Think tank pulls study of Republican tax plan, citing error in its analysis

Key Points
  • The Tax Policy Center published a study on Monday that found the GOP tax plan would raise rates for many low-income families and slash rates for the wealthy.
  • But the think tank pulled its study later in the day after it found an error in its analysis.
  • The center said the error involved the additional child tax credit component of the proposed legislation.
Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, left, holds up a 'Simple, Fair 'Postcard' Tax Filing' card next to ranking member Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., during a markup hearing in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 6, 2017.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Tax Policy Center, an influential non-partisan think tank, pulled its study of the Republican tax plan on Monday, saying it found an error in its analysis.

The center issued the following statement on its website.

TPC staff found an error in the preliminary distributional tables and analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that we released today. This error involved the additional child tax credit component of the proposed legislation.

TPC staff are in the process of revising the analysis and will release a corrected version as soon as possible. TPC has removed all related analyses from our website. And we urge users to refrain from referring to the incorrect figures. I, and the whole TPC staff, regret this error and we will be providing corrected analyses as soon as we can.

TPC is committed to providing the highest-quality information about America's tax system. However, we know we fell short this time. We appreciate the support that all of you have provided to TPC over the years and we will work hard to make this right.

The study had found that the Republican tax reform bill currently being marked up on Capitol Hill would raise taxes for many low and middle income Americans, while slashing taxes on the richest.

The analysis would undermine Republican claims that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced last week would primarily benefit the middle class over the wealthy.

According to the preliminary report, in 2018 the top one percent of taxpayers — those making more than $730,000 — would receive 22 percent of the total cuts, or an average tax cut of $37,000. Middle income families (those making between about $48,000 and $86,000) would receive an average tax cut of $700 next year.

Across the board, tax cuts in the bill would increase overall after-tax income by 1.5 percent next year, the report found, although it notes that the greatest benefits would go to would go to those with higher incomes.

Some taxpayers, however, would pay more under the plan, a fact that has dogged Trump administration officials since they began the push for tax reform earlier this year. The new TPC analysis found that 12 percent of taxpayers would pay more in taxes next year.

By 2027, the number of taxpayers who would pay more jumps to 28 percent, or nearly one in three households. This is due to a combination of factors, including the expiration of a proposed $300 family credit and the way certain credits are indexed for inflation.

The Republican backed bill would accrue even more benefits to the top one percent of taxpayers in 2027 than it would in 2018, the report found: As much as 50 percent of the total tax benefits, or an average increase in after-tax income of 2.2 percent.

Democrats were quick to highlight the new analysis Monday as evidence that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was little more than a giveaway to the wealthy and corporations.

"As the years roll on, wealthy taxpayers and corporations reap huge windfalls while middle class taxpayers get stuck with the bill," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a statement following the release of TPC's report. "It's no wonder Republicans are trying to rush this bill through – the more scrutiny it gets, the worse it looks," he said.

President Donald Trump is traveling in Asia this week, but many of his chief economic policy advisers remained in Washington to help hammer out the details of the tax reform bill.