Private equity is doing fine on its own and does not need another tax break. Congress should keep the stricter limit on deductions for interest payments —one of the few provisions in the 2017 tax law that asked large businesses to pay a little bit more.
Trump-GOP Tax Law
blog December 6, 2022
Reversing the Stricter Limit on Interest Deductions: Another Huge Tax Break for Private Equity
report July 29, 2021
Corporate Tax Avoidance Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Thirty-nine profitable corporations in the S&P 500 or Fortune 500 paid no federal income tax from 2018 through 2020, the first three years that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was in effect. Besides the 39 companies that paid nothing over three years, an additional 73 profitable corporations paid less than half the statutory corporate income tax rate of 21 percent established under TCJA. As a group, these 73 corporations paid an effective federal income tax rate of just 5.3 percent during these three years.
blog February 5, 2021
Faulty Fact Check on Tax Breaks for the Rich and Corporations
When it comes to tax policy, the details are complicated, but the story is often simple. For example, President Trump’s so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) disproportionately benefits the rich. This is not controversial. Yet some opinion makers with large megaphones get lost in the details and come to conclusions that only create more confusion.
blog October 22, 2020
Trump Says Taxes Will Be Too High on the 2% Who Pay More Under Biden’s Plan
The Trump campaign has failed to convince the public that large numbers of Americans would face tax hikes under Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s tax plan. The claim has been widely discredited. For example, ITEP found that the federal taxes that people pay directly would rise for just 1.9 percent of taxpayers in the U.S., and that number does not vary much by state. So, Fox News and other conservative voices are trying out a new argument: Biden’s tax plan would be too burdensome for that 1.9 percent.
blog September 29, 2020
It’s Time to Change the Tax Laws to Make Donald Trump and Corporate Giants Pay Up
It’s time for a new approach. Trump’s egregious tax avoidance further exposes a system that preserves an enormous and growing economic divide. Congress has gutted IRS funding so that we don’t have the resources to audit wealthy tax avoiders. And lobbyists continue to secure giveaways for corporate clients that do nothing for our communities.
blog August 25, 2020
Missed Opportunity: Flimsy Paper Touts Flawed Program
Republicans continue to tout Opportunity Zones as their main vehicle to assist poor people, most recently with a deeply flawed report from President Trump’s White House Council of Economic Advisors and a mention from Donald Trump Jr. in his opening night convention speech. The report purports to compare—as a way of cutting poverty—tax breaks for investors vs food, cash or health insurance coverage for struggling families.
report July 14, 2020
Who Pays Taxes in America in 2020?
Having a sound understanding of who pays taxes and how much is a particularly relevant question now as the nation grapples with a health and economic crisis that is devastating lower-income families and requiring all levels of government to invest more in keeping individuals, families and communities afloat. This year, the share of all taxes paid by the richest 1 percent of Americans (24.3 percent) will be just a bit higher than the share of all income going to this group (20.9 percent). The share of all taxes paid by the poorest fifth of Americans (2 percent) will be just a bit lower than the share of all income going to this group (2.8 percent).
blog June 2, 2020
Trump-GOP Tax Law Encourages Companies to Move Jobs Offshore–and New Tax Cuts Won’t Change That
New tax cuts to incentivize bringing jobs back to the United States will fail. No new tax provisions can be more generous than the zero percent rate the 2017 law provides for many offshore profits or the loopholes that allow corporations to shift profits to countries with minimal or no corporate income taxes.
news release April 14, 2020
ITEP: Tax Cuts for Millionaires in the CARES Act Violate Public Trust
“Public trust and the broad agreement that families and communities needed immediate relief from the economic crisis allowed the $2.2 trillion economic relief package to move quickly through Congress. Yet during a crisis in which thousands have lost their lives and millions are losing their jobs, their health care and their retirement security, some of our lawmakers snuck in tax benefits for the nation’s richest families.”
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 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.
