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Report: Millions hurt if family tax breaks expire

Millions of people would face more economic trouble if expansions of tax credits for the working poor aren’t extended in three years time, according to a new paper from a liberal group.

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The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said that letting the expanded versions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the child tax credit would hurt more than 16 million people in all, including almost eight million children.

Those expansions, put into place by the fiscal cliff deal almost two years ago, expire at the end of 2017. The expansions lower the income floor for families claiming the child tax credit, and increase the amount of EITC for larger families, among other things.

Democrats have pushed to make those expansions permanent, but Republicans have balked at that idea in the past. House Republicans currently are seeking to indefinitely extend some expired tax breaks for businesses, like the credit for research and development.

Advocates for the child tax credit and the EITC note that they have historically had bipartisan support, with the EITC being touted by former President Reagan.

If expansions of the two credits were allowed to expire, CBPP estimates that working families would lose around $840 a year. Around 65 percent of currently eligible families would lose at least some part of their tax break, the center added.