Tax Credits for Working Families

News Round-Up: October 20, 2014

October 20th, 2014

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.

  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ analysis of the most recent Census data found that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit together lifted 9.4 million people out of poverty in 2013, including 4.9 million children. All safety net programs, including both credits, lifted 39 million people out of poverty that same year. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 1, 2)

  • An 18-state bus tour led by Americans United for Change is making its way around the country promoting policies such as an increased minimum wage and expanded EITC that help middle-class workers. (The Des Moines Register)

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News Round-Up: October 14, 2014

October 14th, 2014

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.

Expanding Access to Free Tax Preparation through Virtual VITA

October 10th, 2014

For many lower-income workers each year, the services provided by Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites can mean the difference between a tax return that offers a financial boost and one that does not. VITA sites not only help raise awareness within their communities about eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax benefits, they also provide tax preparation free of charge to ensure filers collect them.

Unfortunately, far too many lower-income taxpayers live in “tax prep deserts” with very few, if any VITA sites available to help them at tax time. Without the invaluable help of free tax preparation, many of these filers miss out on claiming the EITC.

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News Round-Up: October 6, 2014

October 6th, 2014

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.

News Round-Up: September 29, 2014

September 29th, 2014

Here are some highlights from the past week’s 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.

News Round-Up: September 22, 2014

September 22nd, 2014

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.

Ideas From The Right: Economist Glenn Hubbard on Reducing Income Inequality through the EITC

September 19th, 2014

This issue is the latest in our commentary series, “Ideas From The Right: Conservative Approaches to Tax Credits for Working Families.” For this interview, we sat down with economist Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Bush administration. Mr. Hubbard’s responses have been edited for brevity.

GlennHubbardYou’ve written on several occasions about using tax reform to reduce income inequality. Why do you think the tax code is the best vehicle for this endeavor?

I think the real issue in combating income inequality is to empower people toward work. A lot of people left the labor force as a result of the financial crisis, and monetary policy alone really isn’t going to bring those people back. It’s a structural problem, and we could assist it by providing direct support for work through the tax code.

You propose expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers as one way to tackle income inequality through the tax code. Why the focus on this credit in particular?

The EITC is already part of the tax code. The EITC started out as a method of providing direct support for work, but it has become more of a family support program. While it definitely makes sense to support families, we need to also strengthen the credit for single workers if we want to do more to encourage work.

How would you suggest funding an expanded EITC for childless workers?

I think it would have to be part of an overall tax reform package. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Obama administration is serious enough about tax reform to consider including an EITC increase in such a package.

Do you think the push is more serious on the Republican side?

On the House side, Paul Ryan has been eloquent in his support. On the Senate side, Marco Rubio has very interesting ideas. But to have any kind of tax reform, you need to have leadership from the Administration.

How has the conservative approach to the EITC evolved since your time as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Bush administration?

I think more people on the Republican side have started to realize the importance of encouraging and maintaining work. That’s always been something that I’ve felt is important, but I think now there’s a lot more emphasis on reforming programs—like the EITC—that encourage work.

What messages around the economic impact of the EITC resonate well with conservatives?

I think there are two messages that resonate well. One is defensive: the EITC is a good answer when the (much less good) idea of increasing the minimum wage comes up. If we, as taxpayers, believe that low-wage workers deserve a higher income, then we should all pay to make that happen. The burden shouldn’t be shifted to employers.

The second message is affirmative: that the EITC truly is our best option for supporting work.

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News Round-Up: September 15, 2014

September 15th, 2014

Here are some highlights from the past week’s 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.

  • As part of our “Ideas from the Right: Conservative Approaches to Tax Credits for Working Families” series, we sat down with National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru to discuss his recommendation to both lower the top tax rate and increase the federal Child Tax Credit. (Tax Credits for Working Families)

  • A new research paper from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst finds that having children exacerbates income inequality between men and women. The author recommends expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help lessen the gap in pay. (Business Insider)

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The 2014 Governor’s Races are Heating Up – With No Lack of Room for Tax Credits

September 12th, 2014

State primaries wrapped up this Tuesday, September 9 in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The three are among 36 states that will elect a governor later this fall.

As more than two-thirds of the nation prepares to head to the polls on November 4, gubernatorial hopefuls across the country are pitching economic plans that aim to invest in workers and increase support for families through programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit and property tax credits.

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Ideas From The Right: National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru on Increasing the Child Tax Credit

September 9th, 2014

The following interview is the latest in our commentary series, “Ideas From The Right: Conservative Approaches to Tax Credits for Working Families.” For this issue, we sat down with Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for National Review magazine, Bloomberg View columnist and visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Mr. Ponnuru’s responses have been edited for brevity.

rameshIn a recent Bloomberg View piece, you suggest that a potential “sweet spot” for Republicans would be a proposal that both lowers the top tax rate and increases the federal Child Tax Credit. Why the focus on that credit in particular? 

Raising children is, in no merely metaphorical or sentimental sense, an investment in the future. Federal policy doesn’t recognize that fact. Rather, it includes a large bias against raising children – an implicit tax on that activity, and the Child Tax Credit is a way of counteracting that.

 

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