This year millions of American families are finding that their refunds are much smaller than last year—or that they even owe taxes back to the government—because of the expiration of the expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit that were in effect in 2021. The lapse of the expanded credits affects a majority of the middle class, but lower-income households are particularly likely to feel the sting.
Refundable Tax Credits
Refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) boost the economic security of working families. ITEP examines how such tax credits affect working people’s incomes and how this would change under proposals to modify the credits or create new ones. See ITEP’s most recent analyses of proposals to change refundable tax credits.
blog April 18, 2023
Why is My Refund So Much Smaller This Year? Only the Good (Tax Credits) Die Young.
report March 16, 2023
Effects of President Biden’s Proposal to Expand the Child Tax Credit
In his latest budget proposal, President Biden proposes enhancing the Child Tax Credit (CTC) based on the temporary credit that was in effect for 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. In this report we analyze how that proposal would help children and families.
blog December 20, 2022
The Tax Deal That Wasn’t: Congress Decides Corporate Tax Cuts Are Too Expensive if it Means Also Helping Children
Congressional leaders announced their long-awaited omnibus spending package which will fund the government through September 2023. The good news: the bill does not include needless corporate tax giveaways. The bad news: it also leaves out any expansion of the child tax credit.
blog November 21, 2022
Child Tax Credit Expansion Would Shrink the Racial Wealth Gap
Extending the expanded Child Tax Credit would benefit nearly every child in low- and middle-income families. Under current rules, 24% of white children, 45% of Black children, and 42% of Hispanic children will not receive the full credit in 2023 because their families make too little. These figures would drop to zero if the provisions were extended, helping families of all races and disproportionately helping families of color.
blog November 3, 2022
Key Republicans Say Negligible Decline in Economic Growth Outweighs Enormous Drop in Child Poverty
The expanded Child Tax Credit reduced child poverty dramatically and immediately. There is no debate or murkiness on this. Some lawmakers have decided that cutting child poverty in half is not worth the cost if it means an ambiguous and negligible decline in GDP growth. This view is not just cruel, it is bad economics.
blog October 3, 2022
Congress Should Not Leave Children Out of Possible Year-End Tax Deal
If lawmakers believe it’s worthwhile to extend corporate tax breaks, then it would be entirely unreasonable for them to not conclude the same about tax provisions that help low-income children.
blog September 14, 2022
Census Data Shows Need to Make 2021 Child Tax Credit Expansion Permanent
The Child Tax Credit expansion led to a 46 percent decline in childhood poverty. That it could be accomplished during the largest economic disruption in most of our lifetimes underscores a basic fact: thoughtful, decisive government action to combat poverty works.
blog September 7, 2022
Romney Child Tax Credit Plan Would Leave Millions of Children Worse Off and Raise Taxes for the Average Black Family
Sen. Romney’s plan would expand the Child Tax Credit and offset the costs by scaling back other tax benefits. All told, it would raise taxes on a fourth of all kids in the U.S. This includes about a fourth of the children among the poorest fifth of U.S. families.
blog April 18, 2022
Public Problems Demand Public Solutions
Long-term troubles for this country and this planet now demand our attention. Progressive tax policy would transform our ability to tackle them.
blog March 24, 2022
Women’s History Month is a Reminder that Sensible Tax Policy is Central to Women’s Economic Security
Women’s History Month is a chance to remember what happens for women when tax policy becomes more progressive, boosts income, and helps make raising a family more affordable.
blog March 11, 2022
What We Can Learn Today from the American Rescue Plan – and Sen. Rick Scott’s Proposed Tax Increases
The success of the American Rescue Plan Act is worth revisiting today. Instead of pursuing Sen. Rick Scott’s agenda of making life more difficult for those already working the hardest, Congress should extend or make permanent some of the beneficial policies in ARPA.
blog March 1, 2022
Taxes Should be Part of the State of the Union Agenda
President Biden should elevate his tax and revenue proposals which remain essential if we are to pay for environmental restoration, health priorities and peacekeeping, the front-burner items that may dominate the speech.
blog January 14, 2022
The Compelling Data and Moral Case for Continuing the Child Tax Credit Expansion
In just six short months, the enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC), enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), decreased the number of children living in poverty by 40 percent. ITEP estimated that the lowest-income 20 percent of households with children would receive a 35 percent income boost from this policy alone in 2021. This is a meaningful, life-changing sum.
