Tax Credits for Working Families

Colorado

Earned Income Tax Credit^

Income Tax Rate: 4.63 percent of federal adjusted income

State EITC: Yes (currently suspended)

Refundable: Yes

Rate: 10 percent of the federal EITC

Year enacted: 1999, 2013

Notes/News: Colorado’s original state EITC enacted in 1999 was contingent upon the state having surplus revenue. It was last paid in 2001. Denver, Colorado implemented a temporary local EITC in 2002, funded by the city’s share of the Colorado federal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) block grant. The Denver EITC is set at 20 percent of the federal credit, but the Denver EITC has been suspended indefinitely because of insufficient TANF funds.

In January, 2013, the Senate majority introduced a working families tax package that would enact a permanent EITC at 10 percent of the federal credit. The bill was introduced as SB1, meaning that it is the top priority for the Senate majority, and the Senate President, John Morse, and Senator Kefalas are co-prime sponsors. On April 17, 2013, the Senate approved the bill. On April 29, the House State Affairs Committee Monday passed the bill with an amendment that the credit could only be claimed if the state revenues exceed the amount in its Taxpayers Bill of Rights, (not expected until 2015 at the earliest).

On May 3, the House Appropriations Committee amended the bill so that the EITC will become permanent and payable only once the state revenues reach the level specified in its constitution’s TABOR provision, and the full House passed the bill with that amendment. On May 6, the Senate passed the bill as amended, and the governor is expected to sign it into law. The state may reach that level in 2015. The Colorado law has a provision that the EITC is not to be considered income when deciding if someone is eligible for public assistance, medical assistance, or any other publicly funded benefit.

Reports/Fact Sheets: EITC expansion would keep workers out of poverty, Jason Escareno, Michigan League for Public Policy, March 2014

Press Release: Mothers Day Report Highlights Colorado’s Working Moms, Colorado Fiscal Institute, May 2013

2013 Mother’s Day Report, The Earned Income Tax Credit & The Child Tax Credit, Colorado Fiscal Institute, May 2013

Income boosts provided by EITC can help improve health outcomes for low-income families, Colorado Center on Law & Policy, March 2013

The Working Families Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 Client Story Worksheet, The Piton Foundation

EITC and CTC recipient stories, The Piton Foundation and Tax Help Colorado

STORY RELEASE FORM, The Piton Foundation and Tax Help Colorado

SB 1: Economic stability for families important for kids, Christine Márquez-Hudson, Mi Casa Resource Center

Colorado State & Local Taxes, from Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, January 2013

SB13-01 Working Families Opportunity Act, The Colorado Fiscal Institute, January 2013

SUPPORT SB1: THE WORKING FAMILY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY PACKAGE OF 2013, The Colorado Fiscal Institute, January 2013

Earned Income Tax Credit: A Crucial Support for Working Families Since 1975. Now, New Studies Show Additional Benefits for Children, The Piton Foundation, August 2012

The economic impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit in Colorado, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, April 2010

The History of the Child Tax Credit in Colorado, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, December 2011

HB 10-1400 Refund Anticipation Loans, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, April 2010

SUPPORT COLORADO FAMILIES! Support the creation of a permanent, statewide Child Tax Credit, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute

The economic impact of the Child Tax Credit in Colorado, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, April 2010

Earned Income Tax Credit as First TABOR Refund Mechanism (Colorado Senate Data), Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, February 2010

Earned Income Tax Credit as First TABOR Refund Mechanism (Colorado House Data), Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, February 2010

Restore the State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to the #1 TABOR Refund Mechanism, Sponsored by Rep. John Kefalas & Sen. Paula Sandoval, EITC Coalition, 2010

Earned Income Tax Credit as First TABOR Refund Mechanism, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, February 2010

Colorado: State and Local Taxes in 2007, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, November 2009

Bill to Restore the State Earned Income Tax Credit, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute

House Finance Committee Rejects H.B. 1362, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, April 2008

Poll on making the Colorado EITC permanent, Center for Policy Entrepreneurship, February 2008

What’s not in your wallet? The EITC in Colorado, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, May 2007

The Great Drain Game: The Earned Income Tax Credit, Refund Anticipation Loans,and how lower income Coloradans get hurt by rapid refunds at tax time, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, May 2007

The Earned Income Tax Credit in Colorado, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, May 2007

Blueprint Brief: Expand Colorado’s Earned Income Tax Credit, The Bell Policy Center, August 2006

The Earned Income Tax Credit in Colorado: An Overview,The Bell Policy Center, February 2005

Articles/ Op-Eds: Senate Approves State Earned Income Tax Credit, Associated Press, May 4, 1999

Child Tax Credit^

State Credit: Yes

Refundable: Yes

Eligibility: Based on the federal child tax credit, but it is only available for children under 6.

