The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, worsened geopolitical tensions with China, and produced a spike in unemployment. These trends have combined to make bringing jobs back from overseas a politically valuable idea. There are several tax-related bills in Congress intended to incentivize specific industries to come back to the United States. But before
Investment comes in a variety of forms—be it private or public investments ranging from rural broadband and 5G to health care infrastructure and innovation. But not all investment is equal in terms of its effects on productivity and economic growth. While the common perception tends to be that public infrastructure is more productive than private
Members of Congress are on a two-week recess before returning to consider a possible “phase 4” package to boost the economy and help individuals and businesses suffering from the economic effects of the most significant pandemic in the last century. Policymakers may be tempted to reach into the tax code to find a solution to
As Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge wrote in a recent blog post, improving the tax treatment of residential investments is a good way to reduce construction costs and build more affordable housing. Under current law, when a company invests in building a new structure, it must deduct the cost of that investment over multiple decades.
Removing the tax code’s bias against long-term investment by implementing a neutral cost recovery system (NCRS) for structures and full expensing for other assets is estimated to increase economic growth and job creation. Using the Tax Foundation General Equilibrium Model, we estimate that permanent full expensing and neutral cost recovery for structures will add more
A recent Brookings Institution study points out that “even before the COVID-19 crisis, housing affordability and instability were serious problems.” The study outlines a number of goals and strategies for increasing the supply of affordable housing, including federal subsidies, low-cost loans, and grants. These may well be viable solutions, but what is missing are policies
Tax policy wonks often advocate for increases in refundable tax credits (e.g., Child Tax Credit, CTC and Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC) and nonrefundable tax credits (Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, CDCTC) as one solution to help low-income Americans. Arguments in favor of expanding these tax credits appear during economic expansions and contractions alike.
Key Findings In nearly two of every three households in America with dependents, more than one person works to make ends meet. In many cases, when two workers file jointly, they are penalized for having a second earner in the household. This is because the second-earner’s wages are subject to a higher marginal tax rate.
As the economic recovery is debated amid the coronavirus pandemic, there have been growing calls to include additional public investment in infrastructure such as transportation, airports, buildings, and broadband. Many have argued that the United States has outdated infrastructure and that has weakened the nation’s economic productivity and global competitiveness. As policymakers start thinking about
Americans are very generous people, and they give despite the reduced tax benefits of giving. That’s the takeaway from Giving USA’s latest annual report on the charitable contributions of individuals, corporations, and foundations. Altogether, Americans contributed nearly $450 billion to charitable causes in 2019. This is a record level of giving in nominal terms; adjusting
Full expensing for capital investment is being considered in the upcoming fourth round of coronavirus relief legislation. Though we tend to talk about full expensing as a long-run policy with long-run benefits, that does not mean it is meaningless in the short term. In fact, full expensing is good for both the long run and
There has been a considerable amount of talk recently from both the White House and Congress on the potential for a major federal infrastructure bill. While there are few details on what such a compromise would entail, the projects could run the gamut from roads and bridges to public schools and VA hospitals. There seems
The lockdowns imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic induced an increase in demand for broadband internet, as work from home and other social distancing measures pushed people to spend more time online. As broadband becomes a more important piece of America’s infrastructure, it makes sense to look at tax policy that will help drive
As policymakers explore options for additional business tax relief in “Phase 4” of coronavirus relief legislation, one idea that has received renewed attention over the last week is allowing businesses to cash out business tax credits allowed under Section 38 of the Internal Revenue Code. This proposal would be strengthened by also permitting acceleration of
The digitalization of the economy has led more companies to adopt virtual operations, disrupting traditional means of consumption and income taxation. This has led to a heated debate on how best to tax the digital economy. Despite the OECD stepping in to negotiate a global framework, some countries have taken unilateral action, implementing problematic digital
As policymakers explore options for Phase 4 relief for businesses and individuals, it is important to understand why and how the CARES Act modified tax rules for businesses, including the changes to net operating loss (NOL) deduction rules such as NOL carrybacks. Rather than revisiting these changes and restricting NOL carrybacks, policymakers should explore ways
Key Findings Removing tax policy barriers can help businesses and individuals invest, work, create jobs, and lift the economy during a post-pandemic recovery without requiring lawmakers to create new spending programs. One of the most cost-efficient options available to lawmakers is to improve the cost recovery treatment of structures. Residential structures must be depreciated over
As state and local governments begin to relax their restrictions on business and individual activities, the debate has begun over what policies will best help the economy recover from the COVID-19-induced shutdown. The Tax Foundation’s General Equilibrium Model suggests that allowing businesses to immediately deduct or “expense” their capital investments in the year in which
The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a draft released Tuesday by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, is the first bid to provide additional economic relief to individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn. The bill is projected to cost about $3 trillion—a third greater than
Key Findings Average workers in the United States face two major taxes on wage income: the individual income tax and the payroll tax (levied on both the employee and the employer). Although slightly more than half of a U.S. worker’s payroll tax burden is paid by their employer, the worker ultimately pays this tax through