Important New Tax Information

By Laura Peralta-Schulte
August 28, 2015

NETWORK continues to advocate for making permanent the 2009 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit improvements set to expire in 2017 as well as to strengthen the EITC to include younger, childless workers. These essential anti-poverty credits have been hugely effective at helping families achieve financial stability. If the key provisions expire, 16 million Americans, including 8 million children, will fall into — or deeper into — poverty.

So far, NETWORK has generated over 6,500 signatures of religious leaders and concerned citizens from around the country asking Congress to prioritize these anti-poverty tax credits. Members of our grassroots community in key districts have also met with key Members of Congress in their districts this August recess asking that the credits be made permanent.

From a process standpoint, there will be at least one, but possibly two, tax bills this fall that could provide an opportunity for action. The first is the Highway Bill, an important jobs bill that funds U.S. roads, bridges and public transportation. Republican leaders in the House and Senate have suggested that the highway bill be expanded to include making permanent select business credits, such as the research and development tax credit. Advocates for the EITC and the Child Tax Credit are urging lawmakers to also make permanent the working family tax credits, particularly if they are providing expensive tax breaks to wealthy corporations.

A second tax bill that could move forward is a short-term extension of a number of mainly business tax credits that are typically extended a year or two at a time. If we are unsuccessful in getting the EITC and CTC made permanent in the Highway Bill, we will seek an extension of the credits in this bill.

Decisions about whether to include the EITC and Child Tax Credit proposals are being made now. It is imperative for advocates to talk to their Member of Congress and explain why it is critical that they take action this fall in support of these key anti-poverty measures.