Brown, Durbin unveil tax credit bill

More than two dozen other lawmakers have joined on to the legislation, according to a release about the bill, including Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

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The EITC and the child tax credit were both expanded in the 2009 stimulus package, and the enhanced credits were then extended in the “fiscal cliff” deal signed early this year after Democrats made the tax breaks a priority. 

The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps families with education costs, was also extended in that deal, and Democratic lawmakers are seeking to permanently extend that as well. 

Both the EITC and the child tax credit are refundable tax breaks for families. The child tax credit gives qualifying families up to a $1,000 tax break per child. In 2012, the maximum EITC payment was close to $6,000, for certain families with at least three children. 

The bill from Brown and Durbin would make the EITC more accessible to families without children, and reduce the age a taxpayer becomes eligible to 21.