- Analyze tax laws.
- How does tax law effect the individual tax payer?
The development of this paper is based on delivering key information for the purpose of establishing knowledge and suitable understanding by concentrating on the CCH’s Federal Taxation for the 2016 edition. In this paper, the first and second level tax course comprising of the comprehensive topic created by the teachers will be discussed to be able to offer the comprehensive one-volume coverage regarding the different important principles and concepts existing in the federal taxation. The overall process is dedicated to secure a solid grounding through the way of providing the clear and precise explanation related to the different key federal taxation concepts within the framework of present day taxation procedures and practices (Brownlee, 1996). The overall paper is also developed in such a basis to provide necessary balance between the different key taxation models and different approaches made by the top taxation teachers of present day situation through the way of covering both planning and compliance. With the involvement of the established purposes of the paper, the overall paper has been constructed by considering two major categorisations regarding the distribution of the key concepts and information (Burman, Gale & Weiner, 1998). One part of the paper will concentrate on analysis of some major federal taxation laws by making the proper identification, and another part of the paper will deal with the possible outcomes on the basis of the impacts of the major taxation laws on the individual tax payers. Thus, these major two objectives of the paper will be accomplished in the critical and straightforward manner to be able to reach for the proper conclusion related to the chosen topic.
Analysis of Federal Taxation Laws and their Effects
The laws related to the taxation itself generate different kinds of concepts related to the particular field of frameworks. In this case, it should need to mention that the tax expenditures are explained in the first place due to the reason that the factor should need to be provided the proper importance (Cummings, 2010). The significance of the tax expenditure suggests the revenue losses after the tax deductions, many forms of credits, and some other types of tax benefits. Tax expenditures always depend on the relevant tax code and based on the scenario, tax expenditure is used to provide the incentives or disincentives in terms of the different types of behaviours through the tax code. Secondly, the discussion should need to be carried on by concentrating on the capital gains as there is the involvement of high amount of on-going debates surrounding the basic treatment of the preferred tax in the field of this type of income to the individuals (Hudson & Lind, 1998). Apart from the capital gains, the tax consequences of marriage related ceremonies should also need to be prioritised due to the reducing rate of the marriage tax penalties (and increasing rate of bonus) in the recent years. It is a matter of fact that an event like marriage can possibly change the tax liability of the couple with the application of the relevant tax related rules or implications (King, 1994). Lastly, the discussion should need to be formed on the basis of covering the tax deferral and depreciation for the purpose of conducting the review as the changes in these tax rules provide the broad implications to the tax liability of the individual tax payers. Not only the individual tax payers, but also it should need to be remembered that the business organizations are largely influenced by the different changes in the taxations rules as these have their respective impact of the tax liability which can possibly enhance the firm or affect the overall competitiveness.
As stated earlier that tax expenditures are treated as the revenue loss appeared from the tax deductions, different types of tax benefits, or credit (Markowitz & Grossman, 1998). In this case, one particular example of The Joint Committee on Taxation can be referenced as the committee is responsible to list the possible revenue losses from the mentioned tax provisions by considering the functional spending categories.
(The largest tax expenditures for individuals)
According to the provided table, the top individual tax expenditures are highlighted in the clear and precise order as these ten different types of expenditure categories are accounted for a total of 70% tax expenditures that are spend by the individuals. In this case, it should need to mention that the total individual tax expenditure for the year ending 2013 was $1,140 billion. The particular amount was estimated individually while this was not precisely correct to add up all the tax expenditures as these have some specific interactive effects (Rose, 1983). Considering this particular fact, these effects provide some important notions related to the magnitude of these provisions. Within the same year, i.e. the amount regarding the individual income tax was projected to be $1,264 billion. Therefore, this particular example proves that the portion of tax expenditures is relatively large in terms of the total amount of tax receipts.
Considering the particular discussion, it should also need to be noted that the revenue effects of the provisions on a cash flow basis are measured by the tax expenditure. This important acknowledgement leads to the fact that the overall concept may not reflect the true benefit provided to the individual tax payer (Smith & Harmelink, 2002). Here the benefits may arise from the involvement of the deferral of taxes.
The definition of capital gains under the current taxation system suggests that the capital gains or loss can be occurred only from the involvement of selling or transaction of capital assets. The particular transaction or sale will produce the capital gains only if the asset is sold for a price bettering off its acquisition price. Also, on the other hand, a capital loss will occur only if the capital asset is sold at a lower price than its acquisition price. Considering the universal taxation system, the capital assets can be of two different types; one is the long-term asset and the other is the short-term asset (Smith & Harmelink, 2003). According to the current taxation framework, a capital asset retained more than a period of 12 months is considered to be the long-term capital asset. On the other hand, a capital asset held for 12 months or less than the mentioned period is known to be the short-term capital asset. Considering the 1998 changes, the effect regarding the holding period of the capital asset is implied, as the holding time period is reduced to 12 months for designing the treatments related to the long or short-term capital gains (Smith, 2000). In this case, it is worth to mention that a different taxation treatment is followed for the long-term capital gains and a regular treatment regarding the income tax rate is carried on in case of the short-term capital gains.
