Although the EITC expansion did not receive as much attention as the expanded Child Tax Credit, a new ITEP report shows the positive impact of allowing young workers without children in the home to maintain access to one of the nation’s most significant and effective anti-poverty programs.
Tax Credits for Workers and Families
blog February 8, 2022
More Than One in Three Young Workers Would Benefit from EITC Reforms in Build Back Better Plan
brief October 21, 2021
Boosting Incomes and Improving Tax Equity with State Earned Income Tax Credits in 2021
The EITC benefits low-income people of all races and ethnicities. But it is particularly impactful in historically excluded Black and Hispanic communities where discrimination in the labor market, inequitable educational systems, and countless other inequities have relegated a disproportionate share of people to low-wage jobs.
July 7, 2021
The Child Tax Credit in Practice: What We Know About the Payoffs of Payments (Webinar)
Join us for a discussion on why tax credits like the Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion are good economic policy. You’ll hear from anti-poverty experts on why Congress should extend the policy beyond 2021 and what we can learn from an initiative providing low-income mothers in Jackson, Miss., $1,000 cash on a monthly basis, no strings attached. From theory to practice and what it means for American families, this CTC webinar will provide a unique angle through which to view this transformative policy.
blog June 28, 2021
State-Level EITC Victories in 2021
A growing group of state lawmakers are recognizing the extent to which low- and middle-income Americans are struggling and the ways in which their state and local tax systems can do more to ensure the economic security of their residents over the long run. To that end, lawmakers across the country have made strides in enacting, increasing, or expanding tax credits that benefit low- and middle-income families. Here is a summary of those changes and a celebration of those successes.
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
Alvin Schorr and the Policy Relay Race
Sometimes a good idea takes a while. Alvin Schorr, who would have turned 100 this month, helped draft a 1972 bill “to provide for a system of children’s allowances.” He continued to push (in a 1977 congressional testimony and in a 1983 New York Times op-ed) for a refundable tax credit for all families and a children’s allowance, among other laudable ideas. A half-century later, these ideas—which many others have championed—are becoming reality.
blog April 21, 2021
An EITC to Lift Up Young Workers
Young workers are confronting a harsh economic reality filled with student loan debt and far too few good-paying jobs. The pandemic reinforced this group’s long history of not receiving proper benefits, such as health insurance, from their employers. They also are often overlooked when it comes to policies that promote economic wellbeing. The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), for example, is a glowing success story. It lifted 5.8 million people out of poverty in 2018, including 3 million children. But a key shortcoming of the federal EITC: working adults without children in the home receive little to no benefit.
blog February 16, 2021
EITC Enhancements for States to Consider in 2021
While the federal EITC provides a great deal of support for families with children, its impact is limited for those without children or who are not raising children in their homes. Childless workers under 25 and over 64 have for far too long received no benefit from the federal credit. And workers aged 25 to 64 have received very little value from the existing credit (the maximum credit is much smaller and the income limits more restrictive). The federal EITC’s meager benefits for just some childless adults lead to an inequitable outcome: the federal income tax system—which is ostensibly based on ability-to-pay—taxes some impoverished, childless adults deeper into poverty.
blog February 2, 2021
Immediate Action State Lawmakers Can Take to Support Families and Children
If Congress does act and enact President Biden’s CTC expansion, states could simply couple to that federal change. The changes, while temporary, could become the foundation of a permanent state-level credit over the long-term. But state lawmakers need not wait for legislative action in DC. They can take immediate steps to ensure that their state’s most vulnerable children are positioned to succeed.
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.
blog December 4, 2020
These EITC Reforms Would Help Struggling Families Now and Address Systemic Challenges
The tepid economic recovery is leaving millions behind. The nation still has nearly 10 million jobs less than it did in February, according to the latest jobs report. The number of people living in or near poverty is rising. Twelve million workers are about to lose their unemployment insurance, roughly four in 10 people report experiencing food insecurity for the first time, and conditions are likely to deteriorate further in the weeks ahead as we brace for another deadly surge in COVID cases and new or tightened restrictions on business and personal activity.
blog September 15, 2020
The Vital Role of Public Programs in Moving People and Families Out of Poverty
More families across our nation are struggling to meet their most basic needs. High unemployment, the struggle to put enough food on the table, and an inability to make rent or mortgage payments are widespread. Absent federal intervention, outcomes would have been worse. Over the past few months, federal and state relief measures have mitigated hardship. By putting cash in the hands of those who need it most, lawmakers were able to stabilize some families’ budgets and prop up our fragile economy. With time we will surely glean many lessons from 2020. But the sheer power of targeted assistance is already apparent.
