dollars from federal coffers each year, with the vast majority of the benefits going to the nation’s wealthiest families.
blog July 31, 2019
A Wealth Tax Might Be Easier to Implement than You Think
A direct federal tax on wealth, as described in a January report from ITEP and proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, could raise substantial revenue to make public investments, curb rising inequality, and is supported by a large majority of Americans. But would it work? Recent research highlighted in a new academic paper outlines approaches that would make it easier than you might think.
blog June 27, 2019
Wealth Tax Is Supported by Basically Everyone Who Is Not a Politician
A February survey found that 61 percent of registered voters supported a wealth tax proposal, including 51 percent of Republican voters. And it’s not just the non-rich wanting to tax the very rich. A June survey found that 60 percent of millionaires support the idea.
blog June 25, 2019
What to Watch for on Tax Policy During the Presidential Primary
America needs a new tax code. The Democratic presidential debates beginning this week present an opportunity for candidates to make clear how they would address inequality or to raise enough revenue to make public investments that make the economy work for everyone. Here are some of the big tax issues that we hope they will touch on.
blog June 24, 2019
The SALT Cap Isn’t Harming State and Local Revenues. Myths About It May Be.
A House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing on Tuesday will explore a highly controversial provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that prevents individuals and families from writing off more than $10,000 in state and local tax (SALT) payments on their federal tax forms each year. The focus of the hearing will be whether the cap negatively affects state and local revenue streams that fund schools, firefighters, and other services. There are at least three ways this could happen though only one of those is plausible, and it’s not the one that the organizers of this hearing likely expected.
blog June 5, 2019
ITEP Resources on Proposed SALT Workaround Regulations
After states implemented laws that allow taxpayers to circumvent the new $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes (SALT), the IRS has proposed regulations to address this practice. It’s a safe bet the IRS will try to crack down on the newest policies that provide tax credits for donations to public education and other public services, but it remains to be seen whether new regulations will put an end to a longer-running practice of exploiting tax loopholes in some states that allow public money to be funneled to private schools.