Distributional Effects of Taxes on Corporate Profits, Investment Income, and Estates [December 27, 2012] [open pdf - 368KB]
"Tax reductions enacted in 2001-2004 reduce the effective tax rate on capital income in several different ways. Taxes on capital arise from individual taxes on dividends, interest, capital gains, and income from non-corporate businesses (proprietorships and partnerships). Reductions in marginal tax rates, as well as some tax benefits for business, reduce these taxes. Taxes on capital income also arise from corporate profits taxes, which are affected not only by rate reductions but also by changes to provisions affecting depreciation, interest deductions, other deductions and credits. Finally, taxes can be imposed on capital income through the estate and gift tax. Tax cuts on capital income through capital gains rate reductions, estate and gift tax reductions, and dividend relief are estimated to cost about $57 billion per year, with about half that amount attributable to the estate and gift tax. Lower ordinary tax rates also affect income from unincorporated businesses. These tax cuts are temporary and proposals to make some or all of them permanent are expected. Bonus depreciation appears less likely to be extended. While there are many factors used to evaluate the effects of these tax revisions, one of them is the distributional effect. This report addresses those distributional issues, in the context of behavioral responses."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32517
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html