Tax Expenditures

Overview

The Tax Policy Center estimates that all told, tax expenditures in 2012 amounted to roughly $1.3 trillion, inclusive of policies that reduced income tax revenues ($1.092T), increased federal spending, such as through refundable tax credits ($91B) and reductions in other tax revenues such as payroll taxes ($113B). These are only approximate since they merely sum up the OMB’s estimates of the impact of a large number of individual tax expenditures. However, some analysts have estimated that the aggregate impact of individual income tax expenditures, for example, is 10 percent higher when considered in the aggregate than when individual components are summed separately.

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