Tax Policy

Learn more about where to look for information about tax policy, recent changes, and related issues.

For anyone interested in more detailed information about how our tax system works, these resources may be helpful:

  • The IRS website has two central web pages that inform those interested in federal tax policy.
    • The News Releases page catalogues all IRS official updates by date.  This may be helpful for librarians to scan so that they can keep informed about important developments that may affect their patrons.
    • The Tax Statistics page offers “a wide range of tables, articles, and data that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system,” including statistics for businesses, individuals, by form, by income, and an “at a glance” page that offers an overview of all these topics.
  • Treasury Department: For patrons looking for the most up to date policy on taxes and other financial matters, the U.S. Treasury Department is probably the most comprehensive government website. It offers different layouts depending on the category of the user, including the public, teachers and students, business, financial institutions and the government. This might be a place that the library wants to look when designing financial literacy courses or pathfinders.
  • Tax Foundation: The Tax Foundation’s mission is to educate Americans about tax policy, so the information on their website is written at a level that non-professionals can understand. They offer data, charts and maps on all types of taxes, the ability to search by research area, and a blog on tax policy.
  • Tax Policy Center: From their website, the Tax Policy Center is “a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution… made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government.” A library and webpage of tax facts are good resources for patrons interested in the deeper levels of tax policy, while still maintaining a reading level suitable for non-tax professionals. Probably the most useful resources on this site for librarians are the blog and the Twitter feed, @taxpolicycenter, which serve to update interested users in the most recent tax policy changes and issues. In addition, The Tax Policy Briefing Book: A Citizens’ Guide for the 2012 Election and Beyond is available on the web and features an overview of the tax system, current theories on improvements that could be made, a glossary of terms, and state and local issues broken down in a Q&A format.