News Round Up: August 3, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting low-income communities and exacerbating economic inequality across the country. Throughout this crisis, TCWF will compile news, legislation, and research on how tax credits and other income-boosting policies can provide much-needed relief for the hardest-hit communities:

Top Story: Last week, Senate Republicans introduced their version of the next COVID-19 relief package, the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, which includes another round of Economic Impact Payments for working Americans. (Forbes)

  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to provide emergency relief to child care providers and families, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, which would make the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit fully refundable and increase its value. (Congresswoman Nita Lowey)
  • Policy analysts at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) urged Congress to permanently expand the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to workers without dependent children and lower the eligibility age to 19 to support younger workers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. (CLASP)
  • Elaine Maag, principal research associate at the Tax Policy Center, encouraged Congress to extend the federal EITC to caregivers of all school-aged children, which would help offset income loss for parents that have to shift from paid work to caregiving due to increased virtual learning environments. (Tax Policy Center)
  • Kris Cox, senior tax policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), urged Congress to pass a provision that allows taxpayers to use their earnings from 2019 or 2020 to calculate their EITC and Child Tax Credit for tax year 2020, which would benefit households that have lost income due to COVID-19. (CBPP)
  • Bloomberg News’ Daily Tax Report highlighted the efforts several states have made during the pandemic to increase the value of their state EITC, expand access to the credit to excluded groups, and boost participation throughout the state. (Bloomberg News)
  • New data from the CBPP showed that economic hardship is increasing across the country and fiscal relief is needed to prevent further hardship for working families. (CBPP)