By Eric Mitchell
Have you filed your taxes? As tax season comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on two of Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters campaigns and years of persistent advocacy on the earned income tax credit (EITC). Congress gave us a huge win last year when it passed a tax deal that made improvements to the EITC permanent.
But this tax credit can do even more. Call 800/826-3688 and tell your representative and senators today to fix the glaring gap in the EITC for low-income adults without children and non-custodial parents.
The EITC helps to keep millions of low-income families from falling into or deeper into poverty. However, our current policy taxes millions of low-income workers without children into poverty. In fact, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the federal tax code taxes about 7.5 million childless adults age 21 through 66 into or deeper into poverty. This is particularly true for young people just starting out and struggling to pay their expenses, including crushing student debt, on salaries from low-wage jobs.
We are grateful that Speaker Paul Ryan, President Obama, and other lawmakers have proposed expanding the EITC for childless workers and lowering the eligibility age for this credit from 25 to 21. This should be a top bipartisan priority.
Call 800/826-3688 and tell your members of Congress to fix the glaring gap in the EITC for low-income adults without children and non-custodial parents, the lone group of working people taxed into, or deeper into, poverty.
On this tax day, let’s remind our elected officials that our tax policies need to reflect the common good of all of God’s children.
Eric Mitchell is the director of government relations at Bread for the World.