Searching for Supply-Side Effects of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Link: https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/searching-supply-side-effects-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act

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Did it work? In a new paper with my Tax Policy Center colleague Claire Haldeman, we conclude that, consistent with these goals, TCJA reduced marginal effective tax rates (METRs) on new investment and reduced the differences in METRs across asset types, financing methods, and organizational forms.

But it had little impact on business investment through 2019 (where we stopped the analysis, to avoid confounding TCJA effects with those of the COVID-related shutdowns that ensued). Investment growth increased after 2017, but several factors suggest that this was not a reaction to the TCJA’s changes in effective tax rates.

Author(s): William G. Gale

Publication Date: 6 July 2021

Publication Site: TaxVox at Tax Policy Center

State Pass-Through Entity Taxes Let Some Residents Avoid the SALT Cap at No Cost to The States

Link: https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/state-pass-through-entity-taxes-let-some-residents-avoid-salt-cap-no-cost-states

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But PTE taxes create inequities based on type of income. For example, because these states now favor pass-through income over wages, a partner in a law firm can be effectively exempt from the SALT cap while an executive assistant or associate in the same firm remains subject to the deduction limitation. A doctor who is an employee of a corporation is barred from fully deducting state and local income taxes while a partner in a medical practice making the same income is exempt from the federal cap for these taxes.  

Because the rules differ across states, businesses need to consider where partners live and where business income is generated. For example, non-resident partners might not benefit from the credits in their home state. Like New York, some states of residence allow credits against the taxes these partners owe from other states. But that isn’t always the case.

Keep in mind that these PTE taxes may be just a temporary fix. Congress may consider changes to the SALT cap in coming legislation. And the cap, along with all other individual tax changes in the TCJA, is scheduled to expire at the end of 2025.

Author(s): Kim S. Rueben

Publication Date: 24 June 2021

Publication Site: TaxVox at Tax Policy Center

How States Are Letting Small Businesses Avoid The SALT Cap On Their Tax Returns

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizfarmer/2021/07/01/how-states-are-letting-small-businesses-avoid-the-salt-cap-on-their-tax-returns/?sh=7ef5a29127c5

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Colorado recently became the 14th state to enact the new workaround, which allows (or in Connecticut’s case, requires) pass-through businesses to pay state income taxes at the entity level rather than on their personal income tax returns. For small businesses like partnerships, declaring that income as a business instead of passing it through to their individual tax returns means the state taxes paid on that business income don’t count toward their SALT cap.

The new mechanism is called a pass-through entity (PTE) tax, which is exempt from the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction that was part of President Trump’s 2017 tax reform. For business owners in high property tax states like New Jersey and Connecticut, it’s a critical change because it allows those taxpayers to deduct more of their local taxes from their other personal income.

Author(s): Liz Farmer

Publication Date: 1 July 2021

Publication Site: Forbes

Note to Bernie: The 8 arguments for restoring the SALT deduction, and why they’re all wrong

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We have argued against lifting the $10,000 cap in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and in a short analysis for Brookings. Our case is quite straightforward: the benefits of repeal would flow to the rich and affluent, who now have a disproportionate influence on the Democratic Party. To be specific, the top 1 percent would get an average tax cut of over $35,000. The middle class would get an average tax cut of about $37 (note that our analyses here relate to full repeal, since we do not know yet what alternative Sen. Sanders has in mind):

Author(s): Richard V. Reeves, Christopher Pulliam

Publication Date: 24 June 2021

Publication Site: Brookings

The American Rescue Plan’s Money Cannon Is Great, But Not Enough

Link: https://www.dailyposter.com/p/the-american-rescue-plans-money-cannon

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As a spending bill, the ARP’s impact cannot be overstated. It is the mirror opposite of the Trump tax cuts, targeting most of its benefits to the bottom end of the income ladder, rather than the top. It will send stimulus checks up to $1,400 to an estimated 280 million Americans, continue additional $300 weekly unemployment benefits until the end of August, and distribute up $3,600 to families per child through monthly payments over one year beginning on July 1.

These three measures are expected to increase the incomes of the poorest 20 percent of Americans by an average of 33 percent, while the poorest 60 percent could see their incomes increase by an average of 11 percent, according to estimates from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. One estimate suggests that the legislation will slash child poverty in half.

Author(s): David Sirota, Julia Rock, Andrew Perez

Publication Date: 11 March 2021

Publication Site: The Daily Poster

Virus Did Not Bring Financial Rout That Many States Feared

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/business/covid-state-tax-revenue.html

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Throughout the debate over stimulus measures, one question has repeatedly brought gridlock in Washington: Should the states get no-strings federal aid?

Republicans have mostly said no, casting it as a bailout for spendthrift blue states. Democrats have argued the opposite, saying that states face dire fiscal consequences without aid, and included $350 billion in relief for state and local governments in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill, which narrowly passed the House this past weekend. It faces a much tougher fight in the Senate.

As it turns out, new data shows that a year after the pandemic wrought economic devastation around the country, forcing states to revise their revenue forecasts and prepare for the worst, for many the worst didn’t come. One big reason: $600-a-week federal supplements that allowed people to keep spending — and states to keep collecting sales tax revenue — even when they were jobless, along with the usual state unemployment benefits.

Author(s): Mary Williams Walsh, Karl Russell

Publication Date: 1 March 2021

Publication Site: New York Times