Responsible Fatherhood Bill Would Expand EITC for Childless Adults and Non-custodial Parents

July 28, 2009 |  |  Link to article

By Elizabeth Lower-Basch

On June 19, 2009, Senator Bayh (D-IN) introduced S. 1309, the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2009.  Among other provisions, the bill would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for adults without dependent children,  The maximum EITC for childless adults and noncustodial parents is just $438 for tax year 2008, less than one-sixth the amount that can be received by an adult with one child.  Moreover, the EITC for these workers begins to phase out when a worker is earning less than two-thirds of the federal poverty level.  Over several years, S. 1309 would raise the maximum benefit to $555 and would increase the phase-out threshold to the federal poverty line.

In addition, S. 1309 would double the EITC for noncustodial parents who paid the full amount of all current child support orders in the previous tax year, as verified by the state child support enforcement agency.  This would both increase the incentive for noncustodial parents to pay the child support they owe, and reduce the implicit "tax" on their earnings created by the child support order.


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