brief September 15, 2020
Boosting Incomes and Improving Tax Equity with State Earned Income Tax Credits in 2020
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a policy designed to bolster the incomes of low-wage workers and offset some of the taxes they pay, providing the opportunity for families struggling to afford the high cost of living to step up and out of poverty toward meaningful economic security. The federal EITC has kept millions of Americans out of poverty since its enactment in the mid-1970s. Over the past several decades, the effectiveness of the EITC has been amplified as many states have enacted and expanded their own credits.
blog April 1, 2020
Adding Flexibility to Make the EITC Work During the Pandemic
Temporarily modifying the structure of the EITC to reflect the realities of our current economy could provide a vital lifeline to low-income workers who have seen their incomes disappear during this crisis. What follows are a few such ideas which could be implemented at either the federal or state levels, or both.
blog February 18, 2020
States Can Lead on Making the EITC Benefit More Young and Older Workers
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (or EITC) lifts millions out of poverty each year, but it is not created equal for everyone. Childless workers under 25 and over 64 receive no benefit from the existing federal credit. In the absence of immediate federal action, states have led–and continue to lead–the way.
blog February 12, 2020
Trends We’re Watching in 2020
State lawmakers have plenty to keep them busy on the tax policy front in 2020. Encouraging trends we’re watching this year include opportunities to enact and enhance refundable tax credits and increase the tax contributions of high-income households, each of which would improve tax equity and help to reduce income inequality.
blog September 26, 2019
Maine Reaches Tax Fairness Milestone
Lawmakers in Maine this year took bold steps toward making the state’s tax system fairer. Their actions demonstrate that political will can dramatically alter state tax policy landscape to improve economic well-being for low-income families while also ensuring the wealthy pay a fairer share.
report September 26, 2019
State Tax Codes as Poverty Fighting Tools: 2019 Update on Four Key Policies in All 50 States
This report presents a comprehensive overview of anti-poverty tax policies, surveys tax policy decisions made in the states in 2019 and offers recommendations that every state should consider to help families rise out of poverty. States can jump start their anti-poverty efforts by enacting one or more of four proven and effective tax strategies to reduce the share of taxes paid by low- and moderate-income families: state Earned Income Tax Credits, property tax circuit breakers, targeted low-income credits, and child-related tax credits.
brief September 26, 2019
Boosting Incomes and Improving Tax Equity with State Earned Income Tax Credits in 2019
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a policy designed to bolster the incomes of low-wage workers and offset some of the taxes they pay, providing the opportunity for families struggling to afford the high cost of living to step up and out of poverty toward meaningful economic security. The federal EITC has kept millions of Americans out of poverty since its enactment in the mid-1970s. Over the past several decades, the effectiveness of the EITC has been magnified as many states have enacted and later expanded their own credits.
blog September 17, 2019
Julián Castro Provides the Latest Proposal to Expand Refundable Tax Credits
New estimates from ITEP show that Julián Castro’s refundable tax credit proposal would mostly benefit the bottom 60 percent of households and would have a cost ($195 billion in 2020) that places it roughly in the middle of the different tax credit proposals that Democrats have offered over the past several months.
report September 12, 2019
Promoting Greater Economic Security Through A Chicago Earned Income Tax Credit: Analyses of Six Policy Design Options
A new report reveals that a city-level, Chicago Earned Income Tax Credit would boost the economic security of 546,000 to 1 million of the city’s working families. ITEP produced a cost and distributional analysis of six EITC policy designs, which outlines the average after-tax income boost for families at varying income levels. The most generous policy option would increase after-tax income for more than 1 million working families with an
average benefit, depending on income, ranging from $898 to $1,426 per year.
news release September 12, 2019
New Report: A Chicago EITC Would Benefit up to 1 Million Chicago FamiliesMedia contact Report outlines policy options for Chicago Resilient Families Initiative Task Force Recommendations A new report reveals that a city-level, Chicago Earned Income Tax Credit would boost the economic security…
blog September 10, 2019
Census Numbers Show the Power of the Tax Code to Direct Resources to Low-Income Families
Refundable federal tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), lifted 7.9 million people out of poverty in 2018. This latest analysis from the U.S. Census Bureau demonstrates the power of federal programs to alleviate poverty and help low-income families keep up with the increasing cost of living.
blog September 10, 2019
How Tax Policy Can Help Mitigate Poverty, Address Income Inequality
Analysts at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy have produced multiple recent briefs and reports that provide insight on how current and proposed tax policies affect family economic security and income inequality.