It’s Tax Day! Generate media on making the tax code fairer for working families

April 15, 2019
by Jos G. Linn, Grassroots Manager for U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Today is the first Tax Day since the 2017 tax law went into effect – and this gives us a chance to see first-hand that the bill did not make things fairer. The tax code, which was already slanted towards the wealthy and big corporations, was made worse.  And some policymakers now want to make up the almost $2 trillion it adds to the federal deficit with cuts to health and nutrition programs, housing, education, and other anti-poverty programs.

Meanwhile, millions of working families are still struggling to make ends meet. But a new bill in the Senate aims to remedy that.

The Working Families Tax Relief Act would significantly expand tax credits for working families by:

  • Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) by roughly 25 percent for families with children
  • Almost quadrupling the maximum EITC for childless workers (from $530 to $2,100) and raising the phase-out level so more workers can claim it
  • Expanding the EITC eligibility age so more working young people and seniors can claim it (from 25-64 years old to 19-67 years old)
  • Making the Child Tax Credit (CTC) fully refundable and available to all low-income families
  • Creating a fully-refundable $1,000 Young Child Tax Credit for every child under 6

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the bill would benefit 46 million households and lift 11 children above the poverty line. In real world terms, a single mom earning $20,000 per year and raising two young children would gain $3,670 under the bill. This certainly does far more good for her family than the 2017 tax law; under that law, the bottom one-fifth of earners average an additional $70 per year.

While the Senate is not expected to vote on the bill any time soon, the bill does lay the groundwork for needed changes to the tax code (including rolling back to the tax cuts for the wealthy from the 20187 law). Tell your members of Congress that if they take any action on taxes, it should include provisions from this bill.

Will you help us promote fairness in the tax code? Personalize our easy-to-use Letter to the Editor template to tell Congress that the rich don’t need tax cuts; we need to help struggling people make ends meet.

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