Now while considering the taxation laws related to the capital gains tax, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (JGTRRA) in 2003 had reduced the minimum tax rate on the long-term capital gains income for the purpose of providing facilities to the individual tax payers. The further analysis on this particular law has suggested that the minimum tax rate on the capital gains income will be charged at 0% from 2008 through 2010 for the individuals who remain in the tax bracket of 10% and 15% (Smith, 1994). On the other hand, the actions and the implications of JGTRRA have proposed the capital gains tax rate of 15% for those taxpayers whose marginal income tax brackets slightly exceeding the 15% tax rate bracket. Also, it is mandatory to mention that these proposals will be applicable for the individual tax payers whose capital assets are sold or transacted on or before May 6, 2003, and before the time period of January 1, 2009. However the involvement of Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2006 has extended the reduced tax rate on the income from capital gains through 2010 (Smith & Harmelink, 2005). Also, it can be noticed that the further involvement of The Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 has further extended the particular period to 2012 for the reduced charges of income tax rate on the capital gains.
Considering the scenario of America, the effective participation of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) has permanently extended the reduced income tax rate on the income achieved from the capital gains for most of individual tax payers. Also the top rate of tax related to the long-term capital gains can be observed in an increasing rate from 15% to 20% for the single taxpayers whose taxable incomes are above $400,000 (Smith, Harmelink & Hasselback, 2015). This particular taxable income amount varies to the married couples and head of the household filter with $450,000 and $425,000 respectively. In the beginning of 2013, it will be subjected to a 3.4% tax rate on the net investment income for the taxpayers with the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) above $200,000. And the same amount of income increases to $250,000 for the married couple filing their income tax jointly. This particular scenario related to the $200,000 and $250,000 threshold are not adjusted by the council due to the involvement of the inflation (Smith, Harmelink, Hasselback & Englebrecht, 2009). Here, it should need to mention that the net investment income is comprised of different factors including the taxable amount of income from capital gains, as well as dividends, rents, royalties, non-qualified annuities, and interest. Also, it should need to mention that the implication of Heath Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 has enacted the unearned income Medicare contribution tax in the process.
Considering the particular taxation effects, different kinds of arguments have raised between the economists from various backgrounds. They have argued that the lock-in effect will reduce significantly by the impact of lowering the tax rates on capital gains which will result in the free flow of capitals to the different places where these can be used in the effective manner (Smith, Harmelink, Hasselback & Englebrecht, 2014). Therefore, the basic extract of these arguments has suggested that more capital gains realisations will be extracted due to the reducing tax rates of capital gains and the process will potentially offset some of the cost of cutting the capital gains taxes. Also, it is natural that there is the presence of considerable uncertainty related to the magnitude of unlocking effect. Therefore, it is suggested that the lock-in could be reduced by the way of taxing the incomes from capital gains on the accrual basis as an effective alternative to the reduced tax rate of capital gains. This particular proposal is exactly opposing to the current taxation system where the taxes on capital gains are charged when the income is realised. Also, another alternative can be taxing the capital gains which are passed on at death (Smith, Harmelink, Hasselback & Englebrecht, 2011). With the help of the particular explanation, it can be arguably understandable that these particular alternatives may generate the required solutions but they can possibly face the number of technical challenges. Also the concept behind taxing capital gains at the death is highly unpopular.
Additionally, the particular understanding has also been gathered out of the research that some arguments are made that the increased amount of savings and investment can be inflicted by the reduced tax rates of capital gains. This particular process can alternatively stimulate the economic growth of the community (Stein, 1994). Also, it is highly difficult to gather the evidences regarding the effects of different tax cuts on the saving rates, as most of the evidences do not indicate the proper response of savings to the increased after-tax return on asset.
Marriage Penalties and Bonuses
According to this particular concept, the married couple treated as the single tax unit under the federal individual taxation system violates the principle of the marriage neutrality. It is based on the evidence regarding the increased payment of income tax as a married couple than they would have paid as two unmarried singles. This particular scenario leads to the marriage tax penalty. On the similar manner, some other evidences suggest that other married couples pay less amount of income tax than they would have paid as two unmarried singles (Willis & Boyd, 1992). This particular scenario on the other side leads to a marriage tax bonus incident. The overall scenario thus viewed as the violation of the principle related to the horizontal equality and due to that the individuals with the equal income should need to have the similar tax burdens.
Considering the in-depth research, the factor known as the earned income tax credit (EITC) is the most significant structural factor which has its major impact on the marriage neutrality of the income tax. Also, the factor affects the marriage tax rate schedules, deductions for higher-income individuals, and the phase-out of credits. However, considering the instance of the current tax system, the individual tax payers, heads of the household, and the married couples are part of the different taxation system as they are subjected to the different type of tax schedules (Smith, 1994). Apart from that, it can also be observed that the amount of EITC and the phase-out ranges have their basic variations based on the number of dependents claimed. Due to the involvement and implication of these variations the presence of marriage tax bonuses and marriage tax penalties can be observed critically.
Within the overall section of this paper, the basic analysis to the key taxation rules and policies are analysed along with their effects on the different individual taxpayers within the current taxation field. One most viable conclusion has been raised from the scenario that the overall taxation rules and legislations are decorated and modified for the purpose strengthening the economy and increasing the competitiveness of the community (Smith & Harmelink, 2003). Here competitiveness can be defined in various ways, but regardless of those various definitions, the standard economic analysis report suggests that different measures taken to modify the taxation can do very little to enhance the factor. Therefore, the fact leads to the definition of different tax provision to be able to improve the country performance with the inclusion of an enhanced competitiveness.
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