Weekly News Round-up: March 15, 2016

Here are some highlights from the past week’s news and upcoming events on family tax credit issues. Remember – you also can track news coverage throughout the week by visiting our website, where you can filter news by a specific credit or state.

  • Today is VITA Awareness Day 2016, and advocates across the country are celebrating free and reliable tax preparation for low-wage workers. A new breakdown of IRS data conducted by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) found that Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) preparers have higher accuracy rates than paid tax preparers. VITA volunteers helped return nearly $4 billion in tax refunds to more than 3 million lower-income Americans in 2015, the data showed (CFED, TCWF).
  • Tax credits for working families are on the move in New Jersey. The State Assembly Appropriations Committee approved a bill to expand New Jersey’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 40 percent of the federal credit, and the Assembly Human Services Committee approved a bill to create a state-level Child and Dependent Care Credit last week (PolitickerNJThe Bergen Dispatch).
  • The Times-Picayune Editorial Board wrote in favor of expanding Louisiana’s EITC as state lawmakers continue to debate the measure in a special legislative session (Times-Picayune).
  • South Carolina Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D), a member of the state’s House Ways and Means Committee, expressed concerns about the lack of specifics regarding who would benefit from a tax relief plan currently moving through the House. She suggested including a state-level EITC in the plan to target relief towards low-wage South Carolinians and their families (Greenville News).
  • Businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat running for U.S. Rep Tammy Duckworth’s seat in Congress, listed the Child Tax Credit as one of his priorities if elected (The Chicago Tribune).
  • New York Assembly Democrats unveiled a plan to expand the state’s EITC (NY Daily News).
  • Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton will announce a plan this week to expand the state’s Child and Dependent Care Credit (Minnesota Public Radio).