blog January 13, 2022
The Problem with Returning to a $2,000 Non-Refundable Child Tax Credit
Prior to last year, more than one in three children lived in households with incomes too low to receive the full $2,000 credit because it is not fully refundable. This means earnings requirements and other limits reduce the amount tax filers can receive as a refund. In fact, the maximum refundable portion is reduced to $1,400 (less than half of the maximum refundable credit available in 2021).
blog December 14, 2021
ITEP Data on Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit Provisions Before CongressCongress expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). The additional benefits that millions of…
blog December 9, 2021
Tax Credits in Build Back Better Support Millions of Families
The EITC and CTC are proven poverty-fighting tools. The monthly CTC payments alone kept 3.6 million people out of poverty in October. This policy success is worth repeating.
blog November 18, 2021
Tax Credit Reforms in Build Back Better Would Benefit a Diverse Group of Families
The CTC and EITC provisions would have a particularly profound effect on the poorest 20 percent of Americans, who all will have incomes of less than $22,000 in 2022. Taken together, the EITC and CTC changes would lift the average income of these households by more than 10 percent.
blog September 14, 2021
New Census Data Highlight Need for Permanent Child Tax Credit Expansion
The status quo was a choice, but the Census data released today shows that different policy choices can create drastically different outcomes for children and families. It is time for our state and federal legislators to put people first when it comes to recovery.
blog September 13, 2021
A Data-Driven Case for the CTC Expansion in the Ways & Means Committee’s Recent Proposal
The move toward permanent full refundability and inclusion of all immigrant children are crucial components of the future of the CTC. Together they will help ensure that the credit reaches the children most in need, making a vital dent in our nation’s unacceptably high rate of child poverty.
blog July 20, 2021
Child Tax Credit Expansion Acknowledges There Is More We Can Do for Children
For the next six months, low-, middle- and upper-middle-income families with children are eligible to receive part of their 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC) in advanced monthly payments. More than putting money in people’s pockets, this policy recognizes “the dignity of working-class families and middle-class families,” as President Biden said last week.
blog June 11, 2021
Child Tax Credit Is a Critical Component of Biden Administration’s Recovery Package
Nearly one in seven children in the United States live in poverty and about 6 percent of all children live in deep poverty. President Joe Biden’s American Families Plan would tackle child poverty in an immediate, meaningful way. It is expected to extend the one-year Child Tax Credit (CTC) enhancements included in the March 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) through 2025. Next year alone, this would provide around a $110 billion collective income boost to roughly 88 percent of children in the United States.
blog May 13, 2021
Nearly 20 Million Will Benefit if Congress Makes the EITC Enhancement Permanent
Overall, the EITC enhancement would provide a $12.4 billion boost in 2022 if made permanent, benefiting 19.5 million workers. It would have a particularly meaningful impact on the bottom 20 percent of eligible households who would receive more than three-fourths of the total benefit. Forty-one percent of households in the bottom 20 percent of earners would benefit, receiving an average income boost of 6.3 percent, or $740 dollars.
blog April 27, 2021
Inclusive Child Tax Credit Reform Would Restore Benefit to 1 Million Young ‘Dreamers’
As the Biden administration maps out the next steps in America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic—through what is now being called the American Families Plan—it should make sure a proposed expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) includes undocumented children who have largely been left out of federal relief packages this past year. Prior to 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, all children regardless of their immigration status received the credit as long as their parents met the income eligibility requirements. This change essentially excluded around 1 million children and their families.
blog February 9, 2021
Details of House Democrats’ Cash Payments and Tax Credit Expansions
The House Ways and Means Committee published its proposal for the cash payments, tax provisions and other changes that would make up part of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief legislation that President Joe Biden called for a few weeks ago.
report January 26, 2021
Child Tax Credit Enhancements Under the American Rescue Plan
President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package, the American Rescue Plan, includes a significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The president’s proposal provides a $125 billion boost in funding for the program, which would essentially double the size of the existing federal credit for households with children. Combined with existing law, the CTC provisions in Biden’s plan would provide a 37.4 percent income boost to the poorest 20 percent of families with children who make $21,300 or less a year.