Tax Credits for Working Families

Weekly Round-Up: September 6, 2013

September 6th, 2013

Here are some highlights from the past few weeks’ news on family tax credit issues. Remember – you can also track news coverage throughout the week by visiting our RSS feed, where you can filter news by a specific credit and/or state.

  • Last week, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced that as long as they were wed in a state that legally recognizes their marriage, all married same-sex couples must file their federal taxes as either married filing jointly or married filing separately for tax year 2013 and beyond, regardless of their current state of residence. We blogged about what this means for same-sex couples collecting the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, or Child and Dependent Care Credit. (Politico, Tax Credits for Working Families)
  • The Washington Post highlighted that raising the federal minimum wage could help our nation’s working women, but the benefit of the increased earnings could be offset by a reduction in the  means-tested benefits like the EITC that they receive. These credits assist low-income working women with the cost of living, but phase out when income rises over a certain level. The author suggests charging firms the cost of the means-tested benefits that their employees receive. (The Washington Post)
  • The Tax Policy Center released data showing that the percentage of Americans who pay no federal income tax, a number which many people wrongly attribute entirely to those collecting the EITC and Child Tax Credit, has fallen from 47 percent of households in 2009 to just 43 percent this year. It also released a video explaining the reasons that people pay no taxes, ranging from incomes that are too low to seniors who live on non-taxable social security income. (Tax Policy Center 1, 2)
  • Ramesh Ponnru, senior editor for National Review, made the case that federal tax reform should expand the Child Tax Credit to further offset what he refers to as a “bias against parenting” in our nation’s tax system. (Bloomberg)
  • Dilane Mitchell of Forbes Magazine argued that safety net programs like the EITC should be stronger for low-income workers without children. (Forbes)
  • A panel of Montana  business,  farming and labor leaders advising U.S. Sen. Max Baucus on his plan to reform the nation’s tax code has urged him to maintain deductions that benefit low-income working families, such as the EITC and Child and Dependent Care Credit. (The Alpena News, The Gillette News Extra)
  • Democratic Rep. Daniel Riemer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, introduced a bill to remove limits enacted two years ago on the state’s EITC. (The Gazette Extra)
  • Michigan House Democrats are urging lawmakers to pass a series of bills and consider policy proposals dealing with women’s issues, including legislation to create a state Child and Dependent Care Credit and a bill to boost the state’s EITC. (The Detroit News)
  • An Op-Ed from Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, made the case that enacting a Kentucky living wage law and a state EITC would raise many more families out of poverty and significantly benefit the state’s economy. (The Newark Advocate)
  • Maine Rep. Robert Saucier contended that while the state’s new Property Tax Fairness Credit enacted to replace the Circuit Breaker refund program is not ideal, it was the best deal that could be negotiated in order to pass the state’s budget. (The Bangor Daily News)
  • Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children made the case that  Indiana’s congressional delegation must prioritize children in the debate over federal tax reform by protecting the three federal tax provisions – the Child and Dependent Care Credit, the EITC and the Child Tax Credit – that account for the biggest federal investment in our nation’s youth. (The Courier Press)

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