The Tax Policy Center estimates that all told, tax expenditures in 2012 amounted to roughly $1.3 trillion, inclusive of policies that reduced income tax revenues ($1.092T), increased federal spending, such as through refundable tax credits ($91B) and reductions in other tax revenues such as payroll taxes ($113B). These are only approximate since they merely sum up the OMB’s estimates of the impact of a large number of individual tax expenditures. However, some analysts have estimated that the aggregate impact of individual income tax expenditures, for example, is 10 percent higher when considered in the aggregate than when individual components are summed separately.
- Joint Committee on Taxation. Estimates Of Federal Tax Expenditures For Fiscal Years 2010-2014. December 21, 2010. Annual report on size of all federal tax expenditures.
- Joint Committee on Taxation. Tax Expenditures for Health Care. July 30, 2008.
- Joint Committee on Taxation. Background Information On Tax Expenditure Analysis And Historical Survey Of Tax Expenditure Estimates. March 09, 2011.
- Congressional Budget Office. The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System (May 2013). CBO estimates that the federal cost, or tax expenditure, associated with that exclusion—including the effects on revenues from both payroll and income taxes—was roughly $250 billion in 2013, equal to nearly one-quarter of health care spending on private health insurance that year and comparable to federal spending on Medicaid.