Report: Dem tax plan would help millions

Democratic proposals to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would help roughly 15 million taxpayers, according to a new study from the Brookings Institution.

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Both the White House and leading Democrats on Capitol Hill have said that workers without children should have greater access to the EITC, a key tax break for the working poor.

Proposals from the White House and Democratic lawmakers like Senate Majority Whip Richard DurbinDick DurbinOPINION | DACA helps people achieve the American dream, don't take it away Immigration battlefield widens for Trump, GOP 'Dreamers' deadline looms for Trump MORE (Ill.), Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOvernight Finance: House passes spending bill with border wall funds | Ryan drops border tax idea | Russia sanctions bill goes to Trump's desk | Dems grill bank regulator picks Dems grill Trump bank regulator nominees Senate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Richard Neal (Mass.) would allow certain workers without children to start claiming the credit when they’re 21, instead of the current 25.

The proposals would also increase the maximum amount of credit that workers who don’t have children, or don't have custody of their children, can receive.

According to Brookings, the White House proposal would benefit just over 14 million taxpayers, while the congressional measures would help 15.2 million, with many of those workers coming from fields like retail and food service.

The Brookings study, authored by Elizabeth Kneebone and Jane Williams, adds that the White House proposal could double the number of eligible EITC filers without children in 15 states, and that roughly six in 10 of the taxpayers benefitting from the proposals would come from the country’s top 100 metro areas.

“Modernizing this provision of the EITC by enacting these expansions would help ensure that the credit is as effective a work incentive and poverty alleviation tool for childless workers as it continues to be for working families,” Kneebone and Williams wrote.

Democrats have said that strengthening the EITC should be a bipartisan pursuit, noting that former President Reagan was a strong supporter of the credit.

But Republicans have expressed concerns about the amount of fraud occurring around the EITC. A new tax reform draft from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) would reduce maximum benefits under the EITC.