A Reference Manual for Child Tax Benefits

Brief

A Reference Manual for Child Tax Benefits

Abstract

The individual income tax contains multiple provisions that favor families with children. They range from credits targeted towards low-income families to deductions that favor higher income families. Some provisions benefit a family by virtue of the family having children, others try to incentivize behavior such as work and going to school. This paper describes the various child-related provisions and shows the distribution of who benefits from the provisions. Benefits can be substantial. For example, a single parent with two children could receive a tax subsidy worth almost $9,000. The rules governing the provisions are complex and ripe for reform.

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