How Can We Improve the EITC? New Policy Brief from CFED

By Kate Skochdopole

With Supreme Court nominations, investigations into Russian election interference and a new healthcare bill, Congress has had little time to focus on changing the tax code. But lawmakers and advocates continue to insist that tax reform is coming soon.

Any legislator who wants to ensure the tax code works for working people should support improving and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). A new brief from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) tells them how to do just that.

The policy brief, “Enhancing and Expanding the EITC for Low-Wage Workers,” outlines steps legislators can take to make the EITC – the nation’s most effective antipoverty tool – even more successful at reducing poverty and encouraging work. The report’s authors suggest that Congress make four changes as part of comprehensive tax reform:

  1. Expand EITC eligibility to workers not raising children.
  2. Simplify EITC eligibility by relying on other programs’ “qualifying child” determinations.
  3. Increase the accuracy of EITC returns by establishing minimum competency standards for paid tax preparers.
  4. Empower taxpayers to save for emergencies by establishing a Rainy Day EITC program.

This report will be useful to advocates who plan to go to bat for the EITC during federal tax reform negotiations. The full policy brief is available here.

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