Exploring Tax Expenditures: SubsidyScope’s Inside View


Federal tax expenditures are now fully digitized and easily searchable with a new tool released yesterday by SubsidyScope, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Tax expenditures are (essentially) federal spending made through the tax code and amount to the rough equivalent of 1/4 of the federal budget. The website behind Pew’s Tax Expenditure Database was developed by the Sunlight Foundation, and contains federal income tax expenditure estimates from 10 years of budget documents for all economic sectors.

The Advisory Committee on Transparency, a project of the Sunlight Foundation, recently hosted a panel discussion on increasing tax expenditure transparency, which featured William Beach of the Heritage Foundation, Thomas Hungerford of the Congressional Research Service, Lori Metcalf of the Pew Charitable Trusts, Eric Toder of the Urban Institute, and Jesse Feinberg from Rep. Mike Quigley’s office. Background information on tax expenditures is available here. The video is available below.