WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Reps. Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and Mike Kelly (R-PA-16) introduced bicameral legislation to ensure low-income families impacted by the current coronavirus outbreak can use the wages reported in their 2019 tax return to compute the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) on their 2020 tax return.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a number of low-income workers will report lower wages in 2020, which means those eligible for the EITC and CTC could receive lower refunds. By allowing workers to use 2019 wages to compute their EITC and CTC, the senators’ legislation will help those hit hardest by this crisis get a larger refund that is consistent with their earnings from the previous filing season. Congress has temporarily allowed this election in the wake of previous natural disasters.

“Fighting for workers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak not only means getting the relief they need now, but also looking ahead and using tools like the EITC and CTC. We can’t let workers take a hit on their wages this year and then a second hit when they file taxes next year,” said Brown. “This legislation will help ensure families get the refund they’ve earned and the income boost they need at tax time.” 

“Allowing low-income families to use 2019 tax returns for 2020 will ensure they do not suffer a double bit from coronavirus. This small change will make a huge difference in the lives of many,” said Dr. Cassidy.

"Working families in our communities are experiencing significant financial hardships due to the current coronavirus outbreak. As we work to ease their burden today, we must also think to the future by providing a path towards better economic security," said Congressman Higgins. "Allowing workers the option to file their 2020 tax return using their 2019 reported wages is a simple step toward restoring the refund they typically earn and deserve."

“At a time of unprecedented unemployment because of COVID-19, we have to get creative to help working families not only get the assistance they need today but also next year when they file their taxes. This simple plan will help shield Americans from receiving more bad news on tax day in 2021,” said Congressman Kelly.

Brown has been fighting to get taxpayers relief as they brace for the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In March, at Brown’s urging, President Trump announced this year’s tax filing deadline would be moved from April 15 to July 15.

Last week, Brown led a letter to Senate Leaders calling for a temporary expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in the next coronavirus relief package. Together, these expansions will put money back in the pockets of working Americans and provide support to the workers and families who will be hit the hardest and affected the longest by this crisis.

Brown is also pushing for another round of stimulus checks in any future stimulus package to help Americans hurting financially due to COVID-19.

He also continues pushing for Pandemic Premium Pay for Ohio workers on the frontlines of the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Brown and Senate Democrats released their plan for a ‘Heroes Fund’ last week, which would help reward, retain and recruit essential workers who are on the frontlines of this pandemic.