On average, large US corporations paid a 16.6 percent federal tax rate in 2010 — far lower than the 35 percent statutory tax rate. Gleckman breaks down the Government Accountability Office's analysis of this trend.
A study by the National Academy of Sciences says that extending energy-related tax preferences would do little or nothing to reduce greenhouse gasses.
Congress has been debating how to tax managers of private equity firms for a decade. But what if they aren't being taxed the right way in the first place?
Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin hatch (R-Utah) are pushing forward a blank slate rewrite plan, but Gleckman says they are off target. Tax reform will come with a specific set of rates and limited preferences — not a blank slate, Gleckman argues.
America's net debt will expand to almost 10 percent of GDP by 2023, while financial assets will grow twice as fast as the public debt. As the federal investment portfolio expands, the growing public debt is overstating the US' debt burden, Gleckman says.
The Social Security Disability Insurance program is critically important to people with disabilities, but it is struggling with a litany of administrative and financial problems — and even due to become insolvent by 2016, Gleckman says. He offers three possible reforms for the program.
If Congress is going to reform the tax code, it will take an enormous amount of hard work and a lot of luck. But right now, tax reform just can't catch a break.
Is the concept of jointly filing federal tax returns outdated? A Yale professor thinks so, arguing that, in the 21st century, families no longer necessarily consist of a married man and woman with children. As the Supreme Court considers whether same-sex married couples should have the right to joint filing, Gleckman takes on her argument.
Just about everyone benefits from tax preferences, Gleckman writes, a conclusion reaffirmed by a new Congressional Budget Office report on the distribution of tax expenditures.
A major challenge facing tax reform that reduces itemized deductions to help pay for lower tax rates is that lots of middle-income people would lose at least some benefits, Gleckman writes.
Apple cut its taxes with the same tools multinationals have been using for years to minimize their worldwide tax liability, Gleckman writes. Apple’s tax avoidance shop, it seems, is a lot less innovative than its phone designers.
The Supreme Court pushed the IRS into the morass of regulating political speech with its Citizens United decision. Congress needs to pull the IRS out of the political swamp.
The IRS Tea Party scandal is a huge embarrassment for the IRS and likely to make it more difficult for the agency to police groups that have stepped over the political line, Gleckman writes. But based on what we know so far, the IRS Tea Party debacle is no Watergate scandal.
The IRS shouldn't have targeted the Tea Party, Gleckman writes. But the unsavory IRS actions should also shine a light on the law that gives tax-exempt status to political groups of all ideological stripes – not just the Tea Party.
If future medical costs continue to grow at their current low rate the federal budget will be in much better shape than most analysts thought, Gleckman writes. The slowdown in health spending growth is sure to drive the fiscal debate in some important and perhaps unexpected ways.
The Joint Tax Committee’s Tax Reform Working Group Report is must-read material for tax geeks, or even normal people who want to keep up with the ongoing debate over tax reform, Gleckman writes.
Corporate tax reform is impossible without addressing international issues, Gleckman writes. Yet, this corner of the tax law is not only immensely complex but most proposed solutions inevitably run into massive political and policy roadblocks.
Some believe the retirement of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus will increase the likelihood of tax reform, but Gleckman argues his retirement may not result in a tax code rewrite.
The Senate is close to passing a bill that would let states require online merchants to collect sales tax on their products. A few key myths about online sales tax, busted.
President Obama's 2014 budget would taxes on the highest-income American households, Gleckman writes, but middle-income households would also pay slightly more in taxes than under today’s law.