Facts and figures about UK taxes, benefits and public spending.
Income distribution, poverty and inequality.
Analysing government fiscal forecasts and tax and spending.
Analysis of the fiscal choices an independent Scotland would face.
Case studies that give a flavour of the areas where IFS research has an impact on society.
Reforming the tax system for the 21st century.
A peer-reviewed quarterly journal publishing articles by academics and practitioners.
Since its foundation in the 1960s, the IFS has been studying developments in the UK's tax and social security system. This continues to be a core part of the Institute's work, making a particularly important contribution to public debate around the government's annual set pieces of the Budget and Pre-Budget Report, and the Institute's own Green Budget. Research at the IFS concentrates on describing and analysing changes and proposed changes to the tax and social security system, and in using large cross-sectional household datasets to model the impact of reforms on individuals' incomes and behaviour. Below, we present specific projects that researchers at the IFS have worked on in recent years, although the constant need to maintain the Institute's tax and benefit model means that IFS researchers are familiar with almost all areas of personal tax and social security in the UK.
In October 1999, the working families' tax credit (WFTC) replaced family credit as the main package of in-work support for families with children.
Andrew W Dilnot, John Kay and Nick Morris
Andrew W Dilnot and Julian McCrae
This discussion paper describes the structure of Family Credit and the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC). It looks at the characteristics of likely recipients and discusses how the WFTC will affect work incentives for different types of households. The paper then goes on to discuss a series of issues that deserve attention and discussion in the context of the UK reform, and perhaps more generally in the consideration of policies of this type.
Brian Bell, Richard Blundell and John Van Reenen
This paper examines alternative approaches to wage subsidy programmes.
Paul Gregg, Paul Johnson and Howard Reed
The report shows what differentiates the individuals in the survey who entered work over a twelve month period from those who remained out of work over the course of a year. It examines how the distribution of hourly wages earned by new entrants into jobs differs from the distribution of wages for those already in work. This `entry wage' information is just used to estimate gains to working for people who are currently unemployed or inactive, and to assess to what extent financial incentives affect entry into work. The report also simulates what the effect of the WFTC, the NI reforms, and the 10p tax rate might be on the numbers of men and women entering work and how these reforms might increase employment.
Bell, B, Richard Blundell and Van Reenen, J
Browse publications & research
Started: 01 January 2013
Started: 01 January 2013
Started: 01 October 2012
Started: 11 April 2011
Started: 01 November 2010
An IFS economist advised a “Citizens Jury” on the welfare system, including basic facts and important issues about its purpose and structure.
Our ERA analysis contributed to the evaluation literature and informed the Government about the validity of the experimental findings.
Proposals by IFS researchers to simplify the benefit system and strengthen the incentives for low-skilled adults to work have attracted the attention of Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
IFS evaluated the Pathways to Work programme. This work proved key to the policy debate about how to get disability benefit claimants in work.
The Mirrlees Review shows the importance IFS attaches to high quality empirical evidence in the design of tax and benefit system.
IFS researchers found that the In-Work Credit encouraged lone parents to leave benefit more quickly but did not increase work retention.
IFS researchers develop a model of the Mexican tax system that will be used by the Mexican Government analysts.
The IFS has made valuable contributions to the debate on VAT and its impact on the poor.
The IFS played a key role in informing the public during the 2010 election campaign. Our comments on the parties’ tax plans were quoted by the party leaders in their debates.
In light of Government objectives to increase environmental taxation, we investigate whether the UK tax system is becoming more or less ‘green’.
IFS researchers draw together lessons from behavioural economics for tax and benefit policy in a report aimed at policymakers.
IFS researchers and the World Bank plan to develop capacity and tools in developing countries for the comprehensive analysis of tax reforms
Changes to the benefit system recommended by IFS researchers have made working less than 16 hours a week more attractive to benefit recipients.
The IFS played a key role in the debate about who the tax and benefit changes in recent ‘Emergency Budget’ hit hardest.