The Income Tax Treatment of Social Welfare Benefits

Part I of this Article describes the major social welfare programs in the United States. Part II outlines the basic structure of the federal income tax and describes how social welfare benefits are treated by the income tax system. Finally, Part III surveys some recent proposals to tax particular social welfare benefits and considers the arguments for and against taxing such benefits. The Article concludes that the need for new revenue sources will push the federal government to reconsider the tax treatment of social welfare benefits.