Tax Credits for Working Families

VIDEO: EITC Awareness Day Capitol Hill Policy Briefing

February 3rd, 2016

If you missed our January 29 policy briefing featuring Senator Cory Booker, you can now view it here.

What’s Next for Tax Credits for Low-Wage Workers, a Capitol Hill forum co-hosted with the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), brought together advocates and lawmakers to celebrate recent tax credit accomplishments and discuss what lies ahead in 2016.

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News Round-up: February 1, 2016

February 1st, 2016

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

  • We released a video illustrating how the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) gives low-wage workers a break at tax time. You can watch the video here and learn more at org.

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Watch Our Video: The EITC Helps Workers #WinTaxTime

January 27th, 2016

elenaJust in time for EITC Awareness Day, check out our 30-second animated video on how the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) gives low-wage workers a break at tax time.

The video, called “When Your Paycheck Doesn’t Cut It: The EITC Can Help,” features Elena, a 20-something, who, despite working hard, struggles to afford student loans and rent. Because of these demands on her wallet, Elena files for the EITC at tax time to help make ends meet and build financial security.

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News Round-up: January 25, 2016

January 25th, 2016

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

  • This Friday, January 29, Tax Credits for Working Families and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) will host a policy briefing on Capitol Hill to celebrate Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day and elevate the importance of other tax credits like the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). Speakers include Johns Hopkins Professor Kathryn Edin, Elaine Maag of the Urban Institute and more. RSVP here: https://eventgrid.com/Events/19159/capitol-hill-policy-forum-whats-next-for-tax-credits-for-low-wage-workers

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News Round-up: January 19, 2016

January 19th, 2016

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

  • In President Obama’s final State of the Union speech, he noted that he and Speaker Paul Ryan (R) both support measures to expand the EITC to childless workers and called on Congress to unite behind the bipartisan proposal (Vox, Bloomberg View, CBPP). The Washington Post Editorial Board encouraged Speaker Ryan to move forward with this proposal (Washington Post).
  • We recapped the generally positive statements about the EITC by Republican presidential candidates attending the recent Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity. The Forum brought together the candidates to address poverty in America (TCWF).

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Capitol Hill Policy Briefing: “What’s Next for Tax Credits?”

January 14th, 2016

On EITC Awareness Day – Friday, January 29 – Tax Credits for Working Families and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED)  invite you to attend a policy briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss tax credits for low-wage workers: what was accomplished in 2015 and what lies ahead this year.

Some 50 million Americans were spared a major tax increase when Congress passed a package of tax breaks in December that included permanent expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). But the fight to protect the EITC and CTC from cuts and further expand the credits continues. Several proposals to improve tax credits for working families are on the table and could become law in 2016. 

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Republican Presidential Candidates Laud EITC at South Carolina Forum

January 12th, 2016

By: Lauren Pescatore

Columbia, S.C. – The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) was a hot topic over the weekend at the Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity, the first-ever gathering in which the Speaker of the House engaged Republican presidential hopefuls on issues of poverty and opportunity in America. Tax Credits for Working Families had the opportunity to attend the event, which drew in a crowd notably more diverse than that of other GOP forums – ranging from conservative think tank officials to advocates from left-leaning nonprofits, as well as members of the faith community who told us they had yet to make up their mind about who to support. 

“We doubled the EITC because we have to do more than just talk about work. We have to really reward the people who are out there doing it.” – Gov. Chris Christie 

The forum, which was moderated by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), featured Governors Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and John Kasich (R-Ohio), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former governors Jeb Bush (R-FL) and Mike Huckabee (R-AR), and Dr. Ben Carson discussing how they would break the cycle of poverty if elected president.  Strategies ranged from higher-quality early childhood education to tax breaks for workers struggling to make ends meet. But few topics received as much attention or support as the EITC.

Governor Christie, who has had a rocky relationship with the EITC, touted his state’s recent EITC expansion as smart policy. “We doubled the Earned Income Tax Credit in New Jersey,” Christie said, “because we have to do more than just talk about work. We have to really reward the people who are out there doing it.” 

“That’s the key of the EITC. It makes work pay.” – House Speaker Paul Ryan 

Speaker Ryan, who has proposed a federal EITC expansion nearly identical to President Obama’s, then turned to Christie to confirm, “That’s the key of the EITC, right? It actually makes work pay.” Ryan went on to address the common misconception that the EITC is welfare, noting that the credit’s connection to work distinguishes it from such programs.

Former governor Bush spoke about his proposal to double the federal EITC for single filers and lower the age of eligibility from 25 to 21 – two key improvements also featured in Speaker Ryan’s proposal.

Governor Kasich gave a nod to Ohio’s state-level EITC, noting that it builds off of the federal credit to incentivize “people to rise and not put them in a position of where they go to work, and they lose more than what they gain.” 

 “Raising a family is incredibly expensive. And I think the most important job any of us will ever have is the job of a parent. So I want our tax code to reflect that” – Sen. Marco Rubio

Sen. Rubio was silent on the EITC but heralded his plan to increase the Child Tax Credit, calling the program “pro work” and a policy that “allows hard-working families to keep more of what they earn.” Rubio went on to acknowledge, “Right now raising a family in the 21st century is incredibly expensive. And I think the most important job any of us will ever have is the job of a parent. So I want our tax code to reflect that. And that’s why I’ve called for an increase in a per-child tax credit.”

The only dissenting opinion on the EITC came from Carson. Expressing concern that it “may not be a very popular thing to say,” Carson called the EITC a “manipulation of the tax system” that he just doesn’t agree with “for whatever good reason.” Carson  recently proposed instituting a 15 percent flat tax for businesses and individuals and eliminating all deductions and credits, including the EITC.

For full video coverage of the event, as well as a transcript, click here. To stay up to date on where all of the presidential candidates stand on tax credits for working families, follow our campaign tracker.

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News Round-up: January 11, 2016

January 11th, 2016

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

  • This weekend, the Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity brought together six Republican presidential candidates to discuss ways to reduce poverty, with several voicing support for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (ABC News, Wall Street Journal). At the forum, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush pitched his tax reform plan, which includes doubling the EITC (Jeb 2016, Forbes). New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie touted the recent expansion of his state’s EITC (Asbury Park Press). Ben Carson, on the other hand, announced his strong opposition to such tax credits (The Hill). Look for commentary on the forum from Tax Credits for Working Families later this week.

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“EITC 101” Just In Time for EITC Awareness Day

January 7th, 2016

By Kate Skochdopole

With EITC Awareness Day coming up on January 29, we all could use a refresher on why the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is worth celebrating.

No Jargon, a podcast from the Scholar Strategy Network, recently devoted an episode to the EITC and featured Laura Tach, an assistant professor of analysis and management at Cornell University who outlined why the successful anti-poverty program is so special. Tach, who co-authored It’s Not Like I’m Poor last year, also discussed the ways recipients spend their refunds. Most, she says, use the money to pay down debt or make big purchases like a used car that would not be possible at other times of the year.

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News Round-up: January 4, 2016

January 4th, 2016

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

  • For the first time since 2001, Colorado had a budget surplus large enough to trigger its EITC, which means eligible families will receive checks for 10 percent of the federal credit (Colorado Springs Gazette).
  • Lawmakers in Maryland plan to tackle tax policy legislation during the 2016 legislative session and will debate a bill to expand the state EITC to childless workers (Baltimore Sun).

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