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A Misguided Approach to Tax Extenders

April 28, 2014

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to begin considering a proposal tomorrow to make permanent a group of heavily lobbied corporate “tax extenders” — known as “extenders” because Congress routinely extends them only a year or two at a time.  The proposal, however, wouldn’t offset the costs of making these provisions permanent by, for instance,...

Increase the EITC to Help Lift "Childless Workers" Out of Poverty

April 15, 2014

It’s time for policymakers to fix a glaring hole in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), as I explain today in an op-ed for National Journal:

While the tax credit reduces poverty among families with


The Top 10 (Well, 11) Federal Tax Charts

April 15, 2014

To usher in Tax Day, here are our top 11 charts on federal taxes, which provide context for debates on issues like tax reform and deficit reduction.

Our first chart shows the sources of federal tax revenue.

Individual income tax revenues have held steady for many decades at a...

Tying Jobless Benefits to Corporate Tax Cuts Would Be Inappropriate

April 10, 2014

Key House Republicans reportedly want to tie resuming federal unemployment insurance to extending various corporate tax cuts — including permanent extension of “bonus depreciation.”  Policymakers should reject any such effort, given that permanently...

GAO: Give IRS Needed Authority to Oversee All Tax Preparers

April 10, 2014

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week added its voice to those calling on Congress to give the IRS the needed authority to require all paid tax preparers to demonstrate basic competence.

While some paid preparers (such as attorneys and certified public accountants) are subject to Treasury Department regulation and...

Reducing EITC Errors

April 8, 2014

“[W]ith almost no regulation of the [commercial tax preparer] industry and a tax code that is forbiddingly complex, the billions flowing into low-income households this time of year, primarily in the form of the earned-income tax credit [EITC], present a ripe target for the unscrupulous,” the New York Times...

Leading Senator Adds to Momentum for Helping Childless Workers

March 26, 2014

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) proposed today to build on the Earned Income Tax Credit’s (EITC) pro-work success story by significantly boosting the credit for low-wage workers not raising minor children — the only group that the federal tax code taxes into (or deeper into) poverty.


Lee Tax Reform Plan’s Disappointing Details

March 20, 2014

In high-profile speeches on tax reform, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has called forcefully for expanding opportunity and helping parents raising children.  Unfortunately, the tax reform plan he recently detailed — which sets two income-tax rates of 15 and 35 percent, eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax, repeals or reforms some major deductions, and, centrally, creates an additional Child Tax...

A Tax Proposal Worthy of Support

March 19, 2014

As youth across the country mobilize today on “Kick Butts Day” to raise awareness of tobacco’s dangers, it’s worth calling attention to President Obama’s proposal to raise the federal tobacco tax to pay for expanded early childhood education, which he first introduced last year and included again in his 2015 budget.  As we have ...

"Paycheck to Paycheck" Highlights Value of Working-Family Tax Credit

March 19, 2014

By opening a window into the life of Katrina Gilbert, a working mother on the edge of poverty struggling to raise three children, HBO’s new documentary “Paycheck to Paycheck” touches on vital national...