Refundable Tax Credits
Income and work supports may be provided through the tax system as well as through benefit programs. The most important tax credits for low-income households are the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit (credits that together lifted an estimated 8.7 million people out of poverty in 2011), and the partially refundable American Opportunity Tax Credit, which reduces the cost of postsecondary education. These credits were improved by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and these improvements were extended through 2018 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
House Subcommittee Learns about Strengthening the Safety Net
By Helly Lee
Today, the House Subcommittee on Human Resources held a hearing on improving the safety net. Witnesses described what improvements are needed to the nation's safety net programs, but more importantly, one witness highlighted what is already being done in their state to better serve families.
Safety-net programs are critical resources for millions of working families across the country who struggle to make ends meet. Programs such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) can make a significant impact in the lives of low income families. These safety net programs have been shown to lift millions above the poverty line, support working adults to stay in the workforce by supplementing low wages, and promote the success of children in school and later in life. However, many people can be confused by how to enroll in these programs and encounter numerous barriers when navigating these complex and bureaucratic systems.
This is why innovative efforts such as the Work Support Strategies (WSS) initiative, are key to helping policy makers, administrators and other stake holders improve and better serve families to get and keep the supports for which they are eligible. WSS is a multi-state effort in partnership with three national organizations, the Ford Foundation and three other philanthropic partners. WSS seeks to design, test and implement 21st century public benefits systems that would dramatically improve the delivery of work support benefits to low-income families. This involves creating and incorporating more effective, streamlined and integrated approaches to how service is delivered.
- Consortium for Higher Education Tax Reform | Nov 21, 2013 Higher Education Tax Reform - A Shared Agenda for Increasing College Affordability, Access, and Success
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Aug 07, 2013 Poverty Trends: Declining Wages Require Growing Income Supports
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Julie Strawn | Apr 15, 2013 Comments on Education and Family Tax Benefits
- Helly Lee | Feb 04, 2013 Research Shows Long-Lasting Benefits of EITC
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Apr 08, 2008 Tax Credits and Public Benefits: Complementary Approaches to Supporting Low-Income Families
- The Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) Consortium for Higher Education Tax Reform | Nov 21, 2013 Higher Education Tax Reform: A Shared Agenda for Increasing College Affordability, Access, and Success
- CLASP | Sep 18, 2013 Child Poverty in the U.S.: What New Census Data Tell Us About Our Youngest Children
- Jul 31, 2013 CLASP Work Supports Newsletter - July 2013
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Jul 31, 2013 Poverty Trends: Declining Wages Require Growing Income Supports
- Jul 01, 2013 CLASP Work Supports Newsletter - June 2013