Friday, March 31, 2023

Opinion Page: Racial Bias in the Tax Code Needs More Transparent Research

From Bloomberg Tax, March 27, 2023

 . . . 

For far too long, taxpayers have been assured that choices reflected in the tax code aren’t the result of racial or gender bias because eligibility requirements generally aren’t based on race, gender, or ethnicity. Except for when they are, as in the case of tax provisions targeted to members of Indian Tribal Governments or Alaska Native Corporations.

The willful ignorance of racial, ethnic, and gender bias in the US tax system is compounded by the fact that, for the most part, civil rights protections and data transparency guardrails requiring federal agencies to collect data on beneficiaries of federally funded programs don’t expressly apply to tax expenditures—that is, the special provisions that provide some taxpayers more favorable treatment than regular income tax. In other words, civil rights laws don’t mandate that Treasury or the IRS collect demographic data on who benefits from tax breaks.

So while federal and state housing agencies must track and publish data on the race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, use of rental assistance, disability status, and monthly rental payments of households residing in low-income housing tax credit funded properties, neither Treasury nor Congressional tax writers have any idea of what the racial or gender implications are for the corporations that are profiting from them.

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And in this podcast, Dorothy speaks on the topic.  

darryll jones

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