Rep. Neal Bill Prevents Tax Hike on Kids

Washington — The First Focus Campaign for Children today endorsed a bill by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) to extend key provisions of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) through 2013. If passed, the bill would continue federal tax credits for 13 million working families, affecting 26 million children.

“This legislation is critically important for kids. The Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit in 2010 prevented 5 million kids from falling into poverty,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.

Neal’s legislation would extend recent improvements to these family tax credits that will otherwise end in 2012. This includes preventing a nearly $10,000 increase in the qualifying income threshold for CTC, ensuring that the lowest income families still have access to the tax credit. The bill would also prevent the CTC from being cut in half for 10 million children, and would continue to allow families with three or more children to receive a larger EITC, because of increased financial need.

“More than one-in-five US children already lives below the poverty line. Refusing to extend these provisions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit will only increase the number of kids in poverty,” said Lesley.

Virtually all of those affected by Neal’s bill are families earning less than $50,000 per year. In 2013, this bill could save 13 million working families an average of $843, which for many is a rent or mortgage payment. The CTC and EITC also have strong links to child well-being. Children who receive them do better in school and, as adults, work more hours and have higher lifetime earnings.

Comparable provisions have been included in a broader tax extenders package (S. 3412) scheduled for Senate floor consideration this week. Neal’s proposal, however, is the only one that focuses solely on family tax credits.

“We need to make children a priority in the tax debate and extend the tax credits that help 26 million kids,” said Lesley.

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Poverty & Family Economics Housing & Homelessness Tax Policy Press Release

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