ADVOCACY ALERT: SUPPORT the EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC)
Friday, August 7, 2012
Recent improvements to the EITC are set to expire at the end of the year which would affect working families with three or more children and married couples. Your voice is needed to urge Members of Congress to make the improvements permanent and to protect the EITC in talks regarding deficit reduction and tax reform. Take action now.
About the EITC
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for working individuals who earn low or moderate incomes. It was enacted in 1975 as a way to transition welfare recipients to work. In 1986, President Reagan expanded the program and it was expanded again in the early 1990s. The tax credit reduces the tax burden on lower-income workers, supplements their wages and encourages greater participation in the workforce. The EITC is broadly considered the nation’s largest and most effective anti-poverty program.
About the Expiring Improvements
Improvements in 2009 increased the EITC rate for working families with three or more children from 40% to 45%, effectively increasing the maximum credit for these families by nearly $600. The financial penalty some couples receive once they marry was also reduced. The 2010 Tax Relief and Job Creation Act extended these improvements through the end of 2012. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, these temporary expansions were responsible for lifting about 500,000 people out of poverty. Both the marriage-penalty provision and the EITC expansion for families with three or more children are set to expire at the end of 2012 unless Congress takes action. Additionally, as Congress debates strategies to reduce the deficit and reform the tax code, the EITC will be on the table. It is important to urge protection of this critical tax credit that strengthens communities.
Why the EITC is a Top Priority for United Way
Studies find the EITC encourages work, increases financial stability, helps families meet basic needs, and improves children’s achievement in schools, all of which advance Education, Income or Financial Stability and Health—the building blocks everyone needs to lead a productive, successful life. Lake Area United Way helps individuals and families climb the economic ladder and gain financial stability through our Bank On Northwest Indiana, Money Smart Week and the Northwest Indiana Asset Building Campaign which helps people access the EITC through community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
How Can You Help? Take Action Now!
· Contact your Members of Congress through this alert. Click here
· Talk about the EITC during Congressional visits this fall.
· Tweet your Members of Congress. If you need to find your Member’s Twitter name, visit:
http://tweetcongress.org/ and scroll to the bottom left corner to enter your zip code to find your representatives’ Twitter handle.
· Sample tweet: “@ (Member’s Twitter Name), please protect #EITC and make permanent the improvements for larger families & married couples http://bit.ly/NIHw4p#LiveUnited”
· Write a letter to the editor and submit it to the Times and Post-Tribune.
· Educate your family, friends, colleagues and co-workers on the need to make the improvement to the EITC permanent.