There are more than $1.3 trillion worth of tax breaks that are allowed under the Internal Revenue Code, so there are plenty of people looking to get their share by the April 18 filing deadline. Drew Desilver of Pew Research’s Fact Tank broke down the biggest federal tax breaks for 2016.
Employer-paid health care, health insurance and long-term care insurance, none of which is counted as taxable income, came in first place. That provision cost the government an estimated $145.5 billion last fiscal year, and is estimated to cost $143.8 billion this year.
In the report, most tax breaks benefit individuals rather than corporations. We counted 118 individual breaks with a net total estimated cost in fiscal 2016 of nearly $1.15 trillion, compared with 80 corporate breaks totaling $185.2 billion. More than half of that corporate total comes from one break, the deferral of taxes on income earned overseas through foreign subsidiaries and affiliates.