Tax Credit Formula: The state credit varies based on the income of the filer. For single individuals with incomes of $25,000 or less, the credit is 30% of the federal tax credit for each eligible child, for individuals with incomes of $25,001 to $50,000 it is 15%, and for individuals with incomes of $50,001 to $75,000 it is 5%. For married couples filing a joint return with an income of $35,000 or less the child tax credit is 30% of the federal credit, for couples with incomes of $35,001 to $60,000 it is 15%, and for $60,001 to $85,000 it is 5%.

Notes/News: In January, 2013, the Senate majority introduced a working families tax package that would create a permanent state child tax credit worth $100 for each qualifying child under 6. The bill was introduced as SB1, meaning that it was the top priority for the Senate majority, and the Senate President, John Morse, and Senator Kefalas were co-prime sponsors. On April 17, the Senate approved the bill. On April 29, the House State Affairs Committee Monday passed the CTC credit with an amendment that it can only be claimed if both a federal law and a Colorado law are enacted that allow the state to collect taxes from online retailers.

On May 6, the Senate passed the bill as amended, and the governor is expected to sign it into law. If the triggering provisions are met, the bill creates a child tax credit that for single individuals with incomes of $25,000 or less is 30% of the federal tax credit for each eligible child, for individuals with incomes of $25,001 to $50,000 is 15%, and for individuals with incomes of $50,001 to $75,000 is 5%. For married couples filing a joint return with an income of $35,000 or less the child tax credit is 30% of the federal credit, for couples with incomes of $35,001 to $60,000 it is 15%, and for $60,001 to $85,000 it is 5%.

Reports/Fact Sheets: SB13-01 Working Families Opportunity Act, The Colorado Fiscal Institute, January 2013

SUPPORT SB1: THE WORKING FAMILY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY PACKAGE OF 2013, The Colorado Fiscal Institute, January 2013

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit^

State Credit: Yes

Refundable: Yes

Tax Credit Eligibility: The credit covers expenses for care of children under the age of 13. The maximum credit for one child is $525 and for two or more is $1,050.

Tax Credit Formula for anyone who is eligible for the federal child and dependent care credit (even if they don’t claim it):

Income

Percentage of federal child care credit

$0-$25,000 50%
$25,000-$35,000 30%
$35,000-$60,000 10%
>$60,000 0%

In addition, if the governor signs HB 1072 into law, tax filers with federal adjusted gross incomes under $25,000 that are not eligible for the child and dependent care credit under federal law will be able to claim a refundable credit in tax years 2014 through 2016. That credit will be equal to 25 % of the tax filer’s child care expenses up to $500 for a single dependent and $1000 for two or more dependents.

Notes/News: For more informational materials and data on this credit, please see the Department of Revenue Division of Taxation website. In 2014, the legislature passed HB 1072 which, if the governor signs it into law, will strengthen the credit for individuals with incomes under $25,000.  Under HB 1072, for tax years beginning in 2014 through 2016, tax payers with incomes under $25,000 and child care expenses will be able to claim a refundable Colorado credit if they  are not eligible to receive a child care credit under federal law.

Reports/Fact Sheets: Fixing the child care tax credit reduces poverty, boosts economy, Colorado Center on Law & Policy, March 2014

Child Care Tax Credit Impact: Examples demonstrating the need for state law change, Colorado Center on Law & Policy

HOUSE COMMITTEE OF REFERENCE REPORT: Amendments to HB14-1072, Colorado House Committee on Finance, March 2014

State Fiscal Impact: Income Tax Credit for Child Care Expenses, Colorado Legislative Council, February 2014

A Bill for an Act Concerning an Income Tax Credit for Child Care Expenses Paid by a Resident Individual With a Federal Adjusted Gross Income of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars or Less, Colorado General Assembly, January 2014

Removing barriers to ID cards improves access to benefits, Colorado Center on Law & Policy, October 2013

SB13-01 Working Families Opportunity Act, The Colorado Fiscal Institute, January 2013

SUPPORT SB1: THE WORKING FAMILY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY PACKAGE OF 2013, The Colorado Fiscal Institute, January 2013

Fact Sheet on Tax Credits for Working Families, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, April 2005

Property Tax Circuit Breaker^

Circuit Breaker: No

News/Notes: Colorado does offer some low-income elderly and disabled citizens income tax credits based on their property tax, rent and heating costs. For more information about this program, see the Colorado Taxpayer Service Division’s website: Property Tax Credit (PTC)

1 Child Care/Child Tax Credit, Taxpayer Service Division, Colorado Department of Revenue 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid.