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The federal tax code includes hundreds of tax breaks designed to encourage certain activities that lawmakers deem beneficial to society. Tax deductions, credits, and exclusions are all different kinds of tax breaks. Tax breaks result in fewer revenue dollars collected by the U.S. Treasury. This visualization, based on NPP’s tax break dataset, shows some of the most expensive tax breaks, who benefits, and how their costs have changed over time.
The left-hand chart shows the top 10 most expensive tax breaks in 2013. The right-hand side shows how selected top tax breaks benefit different income groups and shows the cost of all tax breaks over time. These right-hand charts will change to show information about a specific tax break as you move your mouse over the bars on the left.
The left-hand chart shows the top 10 most expensive tax breaks in 2013. The right-hand side shows how selected top tax breaks affect different income groups and shows the cost of all tax breaks over time.
|Top 1% benefit|
Numbers updated April 2014 to reflect the latest Treasury Department tax break estimates.
For an interactive version of these charts that will display details about each of the top 10 tax breaks, please view this page in a new version of Internet Explorer (9 or above) or in an alternate web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
Data sources: OMB, CBO. Full notes and sources here.
You can download NPP’s tax break dataset here.
Read our report exposing the Big Money in Tax Breaks.