March 12,2013

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Fact Sheet: Democrats Say They Want to Get Rid of So-Called Tax Loopholes for Rich, But Middle Class Benefit Most

WASHINGTON - The need for comprehensive tax reform cannot be overstated.  America’s bloated tax code has become an albatross around the neck of economic growth and opportunity for our job creators and families alike.  But listening to Washington Democrats, you’d think the only so-called loopholes in the tax code are for yachts, corporate jets and millionaires, and that only those loopholes should be closed to generate more revenue.  That’s not tax reform – it’s just raising taxes.  

The reality is markedly different.  In fact, the vast majority of tax preferences or expenditures go to the middle class. They are not “spending” as Democrats would have one believe.  What follows is a detailed examination of who benefits from the largest tax expenditures – and note
it isn’t the so-called rich:   

  Individual Tax
Filers Reporting
OVER $200,000
Of Adjusted Gross Income
Individual Tax
Filers Reporting
UNDER $200,000
of Adjusted
Gross Income
Share of Total Individual Income
Tax Burden Paid
57% 43%
 Share of Tax Expenditure Benefit Received    
 Home Mortgage Interest Deduction*  35%  65%
 Real Property Tax Deduction*  25%  75%
 Charitable Contribution Deduction*  57%  43%
 Medical Expense Deduction*  12%  88%
 State & Local Sales and Income Tax Deduction*  55%  45%
 Earned Income Tax Credit  0%  100%
 Tax Exempt Social Security Benefits  2%  98%
 Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit  5%  95%
 Child Tax Credit  0%  100%
 Tax Credits for Education  0%  100%
 Student Loan Interest Deduction  0%  100%

* The share of tax expenditure benefit going to taxpayers with adjusted gross income exceeding $200,000 is overstated for the indicated items. The data used in this analysis does not reflect recent law changes that can substantially diminish the tax savings that "high income" taxpayers derive from itemized deductions beginning in 2013.
Source: Joint Committee on Taxation, “Estimates Of Federal Tax Expenditures For Fiscal Years 2012-2017,” February 1, 2013.