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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Eissa, Nada; Hoynes, Hilary
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    This paper examines the distributional and behavioral effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). We chart the growth of the program over time, and argue that several expansions show that real responses to taxes are important. We use tax data to show the distribution of benefits by income and family size, and examine the impacts of hypothetical reforms to the credit. Finally, we calculate the efficiency effects of marginal changes to EITC parameters. (author abstract)

    This paper examines the distributional and behavioral effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). We chart the growth of the program over time, and argue that several expansions show that real responses to taxes are important. We use tax data to show the distribution of benefits by income and family size, and examine the impacts of hypothetical reforms to the credit. Finally, we calculate the efficiency effects of marginal changes to EITC parameters. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Scott, Christine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC) began in 1975 as a temporary program to return a portion of the Social Security taxes paid by lower income taxpayers, and was made permanent in 1978. In the 1990s, the program became a
    major component of federal efforts to reduce poverty, and is now the largest antipoverty entitlement program. Childless adults in 2004 received an average EITC of $218, families with one child received an average EITC of $1,728, and families with two or more children received an average EITC of $2,669. A low-income worker must file an annual income tax return to receive the EITC and meet certain requirements for income and age. A tax filer cannot be a dependent of another tax filer and must be a resident of the United States unless overseas because of military duty. The EITC is based on income and whether the tax filer has a qualifying child.
    
    The EITC interacts with several nonrefundable federal tax credits to the extent lower income workers can utilize the credits to reduce tax liability before the EITC....

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC) began in 1975 as a temporary program to return a portion of the Social Security taxes paid by lower income taxpayers, and was made permanent in 1978. In the 1990s, the program became a
    major component of federal efforts to reduce poverty, and is now the largest antipoverty entitlement program. Childless adults in 2004 received an average EITC of $218, families with one child received an average EITC of $1,728, and families with two or more children received an average EITC of $2,669. A low-income worker must file an annual income tax return to receive the EITC and meet certain requirements for income and age. A tax filer cannot be a dependent of another tax filer and must be a resident of the United States unless overseas because of military duty. The EITC is based on income and whether the tax filer has a qualifying child.
    
    The EITC interacts with several nonrefundable federal tax credits to the extent lower income workers can utilize the credits to reduce tax liability before the EITC. Income from the credit is not used to determine eligibility or benefits for means tested programs. However, 18 states and the District of Columbia now offer an EITC for state taxes, and most of them are based on the federal EITC. Any change in the federal EITC would flow down to impact the state EITC. Policy issues for the EITC, which reflect either the structure, impact, or administration of the credit include the work incentive effects of the credit; the marriage penalty for couples filing joint tax returns; the anti-poverty effectiveness of the credit (primarily a family size issue); and potential abuse (i.e., compliance with credit law and regulations). The National Taxpayer Advocate heads an independent program within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to handle taxpayer problems not resolved through normal channels, and to identify issues that create problems for taxpayers. As part of identifying problems for taxpayers, the National Taxpayer Advocate prepares a report each year to Congress summarizing at least 20 of the most serious problems faced by taxpayers with recommendations to resolve the problems. In the reports for 2002 through 2005, EITC related problems have been included among the “most serious problems.” In the 2006 report, while the EITC was not listed as a specific problem, concerns about the EITC and low-income taxpayers are components of some of the “more serious problems.” This report will be updated annually. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax credit for low- and moderate-income working people. It encourages and rewards work as well as offsets federal payroll and income taxes. Twenty-six states, including the District of Columbia, have established their own EITCs to supplement the federal credit (author introduction).

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax credit for low- and moderate-income working people. It encourages and rewards work as well as offsets federal payroll and income taxes. Twenty-six states, including the District of Columbia, have established their own EITCs to supplement the federal credit (author introduction).

  • Individual Author: Cauthen, Nancy K.
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2002

    A large and expanding body of research documents the associations between “income poverty” and a wide-ranging set of negative child development outcomes. Poverty can impede children’s cognitive development and their ability to learn. It can contribute to behavioral, social, and emotional problems. And poverty can contribute to poor health among children as well. Research also indicates that the strength of the effects of poverty on children’s health and development depends in part on the timing, duration, and intensity of poverty in childhood. The risks posed by poverty appear to be greatest among children who experience poverty when they are young and among children who experience persistent and deep poverty.

    Recent experimental findings offer the strongest evidence to date that raising the incomes of low-income families can positively affect child development, especially for younger children. Studies of experimental welfare programs that increase family income through employment and earnings supplements have shown positive effects on children. The most consistent finding...

    A large and expanding body of research documents the associations between “income poverty” and a wide-ranging set of negative child development outcomes. Poverty can impede children’s cognitive development and their ability to learn. It can contribute to behavioral, social, and emotional problems. And poverty can contribute to poor health among children as well. Research also indicates that the strength of the effects of poverty on children’s health and development depends in part on the timing, duration, and intensity of poverty in childhood. The risks posed by poverty appear to be greatest among children who experience poverty when they are young and among children who experience persistent and deep poverty.

    Recent experimental findings offer the strongest evidence to date that raising the incomes of low-income families can positively affect child development, especially for younger children. Studies of experimental welfare programs that increase family income through employment and earnings supplements have shown positive effects on children. The most consistent finding is improvement in school achievement among elementary school-age children. Although the effects on children’s behavior and children’s health are not uniform across experimental programs that increase family income, observed effects have been either positive or neutral. In contrast, experimental welfare programs that increase employment but not income have shown few effects on children, and observed effects tend to be mixed (i.e., not uniformly positive or negative). Moreover, findings from welfare-to-work experiments show that when programs reduce income, outcomes for children are sometimes, although not always, negative.

    Although further research is needed to fully ascertain the conditions under which increased employment and income provide the maximum benefit to children, findings from welfare-to work experiments strongly indicate that in programs that do not increase income, positive gains for children are uncommon, and in some cases, the results for children are unfavorable. In light of research findings about the importance of family income for child development, this policy brief series seeks to provide concise and accessible syntheses of research about policies that have the potential to increase low family incomes. The focus of Policy Brief 2 is earned income tax credits (EICs). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Greenstein, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which goes to low- and moderate-income working people, isn’t as well known as other major parts of the nation’s safety net. But it’s one of our most effective antipoverty programs. Along with the low income component of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the EITC encourages work, helps offset the cost of raising children, and lifts millions of Americans out of poverty. Moreover, important new research suggests that these credits also reduce poverty over the next generation. (article summary)

    The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which goes to low- and moderate-income working people, isn’t as well known as other major parts of the nation’s safety net. But it’s one of our most effective antipoverty programs. Along with the low income component of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the EITC encourages work, helps offset the cost of raising children, and lifts millions of Americans out of poverty. Moreover, important new research suggests that these credits also reduce poverty over the next generation. (article summary)

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