Issue Spotlight: Income Tax

With Tax Day coming up, POPVOX is spotlighting bills related to income taxes. But first, here's some interesting tax-related history. 

While most people consider the passage of the 16th Amendment as the origin of the income tax on individuals, its history actually goes back even further, according to the Library of Congress.

In 1861, Congress passed a tax on personal incomes to help pay war expenses related to the Civil War, which was repealed ten years later. Then in 1894, Congress enacted a flat rate Federal income tax, which was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court because it was a direct tax not apportioned according to the population of each state. The 16th Amendment, ratified in 1913, removed this objection by allowing the Federal government to tax the income of individuals without regard to the population of each State.

March 1st was the original filing deadline specified by Congress after the passage of the 16th Amendment. Only after the tax overhaul in 1954 was the date moved to April 15th.

We hope you'll weigh in on these bills on POPVOX and share the list with your friends and networks. 

Issue Spotlight: Personal Income Tax

Income Tax Rates

  • S 2230 The Paying a Fair Share Act ("the Buffett Rule") reduces the deficit by imposing a minimum effective tax rate for high-income taxpayers. (Senate resumes consideration next week.)Also HR 3903.
  • HR 2506 The Making Work and Marriage Pay Act establishes the National Commission on Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low-Income Families.
  • HConRes103 H Con Res 103 expresses the sense of Congress that the effective Federal tax rate paid by the President and Vice-President of the United States, and Members of the House of Representatives and Senate, should not be less than the effective Federal tax rate paid by middle class Americans.
  • HR 4265 The Shared Responsibility in Preserving America’s Future Act amends the tax code to impose a 5 percent tax on so much of adjusted gross income of any individual as exceeds $1,000,000, and to provide incentive for Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment, or spending limit amendment, to the Constitution.
  • HR 1139 The Tax Free Tips Act amends the tax code to provide that tips shall not be subject to income or employment taxes.
  • HR 547 The Individual AMT Repeal Act amends the tax code to repeal the alternative minimum tax on individuals.
  • HR 3747 The Permanent AMT Relief Act amends the tax code to increase the alternative minimum tax exemption amount and index such amount for inflation.
  • HR 3091 HR 3091 makes permanent the individual income tax rates for capital gains and dividends.

Tax Credits and Deductions

  • HR 4260 The Adjusting for Income Disparity Act amends the tax code to allow an income disparity tax credit.
  • HR 184 The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act repeals the sunset of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 with respect to the expansion of the adoption credit and adoption assistance programs.
  • S 11 The Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act provides permanent tax relief from the marriage penalty.
  • HR 150 The Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act amends the tax code to repeal the inclusion in gross income of Social Security benefits.
  • HR 35 The Teacher Tax Reduction Act amends the tax code to increase the deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers to $500 and to extend it through 2013.

Tax Code Reforms

  • HR 25 The Fair Tax Act promotes freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be administered primarily by the States. (Also S 13.)
  • HR 462 The Tax Code Termination Act terminates the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
  • HR 1040 The Freedom Flat Tax Act amends the tax code to provide taxpayers a flat tax alternative to the current income tax system.
  • S 1534 The Identify Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act prevents identity theft and tax fraud.

See other Issue Spotlights.

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.

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