Tax expenditures–special exemptions and exclusions, credits, deductions, deferrals, and preferential tax rates claimed by corporations, individuals, or both–support federal policy goals but result in revenue forgone by the federal government. Congress and the administration are reexamining tax expenditures used by corporations as part of corporate tax reform.
Estimated tax revenue that the federal government forgoes resulting from corporate tax expenditures increased over the past few decades as did the total number of corporate tax expenditures. In 2011, the Department of the Treasury estimated 80 tax expenditures resulted in the government forgoing corporate tax revenue totaling more than $181 billion. Many of these tax expenditures are broadly available to both corporate and individual taxpayers. In examining their narrowly focused reported purposes, one-third of the 24 corporate-only tax expenditures appear to share a similar purpose with at least one federal spending program.Read the full report