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.
blog May 30, 2019
Congressional Research Service Calls Three Strikes on the Trump Tax Cuts
This new report is the most comprehensive assessment yet undertaken by the CRS, which has an unimpeachable reputation as an impartial arbiter of policy disputes. So, when it says that the TCJA doesn’t appear to have grown wages or the economy and has made our long-term budget deficits even worse, it’s a judgment that will last.
blog May 17, 2019
Bootstraps Remain an Ineffective Tool for Combatting Poverty
Policymakers and the public widely agree that economic inequality is the social policy problem of our age. It threatens the livelihoods of millions of children and adults, and it even threatens our democracy. Although some say Americans could fix it themselves by simply rolling up their sleeves, as a sub-headline in a March U.S. News and World Report column implied, the reality is different.
blog March 27, 2019
The Trump Tax Law Further Tilted an Already Uneven Playing Field
Proponents sold the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) as a way to spur new investment, increase workers’ paychecks, and reverse the off-shoring of jobs. Testimony presented during a House Ways and Means hearing held today reflected on how—more than a year after the law’s passage—each of those pitches ring hollow.
blog March 25, 2019
Corporate Profits ?, Corporate Federal Tax Collections ?
Data released Friday by the U.S. Treasury Department should give great pause to all who care about the federal government’s ability to raise revenue in a fair, sustainable way. In the wake of the 2017 corporate tax overhaul, corporate tax collections have fallen at a rate never seen during a period of economic growth.
blog December 17, 2018
Five Things to Know on the One-Year Anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
While it has only been a year since passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), it’s clear the law largely is both a debacle and a boondoggle. Below are the five takeaways about the legacy and continuing effect of the TCJA.
1. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will substantially increase income, wealth, and racial inequality.
2. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will continue to substantially increase the deficit.
3. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is not significantly boosting growth or jobs.
4. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continues to be very unpopular.
5. Despite the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s lack of popularity and ill effects, many Republican lawmakers are calling for even more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.
blog November 27, 2018
GM Announcement Confirms Tax Cuts Don’t Prevent, May Encourage Layoffs
GM’s most recent quarterly financial report reveals the company has saved more than $150 million so far this year due to last year’s corporate tax cuts. So the layoffs announcement may seem especially jarring to anyone who believed President Trump’s claim that his tax cuts would spur job creation—including the Ohio residents Trump told directly “don’t sell your homes” because lost auto-making jobs “are all coming back.”
blog November 16, 2018
House Democrats Falter with Proposed Rule to Restrict Tax Hikes
Democratic leaders have proposed rules to be adopted in the next Congress, and many of them, such as eliminating the requirement for “dynamic scoring,” are very sensible. But one of the proposed rules is problematic because it would make it harder to raise revenue.
blog November 13, 2018
15 Companies Report an Average 10.4 Percentage Point Drop in Effective Tax Rates Since 2017
Comparing the year’s first three quarterly filings of 2018 with those of 2017, we find that 15 of the largest Fortune 500 companies reported worldwide effective income tax rates declining by an average of 10.4 percentage points and by as much as 16 percentage points. In total these companies owed $22.3 billion less in taxes than they would have under their 2017 effective rates, saving an average of $1.5 billion each.
September 26, 2018
Tax Cuts 2.0 Resources
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.
blog August 10, 2018
How Opportunity Zones Benefit Investors and Promote Displacement
The idea behind the new tax break is to provide an incentive for wealthy individuals to invest in the economies of struggling communities. Despite alleged intentions, it appears opportunity zones are turning into yet another windfall for wealthy investors and may encourage displacement of people in low-income areas, working against the provision’s intended goal.
news release July 24, 2018
House Republicans’ Not-So-New Tax Plan: Crumbs for Working People 2.0Media Contact Rep. Kevin Brady, the top tax-writer in the House of Representatives, today called on his colleagues to make permanent the temporary provisions that were enacted as part of…
report July 11, 2018
Federal Tax Cuts in the Bush, Obama, and Trump Years
Since 2000, tax cuts have reduced federal revenue by trillions of dollars and disproportionately benefited well-off households. From 2001 through 2018, significant federal tax changes have reduced revenue by $5.1 trillion, with nearly two-thirds of that flowing to the richest fifth of Americans.
blog June 27, 2018
Rigging the System and Poor Shaming (Rightly) Are Incompatible Political StrategiesThe absurdity of blaming poor and moderate-income people for their circumstances is close to running its course as an effective political tool, particularly as some elected officials more boldly assert…