TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Who Benefits From Tax Expenditures?

Roberton Williams (Tax Policy Center) has published Who Benefits From Tax Expenditures?, 131 Tax Notes 511 (May 2, 2011):

Overall, tax expenditures give more benefits to high-income households relative to income but are roughly proportional to tax liabilities. The top quintile collects 55% of all income, pays 67% of all taxes, and gets nearly 65% of the value of tax expenditures. Middle-income households earn slightly more than 40% of all income, pay one-third of taxes, and get one-third of tax benefits. The poorest quintile of households receives slightly less than 4% of both income and benefits from tax expenditures but pays only 0.5% of federal taxes, largely because refundable credits offset almost all their tax liabilities.


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