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Congress and the administration need to ensure our tax policies help the most vulnerable Americans. In 2018, refundable tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit (EITC) and child tax credit (CTC), moved 7.9 million people out of poverty and helped to prevent millions of Americans from falling into poverty.
In 2017, Congress passed a major tax overhaul that widened income and racial disparities—cutting the corporate tax rate and treating low-income households largely as an afterthought. In fact, 11 million children under age 17 in households with the lowest incomes received no improvement in the CTC, even though households earning as high as $400,000 received large increases.
The EITC significantly benefits low-income workers with children. However, low-income workers not raising children in the home receive little or nothing from the EITC. As a result, workers not raising children in the home are the sole group that the federal tax system taxes deeper into poverty.
Research shows that the EITC and CTC increases employment, reduces poverty, and improves the outcomes of children such as better health and higher educational attainment.
Congress should support policies such as the Working Families Tax Relief (H.R. 3157/S.1138). The legislation expands the EITC for workers not raising children in the home, increases the EITC benefit, and makes the CTC fully refundable for lower-income households.
The legislation would benefit 46 million low- and moderate-income households and 114 people by providing them with more income.
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