WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Working Families Tax Relief Act, which would extend and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Brown and Durbin introduced their bill as part of a series of bills unveiled by Democrats in the Senate and the House of Representatives aimed at cutting taxes for the middle class, putting money back in the pockets of working families, and reducing the costs of college and child care.
“Too many Americans work hard and play by the rules only to find themselves struggling to make ends meet each month. To help these workers, we must support programs that give working families a hand up when they need it most,” said Brown. “The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit lift families out of poverty, provide an incentive to work, and put real money back in the pockets of working Ohioans. That’s why expanding and strengthening these tax credits is so important for the thousands of Ohio families who have earned these benefits. To reform our tax code, we must start in the homes of working Americans – not in corporate boardrooms”
“Strengthening these tax credits is pro-family and pro-worker and will help lift millions of working families out of poverty,” Durbin said. “The Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit encourage work, help families make ends meet, and lead to healthier and better educated children. My colleagues and I are committed to getting them passed on behalf of all Americans.”
In addition to making the 2009 expansion of both tax credits permanent, the Working Families Tax Relief Act would expand EITC for childless workers, index the CTC to inflation, and make it easier for working Americans who qualify to claim the EITC. Without an extension of the EITC and CTC by 2017, approximately 50 million Americans could lose all or part of their EITC or CTC. The Brown-Durbin bill has attracted 35 cosponsors including Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and eight other members of the Finance Committee, plus six members of Democratic Leadership, including Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
The EITC is a refundable tax credit for low-income Americans that encourages work and helps families make ends meet. In 2012, more than 24 million taxpayers received a lump sum refundable credit through EITC after filing their taxes. The CTC is available for taxpayers with children in the amount of up to $1,000 per child under age 17. Without an extension of the EITC and CTC by 2017, over 13 million families would lose all or part of their EITC or CTC and 16.4 million people would be pushed into poverty or deeper into poverty.