Options to Increase the EITC for Workers Without Children at Home

Brief

Options to Increase the EITC for Workers Without Children at Home

February 4, 2021

Abstract

Workers without children living at home, called “childless” for tax purposes, are eligible for relatively small benefits from the earned income tax credit (EITC). We analyze the effect of increasing the EITC for this group and extending benefits to workers ages 19 and older, rather than restricting benefits for childless workers to those aged 25 to 64 as is the case under current law. Increasing the size of the EITC could provide substantial assistance to low-income, childless workers. Extending the credit to younger workers would affect more people in the bottom fifth of the income distribution than extending the credit to older workers since younger workers tend to have few other sources of income.

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