The Joint Committee on Taxation released “Estimates of Federal Tax Expenditures for Fiscal Years 2014–2018” today, prepared for the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee.  This annual report describes, and estimates the revenue effects of, tax expenditures—special tax provisions that reduce the income tax liabilities of particular persons relative to a baseline of “normal income tax law.”  Although part of federal income tax law, tax expenditures have a similar effect as direct spending provisions.  According to the report, the employer-provided healthcare insurance exclusion continues to be the largest tax expenditure, projected to cost the government $785.1 billion in 2014 through 2018.  The report also shows the distribution of benefits among different levels of income for certain tax expenditures.

The report can be accessed here.